India, a rising superpower, has proved it’s might yet again with the latest world defence budget rankings. India makes it to the top 5 in the world as one of the largest defence budgets. In a first of its kinds results, India has overtaken the UK as the 5th largest defence budget nation.
According to a report in London, these new rankings in defence budget point towards a shift in the defence balance between India and UK. These rankings have been shared by the Military Balance 2018, prepared by the IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies). In 2016, India’s defence budget stood at $51.1 billion and in 2017, overtaking the UK, the defence budget has peaked at $52.5 billion. On the other hand, the defence budget for the UK dropped from $52.5 billion to $50.7 billion from 2016.
China’s Defence Budget is Almost Three Times India’s!
China ranks at number two with a whopping $150.5 billion budget. The rankings are topped by the US. The defence budget for China saw a surge of 25% in 2016-17, whereas the surge for India was a mere 2.4%.
Ever since the Doklam region issue between India and China, the defence balance for India with China favours the latter. Over the past decade, China has invested large amounts in building military equipment and vehicles, the total is much more than the combined investments of India, Japan and S. Korea. Furthermore, China also has a significantly more number of defence personnel than India, over 1000tactical aircrafts as compared to around 800 in India and a stronger cruiser, destroyer and frigate fleet too.
Is India’s Defence Budget Inadequate?
There have been reports that suggest that India is trying to become a defence exporter rather than an importer. This is further to the ‘Maki in India’ policy. However, even though the budget for India may have reached Top 5, the fact remains that the overall capability of the defence forces in India continues to be inadequate. This is mainly because of poor logistics, a shortage of ammunition and also spare parts.
The Top 5 Defence Budgets of the world are:
- US ($602.8 billion)
- China ($150.5 billion)
- Saudi Arabia ($76.7 billion)
- Russia ($61.2 billion)
- India ($52.5 billion)