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India tops charts as world’s largest defense importer (Relevant for GS Prelims and GS Mains Paper II, III)

Global arms sales over the last five years reached their highest level since 1990, with India continuing to top the charts as the world’s largest defense importer, a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has found (SIPRI).

India’s share in defence imports
Between 2012 and 2016, India accounted for 13 percent of global arms imports, followed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, China and Algeria, said SIPRI, which tracks global arms purchases.

Future defence purchases in light of Make in India
Prime Minister has pledged $250 billion to modernize the country’s aging military equipment — from fighter jets to guns and submarines. The government wants to award contracts to companies, such as Lockheed Martin Corp and Saab AB, which have promised to build products in India. 

Why India failed to build reliable defence production base?
1.  Historic reliance on state-owned companies for defence production.
2. Constant delays in purchases hinder the country’s ability to supplant imports with domestically-produced weapons.



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