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SIPRI Report on Arms


India remained the world’s largest arms importer for the five-year period between 2018 and 2022 even though its arms imports dropped by 11% between 2013-2017 and 2018-2022, according to the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. SIPRI’ s report on Arms Import and Export: Trends and Key Players
  2. About SIPRI

SIPRI’ s report on Arms Imports and Exports: Trends and Key Players

India’s position as the world’s largest importer of major arms remained unchanged from 2018 to 2022, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Here are some key trends and players in India’s arms trade during this period:

  • Russia: Despite a decline in its share of India’s arms imports from 64% to 45%, Russia remained the largest supplier of arms to India from 2013 to 2022. However, its position is under pressure due to increased competition from other suppliers, Indian arms production, and the impact of the war in Ukraine.
  • France: France emerged as the second largest supplier of arms to India, with its share of India’s imports increasing from 3% to 29% between 2013 and 2022. France’s exports to India included 62 combat aircraft and four submarines.
  • Israel: Israel was among the top three exporters of arms to India from 2018 to 2022, along with Russia and France.
  • South Korea: India was the second largest export market for South Korea’s arms during this period.
  • Saudi Arabia: India was the largest importer of major arms, followed by Saudi Arabia.
  • Myanmar: India was the third largest arms supplier to Myanmar, accounting for 14% of its imports, after Russia and China.
  • Factors driving India’s demand for arms imports: India’s tensions with Pakistan and China are the key drivers of its demand for arms imports, according to SIPRI.
  • Factors behind the decrease in India’s arms imports: The decrease in India’s arms imports between 2013 to 2017 and 2018 to 2022 can be attributed to several factors, including India’s slow and complex arms procurement process, efforts to diversify its arms suppliers, and attempts to replace imports with domestically-produced arms.

Just under two thirds of Russian exports went to three states from 2018 to 2022 — India (31%), China (23%) and Egypt (9.3%). India was also the largest recipient of Russian arms from 2013 to 2017, but exports decreased by 37% between the two periods.


  • Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international think-tank institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
  • It was established in 1966 at Stockholm (Sweden).
  • It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.

-Source: The Hindu

February 2024