India's arms imports from U.S. up by 550%

13 March, 2018, 06:05 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Nearly half of US arms exports go to the Middle East

India remained the world's largest arms importer between 2013 and 2017, accounting for almost 12% of the global imports whereas its arch-rival Pakistan's military purchase dropped by 36% in the same period.

About a large portion of USA arms trades in the course of recent years have gone to the war-stricken Middle East, with Saudi Arabia merging its place as the world's second greatest merchant, a report has appeared. Its exports increased by 25 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

The UK, which rolled out a red carpet for the Saudi crown prince on his visit to London last week, exported almost half of its arms to the Saudi Arabia, which has increased its imports by 225%.

India continues to be world's largest importer for major firearms, an indication that Modi government's make in India drive for defence sector has faltered.

The SIPRI report stated that India-Pakistan's arch nemesis-remained the highest imported of the weapons, accounting 12pc of the global arms imports. However, German weapon exports to the Middle East jumped by 109 percent.

"Widespread violent conflict in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in Western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales", Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher for the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme, said in a statement.

France, Germany and China were likewise among the main five exporters.


A report published by United Kingdom -based Conflict Armament Research in December found that the USA and Saudi Arabia violated global law by purchasing "large numbers" of European equipment and illegally diverting it to Syrian opposition groups without notifying the exporters.

"Its imports increased by 24 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17...arms imports from the US increased by 557 per cent, making it India's second largest arms supplier...."

The world's arms sales in 2013-2017 increased by 10% compared to 2008-2012.

The study further said that China has increasingly been becoming capable of producing its own weapons, and maintaining itself as a supplier in the region by maintaining good relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

Saudi Arabia - which is waging a war against Shiite Houthi rebels backed by its regional rival Iran - is the world's second largest importer of arms after India, SIPRI said.

Israel increased its imports by 125%, receiving arms mainly from the US, Germany and Italy.Iran, which is under an worldwide arms embargo, spends a fraction of what its Arab neighbours spend on weapons, instead relying on proxies and soft power to advance its policies.

China's arms imports fell by 19 percent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. However, arms imports from the US rose by 557 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17, making it India's second largest arms supplier. Venezuela's arms imports fell by 40 percent between the two periods. "Major ongoing arms deals in 2017 included the delivery of combat aircraft from China and Russian Federation", it says. The UK is the sixth biggest weapons exporter.

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