India is the world's largest arms importer according to new data on international arms transfers published today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). India received 9 per cent of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006–10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82 per cent of Indian arms imports. ‘Indian imports of major conventional weapons are driven by a range of factors. The most often cited relate to rivalries with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges’,states Siemon Wezeman of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. ‘As an importer, India is demanding offsets and transfers of technology to boost its own arms industry, and, in order to secure orders, major suppliers are agreeing to such demands’. Supplier competition ‘There is intense competition between suppliers for big-ticket deals in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America’, states Dr Paul Holtom, Director of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme. The Eurofighter consortium (comprised of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK), France, Russia, Sweden and the USA are competing for combat aircraft orders in these regions, with notable competitions in Brazil and India. France, Germany, Italy and the UK are competing for orders for naval equipment from Algeria. The Netherlands is one of the biggest arms exporters in the world, based on exports per head of the population, according to new figures from Swedish institute Sipri and quoted in the Volkskrant. Only Israel and Sweden export more weapons per head of the population, Sipri says. In terms of total exports, the Netherlands is in sixth place, with the US, Russia and France in the top three positions. The high Dutch position is due to shipbuilders Damen Shipyards and the former Hollandse Signal operation in Hengelo which makes radar apparatus and is now owned by French firm Thales.