Indian Bharat Electronics jumped 10 places from 74 to 64 in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) list of top 100 arms-producing and military services companies for the year 2017.
Three other companies figured in the top 100 list, namely, Ordnance Factory Board on 37, Hindustan Aeronautics on 38 and Bharat Dynamics Ltd on 94. This is the first time that the BDL has entered in the top 100 list of arms producers. In 2016, it was ranked 106, according to the SIPRI report published on Monday.
Bharat Electronics’ managed to increase their sales from US$1.2 billion in 2016 to US$1.38 billion in 2017, an increase of 12 per cent in the year.
India is the largest arms producer in ‘emerging producers’ category, with four companies ranked in the Top 100. Their combined arms sales of $7.5 billion in 2017 were 6.1 per cent higher than in 2016. The two largest Indian arms producers, Indian Ordnance Factories and Hindustan Aeronautics, are the highest ranking companies in 2017 among countries in the category. These two companies along with Bharat Electronics have been listed in the Top 100 since 2002. A fourth company, Bharat Dynamics, entered the Top 100 in 2017 (ranked 94th) with arms sales of $880 million.
All four companies are state-owned and are almost entirely dependent on domestic demand. The overall increase in arms sales in 2017 is a result of India’s aims to modernize its armed forces and source its military equipment from Indian companies as far as possible.