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Arms Imports By India falls By 33%, SIPRI Report – Free PDF Download



What has happened?

  • India’s arms imports fell 33 % between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) on Monday,
  • At a time the country has taken a raft of measures to cut dependence on imported military hardware.

Why decline in India’s import?

  • The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes.
  • Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%,” the report said,Adding that India is planning large-scale arms imports in the coming years from several suppliers. 

India’s top suppliers

  • India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report said.

India’s export

  • According to Sipri, India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20, making the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms.
  • This represents an increase of 228% over India’s export share of 0.1 % during the previous five-year period of 2011-15.
  • Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report said.

What experts say?

  • The latest import data is a clear indicator that the country’s drive towards Atmanirbharta is showing results, said Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies.
  • India is finally at an inflection point and the Indian defence industry is coming of age,” he said.

Global data

  • For the first time since 2001–2005, the volume of deliveries of major arms between countries did not increase between 2011–15 and 2016–20.
  • However, international arms transfers remain close to the highest level since the end of the cold war.



  • The SIPRI said the US remained the largest arms exporter, increasing its global share of arms exports from 32 to 37% between 2011–15 and 2016–20,
  • Adding it supplied major arms to 96 states in 2016–20, far more than any other supplier.
  • Almost half (47%) of US arms transfers went to the Middle East.
  • Saudi Arabia alone accounted for 24% of total US arms exports,” the report noted.


  • Arms exports by Russia, which accounted for 20% of all exports of major arms in 2016–20, dropped by 22%, the report said.
  • “The bulk — around 90% — of this decrease was attributable to a 53% fall in its arms exports to India,” Sipri said.
  • India was the biggest importer of Russian military hardware during the last five years, accounting for 23% of Russia’s total exports.
  • It also said that exports by China, the world’s fifth largest arms exporter in 2016-20, fell 7.8% between 2011-15 and 2016-20.
  • China accounted for 74% of Pakistan’s military imports during the last five years, up from 61% in 2011-15.
  • Pakistan is now firmly in China’s hold for its arms requirements.”

Rise in middle east

  • Middle Eastern countries bought 25% more arms in the period.
  • Saudi Arabia, alone, increased its arms imports by 61%; Qatar by 361%.

Make in India policy

  • The Indian government has set in place a policy targeting defence exports worth Rs 35,000 crore by 2025 and Doubling its domestic procurement from Indian manufacturers to decrease dependence of armed forces on foreign weapons and military platforms.
  • it is incumbent that procurement is doubled from the current Rs 70,000 crore to Rs 1,40,000 crore by 2025.
  • A list of 156 items meant for exports has also been released earlier.
  • This year, the government is likely to notify a second list of weapons, systems and ammunition that cannot be imported.
  • The ₹48,000-crore contract for 83 LCA Mk-1A jets, awarded to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited last month, is the biggest indigenous defence procurement deal so far.

Q) What is AMPHEX – 21, that was seen in the news recently?

  1. Communication satellite
  2. COVID Vaccine candidate
  3. Tri service joint exercise of India
  4. NASA’s moon rover



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