Context: According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, India has remained the world’s largest arms importer for the five-year period between 2018 and 2022.
- The report adds that arms imports of India dropped by 11% between 2013-2017 and 2018-2022.
- France was the second largest source of imports for India at (29%) and the U.S. was third (11%).
- Russian export of arms: Majority of Russian exports went to three states from 2018 to 2022 — India (31%), China (23%) and Egypt (9.3%).
- Russia was the largest arms supplier to India from 2013 to 2022, but its total share dropped from 64% to 45%, owing to competition from other countries and also the Ukraine war.
- International trends: Imports of major arms by European states grew by 47 per cent between 2013-17 and 2018-22 in the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.
Facts on India’s Arms Market
- Import trends:
- India was the biggest arms export destination to three countries — Russia, France and Israel.
- India’s import from France increased by 489% between 2013 to 2017 and 2018 to 2022, mainly due to Fighter jets and Submarines.
- India was the second largest export market to South Korea and the third largest export market for South Africa.
- Reasons for India’s arms imports: The main reason for driving arms imports were India’s tensions with Pakistan and China.
- Export trends:
- In the last five years, military exports have jumped by 334%, involving more than 75 countries.
- Countries such as US, the Philippines and other nations in South-East Asia, the Middle East and Africa are the major destinations.
- India was the third largest arms supplier to Myanmar after Russia and China (14% of its imports).
- Reasons for import decline:
- India’s slow and complex arms procurement process
- Diversifying its arms suppliers
- Replacing imports with arms that are produced domestically.
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
- SIPRI is a Stockholm-based independent international institute that conducts research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
- It provides data, analysis and recommendations, is based on open-source research, to policymakers, analyzers, media and the interested public.
- Government measures to boost indigenous production of defence equipments:
- Priority to the procurement of capital goods from domestic sources under Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP)-2020.
- Developing defense platforms for industry-led design and development
- Liberalization of foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in defence manufacturing.
- Notifying Positive Indigenisation Lists (PIL) of sub-systems/assemblies/sub-assemblies/ components.
- Simplification of process of obtaining license for defence production.