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India is the largest importer of arms: Antony

May 16, 2012 16:07 IST

India has become the largest importer of arms, surpassing the Chinese share of five per cent of global arms imports during 2007-11, government told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

"As per a report published in March 2012 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has become the largest importer of arms during 2007-11 and accounted for 10 per cent of global arms import as compared to to Chinese share of five per cent", Defence Minister A K  told the House in a written reply.

He was asked whether India has topped as weapons importer displacing China.

On shortage of weapons, Antony said, "Shortage of weapons are adequately addressed through indigenous production and import... Procurement of arms and equipment for the armed forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and available resources".

The procurement of arms and ammunitions is based on a 15-year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan, five-year Services Capital Acquisition Plan and Annual Acquisition Plan, he added.

In reply to a query on shortage of resources in Indian Air Force (IAF), he said that strengthening and modernisation of the force is an on-going process.

"In accordance with Long Term Plans for IAF, steps have been taken to procure additional fighter aircraft like Su-30MKI, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) as well as various transport aircraft, helicopters and air defence systems", Antony said.

On upgrade of existing fleet of aircraft, he said that Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguars, AN-32 and medium-lift helicopters are being upgraded.

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