India Second Largest Importer of Arms, Ranks 23rd in Exports; says SIPRI Report


New Delhi: India ranked second after Saudi Arabia in arms imports while it was ranked 23rd in arms exports with the main client countries being Myanmar (46 per cent), Sri Lanka (25 per cent) and Mauritius (14 per crnt), according to a Stockholm international Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Report.

The report by the Institute said that between 2010–14 and 2015–19, arms imports by India and Pakistan decreased by 32 and 39 per cent respectively. While both countries have long-standing aims to produce their own major arms, they remain largely dependent on imports and have substantial outstanding orders and plans for imports of all types of major arms.

Russia was the largest supplier to India in 2010–14 and 2015–19, but deliveries fell by 47 per cent and its share of total Indian arms imports went from 72 to 56 per cent. The US became the second-largest arms supplier to India in 2010–14 as the security relationship between the two countries developed into a strategic partnership. However, in 2015–19 India continued with its policy of supplier diversification, and imports of arms from the US were 51 per cent lower than in 2010–14.

In contrast, arms imports from Israel and France increased by 175 and 715 per cent respectively, making them the second- and third-largest suppliers of major arms to India in 2015–19.

SIPRI identified 68 states as exporters of major arms in 2015–19. The five largest suppliers of arms during that period—the US, Russia, France, Germany and China—accounted for 76 per cent of all arms exports. The top five in 2015–19 were the same as in 2010–14, but their combined total exports of major arms were 9.5 per cent higher.

France had the highest increase in arms exports among the top five. US, German and Chinese arms exports also rose, while Russian arms exports fell. The top 25 arms exporters accounted for 99 per cent of the world’s major arms exports in 2015–19 . States in North America and Europe accounted for 87 per cent of all arms exports.

The US was the top arms exporter in 2015–19 and delivered major arms to 96 states. This is a far higher number of destinations for arms exports than any other supplier. US arms exports grew by 23 per cent between 2010–14 and 2015–19 and the US’ share of total global arms exports rose from 31 per cent to 36 per cent.

The gap in total arms exports between the US and Russia— the second-largest exporter—has grown rapidly: in 2010–14 US exports of major arms were 17 per cent higher than those of Russia, whereas in 2015–19 they were 76 per cent higher.