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India’s Import of arms decreased by 33%  due to Indigenisation :SIPRI Report

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India's import of arms decreases by 33According to a report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India’s import of arms decreased by 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20 due to its increased push for ‘Make-in-India’ initiative and other measures to boost the domestic defence industry.

  • The most affected country due to decline in India’s imports was Russia.It was followed by USA.
  • Globally, the five largest arms exporters in 2016-20 were US, Russia, France, Germany & China while top importers were Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia & China.
  • The US remains the largest arms exporter, increasing its global share of arms exports from 32 to 37 per cent between 2011-15 and 2016-20.
  • India’s Top 3 Arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (49% imports), France (18%) & Israel (13%).


India has set a target of INR 1.75 Lakh Crore (USD 25 Billion) turnover in Defence manufacturing by 2025.

India’s Export level

  • According to SIPRI, India accounted for 0.2% of share of global arms exports during 2016-20.
  • India was the 24th Largest Exporter of major arms.
  • The major recipients of India were Myanmar, Sri Lanka & Mauritius.
  • India’s arms imports from France increased by 709 per cent while those from Israel rose by 82 per cent.
  • According to SIPRI, India’s drop in arms imports were due to 2 main reasons – Complex procurement process & India’s initiative to reduce dependence on Russian arms.

Government’s support for Domestic Manufacturing

  • Minister of State for Defence, Shripad Naik in Lok Sabha stated that around 112 proposals worth around INR 1.99 Lakh Crore were approved in 2018-19 & 2020-21 (till December) for promoting domestic defence manufacturing.
  • Government also released a year-wise negative list of weapons which won’t be imported to boost domestic manufacturing.

Region-wise Arms Growth

  • The Middle East Region was the fastest growing market for arms.
  • They imported 25% more major arms in 2016-20 compared to 2011-15.
  • Asia & Oceania was the largest importing region for major arms, it received 42% of Global arms transfers.

Fall of Russia & China

Russia & China experienced decline in their arms exports.

  • In order to compensate for loss of Indian orders, Russia increased its arms transfers to China, Algeria & Egypt.
  • China’s arms exports accounted for 5.2% of total arms exports in 2016-2020. Pakistan, Bangladesh & Algeria were the major recipients of Chinese arms.

Recent Related News:

i.On August 9, 2020, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to restrict import of 101 weapons and military platforms, between 2020 and 2024, in order to boost indigenous defence manufacturing on the lines of “Atmanirbhar Bharat”.

About Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):

Director – Dan Smith
Headquarters – Stockholm, Sweden