SIPRI REPORT ON ARMS IMPORT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Security)

News-CRUX-10     13th March 2024        

Context: India continues to be the world’s top arms importer, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

  • About: It is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. 
  • Established in: 1966
  • Vision: SIPRI envisions a world where sources of insecurity are recognized, conflicts are preempted or resolved, and peace is enduring.
  • Provision of Data and Analysis: SIPRI provides data, analysis, and recommendations sourced from open channels, offering valuable insights into global security trends.
  • Target Audience: SIPRI's research serves policymakers, researchers, media, and the general public, contributing to informed decision-making and public discourse.

    Key Point of Report

    • India's Arms Imports: Despite the "Make in India" initiative, aimed at promoting India as a global manufacturing hub, the country's arms imports increased by 4.7 percent between 2014–2018 and 2019–2023.
    • Leading Position: India secures the top rank globally, importing 9.8 percent of arms, showcasing its substantial reliance on foreign military equipment.
    • Regional Comparison: Following India, Saudi Arabia stands second with 8.4 percent arms import, indicating significant defense procurement in the region.
    • Qatar's Import Rate: Qatar holds the third position, importing 7.8 percent of arms, reflecting its investment in defense capabilities.
    • Russia Remains India's Main Arms Supplier: According to the SIPRI report, Russia retained its status as India's main arms supplier, accounting for 36 percent of its arms imports.
    • Shift in India's Arms Import Patterns: The period from 2014 to 2018 marked the first five-year stretch in 50 years where deliveries from Russia or the former Soviet Union comprised less than half of India's arms imports.
    • French Arms Exports to India: The increase in French arms exports was primarily driven by deliveries of combat aircraft to India, Qatar, and Egypt, including 36 Rafale fighter jets customized for the Indian Air Force.
    • Expansion of Indian-French Arms Deal: India is in negotiations for the procurement of 26 Rafale Marine jets for the Navy's aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, with the contract likely to be signed soon after France submitted a bid in December 2023.