India remains biggest arms importer between 2018-22 despite drop in overall imports

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Source: The post is based on the article “India remains biggest arms importer between 2018-22 despite drop in overall imports” published in The Hindu on 14th March 2023

What is the News?

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has released a report titled “Trends in International Arms Transfers 2022”.

What are the key findings of the report?

Arms imports: India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia, and China are the top five arms importers in 2018–22.

Arms exports: US, Russia, France, China, and Germany as the five biggest arms exporters. The five countries alone accounted for 76% of global arms transfers between 2018 and 2022. 

India’s arms imports: India was the world’s largest arms importer between 2018 and 2022, accounting for 11% of global imports.

– Russia was the largest supplier of arms to India in both 2013–17 and 2018–22. Russia accounted for 45% of India’s imports followed by France (29%) and the US (11%).

India’s arms exports: Among the top 10 arms exporters for the period 2018-22, India was the biggest arms export market to three countries — Russia, France, and Israel and the second-largest export market to South Korea.

– India was also the third-largest market for South Africa, which was ranked 21 on the list of arms exporters.

What are the observations made by the report on India?

Reduced in arms imports: India is still the largest arms importer, but its arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013 and 2017 and 2018 to 2022.

The decrease can be attributed to several factors, including India’s slow and complex arms procurement process, efforts to diversify its arms suppliers, and attempts to replace imports with major arms that are designed and produced domestically.

Decrease in arms imports from Russia: Russia’s position as India’s main arms supplier is under pressure due to strong competition from other supplier states, increased Indian arms production, and, since 2022, also the impact of the war in Ukraine.

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