India emerged as the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14% of the global imports in the 2011-2015 timeframe. The latest data on international arms transfers released by a global think-tank, SIPRI, also shows India’s arms imports remain three times greater than those of its rivals China and Pakistan. Its biggest suppliers are Russia, the US, Israel and France.

India’s imports between 2011 and 2015 stood at 14% of the world’s total, twice as much as second-placed Saudi Arabia, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Report said.

China, the UAE and Australia round out the top five importers. The countries were responsible for 4.7%, 4.6%, and 3.6% of global weapons imports respectively. Whereas Australia’s numbers largely held steady from previous years, both the UAE and China saw fairly large differences.

According to the SIPRI report, the volume of international transfers of major weapons — including sales and donations — was 14 percent higher in 2011-2015 than over the five previous years, with the US and Russia doing most of the exporting.

5 biggest exporters in 2011-15

  1. USA
  2. Russia
  3. China
  4. France
  5. Germany

5 biggest arms importers in 2011-15

  1. India
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. China
  4. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  5. Australia

US and Russia among top arms suppliers

United States increasing its dominance of the trade while the flow of weaponry to Africa, Asia and the Middle East has increased. The biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

United States increasing its dominance of the trade while the flow of weaponry to Africa, Asia and the Middle East has increased. The biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

With a 33 per cent share of total arms exports, the USA was the top arms exporter in 
2011–15. Its exports of major weapons increased by 27 per cent compared to 2006–10. Russian exports of major weapons increased by 28 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15, and Russia accounted for 25 per cent of global exports in the recent 5-year period. However, in 2014 and 2015 Russian exports returned to the lower annual levels observed in 2006–10.

Middle Eastern states increase arms imports

Arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 61 per cent between 2006–10 and 
2011–15. In 2011–15 Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer, with an increase of 275 per cent compared to 2006–10. In the same period, arms imports by the United Arab Emirates rose by 35 per cent and those by Qatar went up by 279 per cent. Egypt’s arms imports increased by 37 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15, primarily due to a steep rise in 2015.

The authors of the report singled out the conflict in Yemen as the reason for rise in arms race.

“A coalition of Arab states is putting mainly US- and European-sourced advanced arms into use in Yemen,” senior SIPRI researcher Pieter Wezeman said in the report.

“Despite low oil prices, large deliveries of arms to the Middle East are scheduled to continue as part of contracts signed in the past five years” Wezeman added.

Courtesy: IRIA