STOCKHOLM: India has emerged as one of the five biggest military spenders in 2017, a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found.
With an expenditure of USD 63.9 billion on military in 2017, India marked a 5.5 percent rise from the figures in 2016.
China made the biggest leap with an increase of 5.6 percent (USD 12 billion) from 2016, and became the highest defence spender in Asia at USD 228 billion.
Military tension between India and China may have driven India's defence expense, as indicated by Senior Researcher with the SIPRI AMEX programme, Siemon Wezeman.
Wezeman said, "Tensions between China and many of its neighbours continue to drive the growth in military spending in Asia."
The United States retained the top spot at USD 610 billion, with unchanged military expenditure between 2016 and 2017.
Saudi Arabia emerged as the third biggest spender in 2017 at USD 69.4 billion, an increase of 9.2 percent from 2016.
The report found a sharp drop in Russia's military expenditure that dropped by 20 percent from 2016 to stand at USD 66.3 billion.
Overall, the global military expenditure showed a rising trend as a marginal increase of 1.1 per cent in real terms from 2016, resulted in USD 1739 billion expenditure in 2017.
"The increases in world military expenditure in recent years have been largely due to the substantial growth in spending by countries in Asia and Oceania and the Middle East, such as China, India and Saudi Arabia," said Dr Nan Tian, Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme.