India has finally shed the ignominious distinction of being the largest arms importer in the world after over a decade, having been pipped by Saudi Arabia to second place.
In the latest figures released by SIPRI (Stockholm Peace and Research Institute), India’s share of defence imports during the period 2014 to 2018 is pegged at 9.5% (as against Saudi Arabia’s 12%) with a substantial reduction of 24% between this period and the one immediately preceding it (2009-13). However, this has been more due to deliveries of high-end hardware having slowed down than any indigenous effort at self-reliance bearing fruit.
This figure could well change again in the next five year cycle since India has recently signed some big-ticket contracts while others are being negotiated. Payments for these will commence as they progress. Read More