India again world's biggest arms importer: Swedish think-tank

India has yet again emerged as the world's largest importer of arms, with Russia being the top supplier garnering 70 per cent of the Indian market, a Stockholm-based think-tank said on Monday.

PTI| Last Updated: Feb 22, 2016, 21:34 PM IST

New Delhi: India has yet again emerged as the world's largest importer of arms, with Russia being the top supplier garnering 70 per cent of the Indian market, a Stockholm-based think-tank said on Monday.

India's imports, accounting for 14 per cent of global arms imports, were three times greater than those of China and Pakistan, it said.

Interestingly, six of the top 10 largest arms importers in the period 2011-15 are in Asia and Oceania.

India tops the list with 14 per cent of global arms imports. China ranks second with 4.7 per cent, Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Vietnam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent).

"A major reason for the high level of imports is that India's arms industry has so far largely failed to produce competitive indigenously-designed weapons," it claimed.

The emergence of the US as a major supplier to India is a recent development. The US imports are also growing. They were 11 times higher in 2011-15 than in 2006-10, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report.

India was the largest importer of major arms in 2011-15, accounting for 14 per cent of the global total, the report titled 'Trends in International Arms Transfers' said.

Between 2006-10 and 2011-15 imports increased by 90 per cent.

India was the world's largest importer of weapons and military equipment in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

In 2011-15 India's imports were three times greater than those of either of its regional rivals - China and Pakistan.

However, based on existing orders and weapons, Russia will remain, by a significant distance, the main supplier of major arms to India for the foreseeable future.

 Talking about China, the report said the country is increasingly capable of producing its own advanced weapons and has become less dependent on arms imports, which decreased by 25 per cent between 2006-10 and 2011-15.

While in the early-2000s China was by far the largest importer, it dropped to third place in 2011-15. However, China remains partly dependent on imports for some key weapons and components, including large transport aircraft and helicopters, and engines for aircraft, vehicles and ships.
 Engines accounted for 30 per cent of China's imports in 2011-15.

China's largest supplier was Russia, which accounted for 59 per cent of Chinese imports, followed by France with 15 per cent and Ukraine with 14 per cent.

 Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 26 per cent between 2006-10 and 2011-15, with states in the region receiving 46 per cent of global imports in 2011-15.

Vietnam's arms imports rose by 699 per cent, it said.