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India’s Arms Imports: SIPRI

  • 14 Mar 2023
  • 4 min read

Prelims: India’s Arms Imports, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia-Ukraine War, Indigenization of Technology.

Mains: India’s Arms Imports and Exports.

Why in News?

According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Trends in International Arms Transfers 2022 report, India remained the world’s largest arms importer from 2018 to 2022 followed by Saudi Arabia and Ukraine.

What are the Key Highlights of the Report?

  • Global Arms Transfer:
    • While the global level of international arms transfers decreased by 5.1%, imports of major arms by European states increased by 47% between 2013–17 and 2018–22 in the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
    • The U.S. share of global arms exports increased from 33% to 40% while Russia’s fell from 22% to 16%.
    • Arms imports by Pakistan increased by 14% between 2013–17 and 2018–22 and accounted for 3.7% of the global total with China supplying 77% of Pakistan’s arms imports in 2018–22.
  • India’s Arms Import Outlook:
    • With an 11% share of total global arms imports, India was the world’s biggest importer of major arms in 2018–22, a position it has held for the period 1993–2022.
    • India remained the top importer despite an 11% drop in its arms import between 2013-17 and 2018-22.
  • Arms Suppliers to India:
    • Russia was India’s largest arms supplier in the periods between 2013-17 and 2018-22, but its share of arms imports to India fell from 64% to 45% while France emerged as the second-largest arms supplier to India between 2018-22 at 29%, followed by the US at 11%.
      • Russia’s position as India’s main arms supplier is under pressure owing to strong competition from other supplier states, increased Indian arms production, and, since 2022, constraints on Russia’s arms exports related to its invasion of Ukraine.
    • India also imported arms during this five-year period from Israel, South Korea, and South Africa which are among the top arms exporters globally.
  • Factors Driving Arm Imports:
    • India’s tensions with Pakistan and China largely drive its demand for arms imports.
  • Reason for Drop in Arm Imports:
    • The drop in arms imports can be attributed to several factors including India’s slow and complex arms procurement process, and efforts to diversify its arms suppliers, among others.
  • Arm Supply from India:
    • India was the third-largest arms supplier to Myanmar during this period after Russia and China and comprised 14% of its imports.
      • 77% of Pakistan’s arms supply in 2018-22 came from China.

What is SIPRI?

  • It is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • It was established in 1966 in Stockholm (Sweden).
  • It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

Source: IE

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