India was the world's second-largest arms importer with Russia being the largest supplier during 2015-19, according to a Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)'s annual report "Trends in international arms transfers 2019". The report also said Moscow's share of the Indian weapons market dwindled from 72 per cent to 56 per cent.
The report places the world's top five arms importers during the past five years as Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China. Together, the five countries constituted 36 per cent of all arms imports.
Saudi Arabia, India and China also featured in the top five importers during the period 2010–14. India ranked behind Saudi Arabia in the list of arms importers for many years as it has been considering to modernise its armed forces by procuring combat jets, helicopters, submarines, warships, artillery guns and assault rifles from Russia, the US, France and Israel.
India's arms imports from Russia and the US plummeted during the five years, with the maximum in the case of Russian arms deals. India accounted for 25 per cent of Russian arms exports.
"Russia was the largest exporter to India in 2010-14 and 2015-19, but deliveries dropped by 47 per cent, and its share of total Indian arms imports rose to 72 per cent to 56 per cent," the report said.
The US rose to become India's second-largest arms supplier during 2010-14 as a result of increasing security ties between the two countries that turned into a strategic partnership. "However, in 2015-19 India continued with its policy of supplier diversification, and imports of arms from the USA were 51 per cent lower than in 2010-14," the report said.
The import of arms from Israel and France improved by 175 per cent and 715 per cent respectively, making them the second and third-largest suppliers during 2015-19. According to the report, India also received Scanter-6000 radars from Denmark, Embraer ERJ-145 jets for early warning and control system from Brazil, ACTAS sonar systems from Germany and K-9 Thunder 155mm artillery guns from South Korea.
Arms imports by India and Pakistan slumped by 32 per cent and 39 per cent respectively, Between 2010-14 and 2015-19.
"While both countries have long-standing aims to produce their major arms, they remain largely dependent on imports and have substantial outstanding orders and plans for imports of all types of major arms," the report said.
The report also found that India and Pakistan had used imported military hardware in attacks following the 2019 suicide attack in Pulwama.
"Pakistan reportedly used combat aircraft imported from China, equipped with Russian engines, and combat aircraft from the USA supported by airborne early warning and control aircraft from Sweden. India reportedly used combat aircraft imported from France and Russia, guided bombs from Israel and artillery from Sweden," it said.
The report ranked India at the 23rd spot, among the world's 25 largest arms exporters. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were its main clients.
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