India remained the world’s second-largest arms importer during the period 2015-19, however, remained, at the bottom of the list in world’s leading arms exporter. According to reports, Russia continued to be India’s largest arms supplier but experienced a decline in market shares from 72% to 56%.
In its annual “Trends in international arms transfers 201 9″ report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) listed the world’s top five arms importers during the five-year period as Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China. Together, the five accounted for 36% of all arms imports, the report said.
Saudi Arabia, India and China were also among the top five importers during the period 2010–14. India has been in the second place, behind Saudi Arabia, in SIPRI’s list of arms importers for several years as it has been taking steps to revive its armed forces by procuring latest, state-of-art weaponry.
The SIPRI report said India’s arms imports from both Russia and the US fell during the five-year period, though the decline was more noticeable in the case of Russian arms deals. India accounted for 25% of total Russian arms exports.
“Russia was the largest supplier to India in 2010-14 and 2015-19, but deliveries fell by 47 % and its share of total Indian arms imports went from 72% to 56 %,” it said. The US emerged as India’s second-largest arms supplier during 2010-14 as security ties between the two sides progressed into a strategic partnership. “However, in 2015-19 India continued with its policy of supplier diversification, and imports of arms from the USA were 51 % lower than in 2010-14,” the report said.
In contrast, arms imports from Israel and France increased, by 175% and 715% respectively, making them the second- and third-largest suppliers during 2015-19.
According to data from SIPRI for the period 2015-19, India also procured defence hardware from other countries, including Scanter-6000 radars from Denmark, Embraer ERJ-145 jets for a home-grown airborne early warning and control system from Brazil, ACTAS sonar systems from Germany, Super Rapid 76mm naval guns from Italy and K-9 Thunder 155mm artillery guns from South Korea.
Between 2010-14 and 2015-19, arms imports by India and Pakistan reduced by 32% and 39% respectively. “While both countries have long-standing aims to produce their own major arms, they remain largely dependent on imports and have substantial outstanding orders and plans for imports of all types of major arms,” the report said.
China accounted for 51% of Pakistan’s arms imports during 2010-14 and 73% during 2015-19. The overall decrease in Pakistan’s arms imports was linked to the US decision to stop military aid to Pakistan in 2018. The US accounted for 30% of Pakistan’s arms imports during 2010-14 but for only 4.1% during 2015–19.
During the period 2015-19, Pakistan was ranked the 11th largest arms importer in the world. The report also placed India 23rd among the world’s 25 largest arms exporters, with its main clients being Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius.