In 2011 India World’s Top Arms Importer

Back in March 2012, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI, reported that India was the world’s top arms importer from the 2007 – 2011 period.

India, along with South Korea, Pakistan, China, and Singapore, were the five biggest recipients in the reporting period accounting for 30 percent of total international arms import volume. India, FOI’s main reporting target, accounting for 10% of total arms imports with Russia contributing 80%, the UK 6% and Israel 4% during the five year period.

From the Report:

India’s imports of major weapons increased by 38 per cent between 2002–2006 and 2007–11. Notable deliveries of combat aircraft during 2007–11 included 120 Su-30MKs and 16 MiG-29Ks from Russia and 20 Jaguar Ss from the UK. While India was the world’s largest importer in 2007–11, with 10 per cent of all imports, its neighbour Pakistan was the third largest, accounting for 5 per cent of imports. Pakistan took delivery of a significant quantity of combat aircraft during this period: 50 JF-17s from China and 30 F-16s from the USA. Both India and Pakistan have taken and will continue to take delivery of large quantities of tanks.

The Prior 5 years

During the 2005-2009 reporting period, India was the world’s second largest arms importer with 7% of total imports just behind China, accounting for 9%. The reporting period also saw China’s annual arms imports decline from $3.5 bn in 2005; $3.8 bn in 2006; $1.5 bn in 2007; $1.5 bn in 2008; to a mere $0.6 billion in 2009.

As China continues to build rather than import weapons, India is quite the inverse. From 2005-2009, India’s annual arms imports doubled from $1.04 bn in 2005; $1.25 bn in 2006; $2.2 bn in 2007; $1.8 bn in 2008 and $2.1 billion in 2009.

The full 2012 report:

SIPRI (MAR2012) Trends in International Arms Transfers 


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