India Secures World's Top Arms Importer; Check Out The List Of Other Global Dynamics

India Secures World's Top Arms Importer; Check Out The List Of Other Global Dynamics

According to the data, covering the period between 2014 to 18 and 2019 to 23, showed that India's arms imports increased by 4.7 percent.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 03:08 PM IST
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India has secured its position as the world's leading arms importer, according to the recent report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

According to the data, covering the period between 2014 to 18 and 2019 to 23, showed that India's arms imports increased by 4.7 percent.

While Russia historically dominated India's arms market, accounting for 36 percent of its imports, the trend has shifted now.

It was for the first time since the 1960s that deliveries from Russia constituted less than half of India's arms imports, showcasing a diversification of suppliers. The United States played a key role in this shift, becoming a major contributor, providing 34 percent of India's arms imports, as per the SIPRI report.

Despite maintaining its position as a major arms supplier to India, Russia's arms exports declined 53 percent during the same period. The data also highlighted an increase in arms imports by India's regional neighbor, Pakistan, which saw a 43 percent rise, with China dominating as its primary supplier, covering 82 percent of Pakistan's arms imports.

Top Arms Importing Countries (2019–23)

India: Positioned as the world's leading arms importer, with a 4.7 percent increase in arms imports.

Saudi Arabia: World's second-largest arms importer, receiving 8.4 percent of global arms imports in the period.

Qatar: Third-largest arms importer, with a fourfold increase of +396 percent in arms imports.

Ukraine: Secured the fourth position globally.

Pakistan: The fifth-largest arms importer globally, 43 percent increase in arms imports.

Egypt: Seventh-largest arms importer, importing combat aircraft and major warships to enhance military capabilities.

Australia: World's eighth-largest arms importer, despite a 21 percent decrease in arms imports.

Israel: Mainly reliant on the USA (69 percent) and Germany (30 percent) for its arms imports.

Top Arms Exporting Countries (2019–23)

USA: Maintained its dominant position as the world's leading arms exporter, with a 17 percent increase in arms exports. Accounted for 42 percent of total global arms exports.

France: 47 percent increase in arms exports, securing the second position globally, with a 42 percent increase.

Russia: Decline of 53 percent in arms exports, falling to the third position

Italy: +86 percent increase in arms exports

South Korea: 12 percent increase in arms exports

China: The data showed a slight decrease in arms exports (–5.3 percent) and became a major supplier to sub-Saharan Africa.

Germany: –14 percent declined in arms exports .

United Kingdom: –14 percent declined in arms exports.

Spain: 3.3 percent decline in arms exports.

Israel: –25 percent decline in arms exports.

Factors responsible for India's increased arms acquisition

The report suggested that India's increased arms acquisitions are driven by various factors, including modernization efforts, geopolitical tensions, and a diversification strategy to enhance its defense capabilities.

France played a key role in this diversification, as India emerged as the largest single recipient of French arms exports, constituting nearly 30 percent. The rise in French arms exports to India was primarily attributed to the delivery of combat aircraft to India, Qatar, and Egypt.

The SIPRI report also noted about the global dynamics of arms trade, showing an overall decline of 3.3 percent in international arms transfers between 2014 to 18 and 2019 to 23.

The United States increased its arms exports by 17 percent during this period, keeping its position as the world's leading arms exporter, with 42 percent of total global arms exports.

Other developments include a sharp rise in arms imports by European states, particularly Ukraine, which emerged as the largest European arms importer. The Middle East remains a high-volume importer of arms, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Egypt ranking among the top importers globally.

Other Key Developments in Global Arms Trade

Asia and Oceania: The region received 37 percent of major arms transfers, with the USA becoming the largest supplier, accounting for 34 percent of arms imports.

Middle East: Despite a 28 percent decrease in Saudi Arabia's arms imports, the region remains a major importer, with the majority of arms supplied by the USA (52 percent), followed by France, Italy, and Germany.

Africa: Arms imports in Africa fell by 52 percent, driven by substantial decreases in Algeria (–77 percent) and Morocco (–46 percent). China overtook Russia as the main supplier to sub-Saharan Africa.

America: Arms imports decreased by 7.2 percent, with the USA, Brazil, and Canada leading the region.

Australia: The country ranked as the world's eighth-largest arms importer, reaching an agreement with the UK and the USA to import at least six nuclear-powered submarines in 2023.

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