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India emerges as the world's LARGEST arms importer

Last updated on: March 20, 2012 08:17 IST

India emerges as the world's LARGEST arms importer

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Modernising its armed forces along the borders with China and Pakistan, India has emerged as the world's largest importer of arms, a global think tank report said on Monday.

The report pointed out that China, which was the largest recipient of arms exports in 2002?, fell to fourth place in 2007�� due to decline in the volume of Chinese imports along with improvements in China's arms industry and rising arms exports.

The five largest importers of major conventional weapons in the period 2007-11 were all in Asia and Oceania: India, South Korea, Pakistan, China and Singapore.

Together, the top 5 recipients accounted for 30 per cent of imports of major conventional weapons in 2007-11, compared with 39 per cent in 2002-2006, when the top 5 recipients were China, India, the UAE, Greece and South Korea.

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Image: A Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jet


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India emerges as the world's LARGEST arms importer

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"India was the world's largest recipient of arms, accounting for 10 per cent of global arms imports between 2007 to 2011," the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its latest report.

In the field of arms import, India has left behind both Pakistan and China along with Singapore and South Korea, the report said.

India's imports of major weapons increased by 38 per cent between 2002� and 2007󈝷. Notable deliveries of combat aircraft during 2007󈝷 included 120 Su-30MKs and 16 MiG-29Ks from Russia and 20 Jaguar Ss from the United Kingdom.

While India was the world's largest importer in 2007󈝷, with 10 per cent of all imports, its neighbour Pakistan was the third largest, accounting for 5 per cent of imports.

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Image: 10 C-17 strategic lift aircraft in flight


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India emerges as the world's LARGEST arms importer

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In the last five to 10 years, India has taken several steps to modernise its armed forces and signed several deals to procure military hardware.

This includes deals for 10 C-17 strategic lift aircraft, six  additional Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets along with several warships.

Pakistan took delivery of a significant quantity of combat aircraft during this period: 50 JF-17s from China and 30 F-16s from the United States. Both India and Pakistan have taken and will continue to take delivery of large quantities of tanks.

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Image: An M777 155 mm towed Howitzer


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India emerges as the world's LARGEST arms importer

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It is also working hard to develop its domestic defence industry and has also taken policy measures to encourage private sector companies in defence sector.

 

The report said that the top five global arms importers were from the Asia and Oceania accounting for 44 per cent of arms imports followed by Europe (19 per cent), the Middle East (17 per cent), the Americas (11 per cent) and Africa (9 per cent).

 

Saudi Arabia ranked as the 11th largest arms importer in 2007-11. The UK was the largest supplier, accounting for 41 per cent of Saudi Arabia's imports, thanks largely to the delivery of 24 out of 72 Typhoon combat aircraft on order.

 

In 2011 the UK made the first deliveries of Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missiles, which improved Saudi Arabia's long-range strike capabilities. These capabilities will receive a further significant boost from the mid-2010s with the delivery of 154 new and rebuilt F-15SA combat aircraft ordered from the USA in 2011.


Image: Aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov


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