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India 2nd largest arms importer in 2015-19, Saudi Arabia tops; US largest exporter of arms while India at 23rd: SIPRI Report

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In accordance with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) annual report titled “Trends in international arms transfers, 2019”, India is the world’s second largest arms importer during 2015-19 with its global share of 9.2% after Saudi Arabia, who has topped the ranking with global share of 12%. On the other hand, India ranked 23rd in terms of world’s largest arms exporters with global share of 0.2% and its main clients being Myanmar (46%), Sri Lanka (25%), and Mauritius (14%). United States (US) topped the list in this section with a share of 36%.India was 2nd largest arms importer

  • On the global front, the volume of international transfers of major arms in 2015–19 has increased by 5.5% as compared to 2010–14.
  • Largest Suppliers of arms to India: Russia is largest supplier of arms to India; however, share of weapons purchased has declined from 72% to 56% during 2015-19, which accounted 25% of total Russian arms exports. Contrarily, Israel and France’s share increased, by 175% and 715% respectively, which have become second and third largest suppliers to India during 2015-19.
  • It should be noted that India’s arms import declined by 32% since 2015 due to “Make in India” initiative.

Following table showing the top 5 in different sections along with their global share during 2015-16:

RankExporters (Share of arms exports)Importers (Share of arms imports)Importers-Region Wise (Share of arms imports)
1United States (36%)Saudi Arabia (12%)Asia and Oceania (41%)
2Russia (21%)India (9.2%)Middle East (35%)
3France (7.9%)Egypt (5.8%)Europe (11%)
4Germany (5.8%)Australia (4.9%)Africa (7.2%)
5China (5.5%)China (4.3%)Americas (5.7%)
23India (0.2%)


Key Points from Report:

i.SIPRI has identified 68 states as exporters of major arms in 2015–19 and 160 states as importers of major arms.

ii.The 5 largest arms importers together accounted for 36% of all arms imports. Saudi Arabia, India and China were also among the top five importers during 2010–14.

iii.The five largest arms exporters together accounted for 76% of all arms exports in 2015–19. The top five in 2015–19 were the same as in 2010–14, but their combined total exports of major arms were 9.5% higher.

iv.The military hardware acquired by India from other countries includes Apache, Chinook helicopters, and P8I maritime aircraft from US; S400 anti-air system, T90 Tanks & helicopters from Russia; Scanter-6000 radars from Denmark, Embraer ERJ-145 jets for a home-grown airborne early warning and control system, ACTAS (ATLAS ELEKTRONIK Active Towed Array Sonar) systems from Germany; Super Rapid 76mm naval guns from Italy; and K-9 Thunder 155mm artillery guns from South Korea.Click Here for Full Report

About SIPRI:
Headquarter– Stockholm, Sweden
Chair– Ambassador Jan Eliasson
Director– Dan Smith