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India world’s largest arms importer in 2018-2022. Ukraine 3rd largest in 2022: SIPRI data

India received 31% Russian arms exports & France displaced US as India’s 2nd-largest supplier, according to report released by Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

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New Delhi: India was the world’s largest arms importer between 2018 and 2022, accounting for 11 per cent of global imports, according to fresh data released by the Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The data, part of SIPRI’s Trends in International Arms Transfers 2022 report released Monday, adds that India was the biggest market for Russian arms exports from 2018 to 2022. India received 31 per cent of the total arms exported by Russia during this period.

However, Russian arms exports to India dipped by 37 per cent compared to the 2013-17 period.

At the same time, arms transfers to China accounted for 23 per cent of Russian arms exports between 2018 and 2022 — a 37 per cent increase from the 2013-17 period.

As a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Kyiv emerged as the third largest importer of arms in 2022, SIPRI found. Prior to the war, Ukraine was the 14th largest arms importer in the world between 2018 and 2022.

Data released by SIPRI also sheds light on the “all-weather friendship” between Pakistan and China. According to it, China accounted for 77 per cent of Pakistan’s arms imports in the 2018-2022 period, reflecting the extent to which Islamabad is dependent on Beijing for its military needs.

SIPRI identified India, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Australia and China as the top five arms importers in 2018–22, accounting for 36 per cent of global arms imports during this period. India’s share globally was 11 per cent followed by Saudi Arabia with 9.6 per cent and Qatar with 6.4 per cent.

Data also identified the US, Russia, France, China, and Germany as the five biggest arms exporters. The five countries alone accounted for 76 per cent of global arms transfers between 2018 and 2022. Of this, the US had a lion’s share (40 per cent) with countries in the middle east receiving 41 per cent of the arms exported by it in the said period.

Also Read: Losses to Russian military power, 7% rise in China’s defence spending in 2022, finds IISS

France gains by India’s arms imports

India, the largest arms importer in the world since 2013, accounted for a whopping 11 per cent of global arms imports between 2018 and 2022, according to SIPRI.

However, data also shows that India’s arms imports dropped by 11 per cent in 2018-22 when compared to the 2013-17 period.

Significantly, France displaced the United States of America to become the second-largest supplier of arms to India between 2018 and 2022 — an increase of 489 per cent compared to 2013–17. India’s arms imports from France in the 2018-22 period comprised 62 combat aircraft and four submarines.

“France is gaining a bigger share of the global arms market as Russian arms exports decline, as seen in India, for example,” said Pieter D. Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.

He added, “This seems likely to continue, as, by the end of 2022, France had far more outstanding orders for arms exports than Russia.”

(Edited by Amrtansh Arora)

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