India was the second-largest arms importer in the world over the past five years, with its neighbour Pakistan ranking 11th. “As in previous years, in 2019 India and Pakistan—which are nuclear-armed states—attacked each other using an array of imported major arms,” says Siemon T. Wezeman, senior researcher at SIPRI, wrote in a statement. “Many of the world’s largest arms exporters have supplied these two states for decades, often exporting arms to both sides.” However, quantitiatively, arms imports to India decreased by 32 per cent, and imports by Pakistan fell 39 per cent.
Russia’s arms exports suffered majorly after its loss of traction in Indian market.
India remained the world’s second largest arms importer during the period 2015-19, with Russia being the largest supplier though Moscow’s share of the Indian weapons market declined from 72% to 56%, a leading think tank that tracks arms transfers said in its annual report on Monday.
In contrast, arms imports from Israel and France increased, by 175% and 715% respectively, making them the second- and third-largest suppliers during 2015-19.
According to data from SIPRI for the period 2015-19, India also acquired military hardware from other countries, including Scanter-6000 radars from Denmark, Embraer ERJ-145 jets for a home-grown airborne early warning and control system from Brazil, ACTAS sonar systems from Germany, Super Rapid 76mm naval guns from Italy and K-9 Thunder 155mm artillery guns from South Korea.
Arms imports to India, which used to be the world’s largest importer, decreased by 32 per cent and imports by bitter rival Pakistan fell 39 per cent. SIPRI researchers said both nuclear powers “have long-standing aims to produce their own major arms”, but “remain largely dependent on imports.” Exports of French arms saw one of the most dramatic increases—up 72 per cent from the five previous years—putting France ahead of Germany as the third largest exporter in the world, with 7.9 per cent of global exports.
With Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius as main clients, India now ranks 23rd in the exporter list, a slight increase from earlier.
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