NEW DELHI: India was the world's largest importer of major weapons between 2013 and 2017, and its imports have increased by 24 per cent over the last 10 years, according to the latest annual study by the global watchdog on arms sales, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself," the SIPRI report said quoting Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with the watchdog's Arms and Military Expenditure Programme.
"China, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies," said Wezeman.
Russia remained India's largest supplier of arms in 2013-2017. Russian arms were 62 per cent of India's imports. But imports from the US increased by a whopping 557 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. The US is now India's second largest arms supplier.
Pakistan's arms imports decreased by 36 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. China's arms imports fell by 19 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, yet it was the fifth largest arms importer in 2013-17.
The US remained the biggest arms seller, accounting for 34 per cent of global arms exports. Its exports increased by 25 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. US arms exports in 2013-17 were 58 per cent higher than those of Russia--the second largest arms exporter in that period.
Arms and the nations:
India's arms imports increased by 24% over the last 10 year.
India's arms imports accounted for 12 per cent of the total arms transfers in the world.
Pakistan's arms imports decreased by 36% between 2008-12 and 2013-17.
China's arms imports fell by 19% between 2008-12 and 2013-17.