Indian Weapons Import Up By 111 Percent, According To SIPRI

  • Our Bureau
  • 08:26 AM, March 17, 2014
  • 2322

India continues to dominate global defense exports, importing nearly three times as many weapons as neighbors China and Pakistan in the past five years, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The total volume of arms sales was up 14 percent in 2009-13 compared to the previous five years, according to the Swedish think tank. Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111 percent in the last five years compared to 2004-08. Its share of total global arms imports increased from 7 to 14 percent.

In 2010, India bumped China to second place as the world's biggest arms buyer. Russia accounted for 75 percent of all imports and thus became the country’s main supplier of arms in 2009-13.

However, India has attempted to relax its dependence on Moscow by actively looking to new sources, in particular the United States.

Figures from IHS Jane's released in February showed that India became the biggest buyer of US weapons last year -- with total imports worth $1.9 billion, and a string of large-scale purchases including Boeing's C-17A transport aircraft and P-8I Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

In 2009-13, however, the US still accounted for only 7 percent of India's purchases according to SIPRI.

Meanwhile, Pakistan increased its weapons acquisitions by 119 percent, growing from 2 percent of the global total to 5 percent during that period.

The five largest arms suppliers worldwide between 2009 and 2013 were the United States (29 percent of global exports), Russia (27 percent), Germany (7 percent), China (6 percent) and France (5 percent).

They collectively accounted for 74 percent of total arms exports, SIPRI said.

The world's top five arms importers were now India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

"Chinese, Russian and US arms supplies to South Asia are driven by both economic and political considerations," said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.

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