New Delhi: The Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Reaearch Institute (SIPRI) has said that India is the world’s largest arms importer, according to data on international arms transfers that the think tank has collated.
SIPRI published this in a report released on Monday.
India received 9% of the volume of international arms transfers during 2006-10, with Russian deliveries accounting for 82% 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,” Siemon Wezeman of the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme, said in a press release.
“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,’ Wezeman added.
Some highlights of the report are:
• The average volume of worldwide arms transfers in 2006–10 was 24% higher than in 2001–2005.
• The major recipient region in 2006–10 remained Asia and Oceania (43% of all imports), followed by Europe (21%), the Middle East (17%), the Americas (12%) and Africa (7%).
• The four largest importers of conventional weapons in 2006–10 are located in Asia: India (9% of all imports), China (6%), South Korea (6%) and Pakistan (5%). These states have imported, and will continue to take delivery of, a range of major conventional weapons, in particular combat aircraft and naval systems.
• The USA remains the world’s largest exporter of military equipment, accounting for 30 % of global arms exports in 2006–10. During this period, 44 % of US deliveries went to Asia and Oceania, 28 % to the Middle East and 19 per cent to Europe.
According to other estimates, India’s arms purchases by 2020, are likely to add up to $80 billion, with big tickets defence deals including the $11 billion 126 aircraft fighter jet deal on the anvil.