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India’s arms imports drop 33%: All you need to know about Sipri report

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India’s arms imports fell 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) on Monday. Here is all you need to know about the report:

• It has come at a time the country has taken measures to cut dependence on imported military hardware.

• The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes.

• “Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell 46%,” the report said.

• It added India is planning large-scale arms imports in the coming years.

• India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report said.

• According to Sipri, India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20, making the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms.

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• This represents an increase of 228% over India’s export share of 0.1% during the previous five-year period – 2011-15.

• Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report said.

• Arms exports by Russia, which accounted for 20% of all exports of major arms in 2016–20, dropped by 22%, the report said.

• “The bulk — around 90% — of this decrease was attributable to a 53% fall in its arms exports to India,” Sipri said.

• India was the biggest importer of Russian military hardware during the last five years, accounting for 23% of Russia’s total exports.

• The report also said that exports by China, the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter in 2016-20, fell 7.8% between 2011-15 and 2016-20.

• China accounted for 74% of Pakistan’s military imports during the last five years, up from 61% in 2011-15.

• But the US, the world’s largest arms exporter, saw its exports rise. Its global share of arms exports went up from 32% to 37% between 2011-15 and 2016-20.

• The five largest arms exporters in 2016-20 were the US, Russia, France, Germany and China, while the top importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China.

• India has set aside 70,221 crore – 63% of the military’s capital budget for 2021-22 – for buying locally produced weapons and systems to boost defence indigenisation.

• Sipri said India’s military imports are likely to grow over the next five years.

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