"The U.S. has delivered a lot of weapons in 2016, both very expensive weapons and strategically important weapons - missile systems, surveillance and navigation technology", said Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program.
China, although still a major importer, has decreased inflows over recent years as it has improved its domestic arms output.
The arms imports share of countries in the Middle East, including the Gulf monarchies, jumped from 17 per cent to 29 per cent - far ahead of Europe at 11 per cent, the Americas at 8.6 per cent and Africa at 8.1 per cent.
The US remained the world's biggest arms exporter, accounting for 33 percent of all weapons sold in the five years through 2016, the study found. Russian Federation is the second largest supplier, while China took third place.
The largest arms importer during the five-year period was India, increasing volume by 43 percent and now accounting for 13 percent of the global total.
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Russian-based defense firms accounted for just over 23 percent of all global arms sales during the same four-year period, analysts say.
Arms imports by countries in the Middle East increased by 86% in the five years through 2016, compared with the previous five years.
During 2012-16, arms imports in terms of volume by countries in Asia and Oceania accounted for 43% of global imports, a 7.7% rise compared to the previous 2007-11 period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
The import and export of major weapons is at its highest global level since the end of the Cold War, a new report has claimed.
"Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the United States and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities", said Dr Wezeman. The US sold military equipment and weapons to 100 countries.
The study showed the United States and France as the main weapons suppliers for the Middle East, and Russian Federation and China for Asia. Of the top five, Saudi Arabia and the UAE got most of their weapons from Russia; China, Algeria and India got most of their weapons systems from Russia.