India appears on SIPRI arms exporters list for first time


The latest SIPRI Arms Transfer database shows that India’s imports of arms have fallen drastically by 32 percent since 2015.

Mar 12, 2020 10:44 IST

India has joined the list of global arms exporters for the first time. India has started at number 23 in terms of arms exporter, but the government’s move to boost arms sales abroad is likely to improve India’s ranking in terms of arms exports in the coming years.

SIPRI report informed that the French arms industry got the major benefits from India, Egypt, and Qatar due to the demand of French arms. The report said that French arms exports reached their highest level in five years.

SIPRI Arms Transfer Database

The latest SIPRI Arms Transfer database shows that India’s imports of arms have fallen drastically by 32 percent since 2015, indicating that India’s Make in India program is progressing well. However, the figures also show that India remains the second-largest importer of arms after Saudi Arabia. As per the SIPRI Arms Transfer Database, India has delivered 103 ships to the other countries as compared to the 37 in 2018. SIPRI’s export list said that India has export 12 missiles in 2019.

Arms import from Russia

India has ordered to purchase Apache and Chinook helicopters from the USA but the import of S-400 Anti-Air System and T-90 tanks from Russia are big deals. However, it has not included the recent USD 3 billion deal with the US for the Apache and MH60 ‘Romeo’ helicopters. The report said that India retained the policy of change in the arms supplier and during this period (2015-19), arms imports from the US declined compared to 2010–14.

India as Arms Exporter

India’s biggest arms customers are Myanmar (46 percent), Sri Lanka (25 percent) and Mauritius (14 percent). India currently accounts for just 0.2 percent of the world’s arms exports. But India aims to increase its defense exports to USD 5 billion within five years. SIPRI data also shows that Pakistan is not completely dependent on China for its weapons systems. Since 2015, Pakistan imports 73 percent of its weapons from China.

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