India was the world’s second largest arms importer from 2014-18, ceding the long-held tag as the largest importer to Saudi Arabia, which accounted for 12% of the total imports during the period.
“India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014–18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total,” according to the latest report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.
However, Indian imports decreased by 24% between 2009-13 and 2014-18, partly due to delays in deliveries of arms produced under licence from foreign suppliers, such as combat aircraft ordered from Russia in 2001 and submarines ordered from France in 2008, the report stated.
Russia accounted for 58% of Indian arms imports in 2014–18, compared with 76% in 2009-13. Israel, the U.S. and France all increased their arms exports to India in 2014-18. However, the Russian share in Indian imports is likely to sharply go up for the next five-year period as India signed several big-ticket deals recently, and more are in the pipeline. The report noted that despite the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan, arms imports decreased for both countries in 2014-18 compared with 2009-13.
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