India world’s largest arms importer
Indian Air Force personnel stand beside the C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft after its induction ceremony at Hindan Air Force Station in Uttar Pradesh. File photo | PTI

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 today.

The report pointed out that China, which was the largest importer of arms in 2002-2006, fell to fourth place in 2007-11 due to decline in the volume of Chinese imports along with improvements in China’s arms industry and rising arms exports.

“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 (SIPRI) 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.

In the last five to ten 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 C-130 Super Hercules Special Operations aircraft, additional Sukhoi-30 MKI fighter jets along with several warships.

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).

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