A report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) on Monday stated that India’s arms imports fell 33 % between 2011-2015 and 2016-2020 at a time when the union government is trying to make India self-sufficient in manufacturing defence products.
The report on international arms transfers pointed out the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes.
“Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%,” the report said.
India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report said. According to Sipri, India accounted for 0.2% of the share of global arms exports during 2016-20, making the country the world’s 24th largest exporter of major arms. This represents an increase of 228% over India’s export share of 0.1 % during the previous five-year period of 2011-15. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report said.
“The latest import data is a clear indicator that the country’s drive towards Atmanirbharta is showing results,”said Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd), director general, Centre for Air Power Studies. “India is finally at an inflection point and the Indian defence industry is coming of age,” he said.