India second largest arms purchaser after Saudi Arabia: report

India has emerged as the second largest arms purchaser among developing countries after Saudi Arabia, a latest Congressional report says.

India second largest arms purchaser after Saudi Arabia: report

India has emerged as the second largest arms purchaser among developing countries after Saudi Arabia, a latest Congressional report says.

Since last few years India has embarked on a massive modernisation of its armed forces. Between 2008 and 2015, India purchased defence equipments worth $34 billion, which is a distant second after Saudi Arabia's $93.5 billion, said the report 'Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 2008-2015' released by Congressional Research Service (CRS).



CRS is an independent bipartisan research wing of the US Congress. It prepares reports on a wide range of issues for lawmakers to make informed decisions. However, CRS reports are not considered official reports of the US Congress.

"Saudi Arabia was the leading developing world arms purchaser from 2008-2015, with agreements totalling USD 93.5 billion. India was the second largest developing world arms purchaser from 2008 to 2015, making arms transfer agreements totalling USD 34 billion during these years (in current dollars)," the report said, adding these increases reflect the military modernisation efforts by India.

The report highlights Indian efforts to diversify its procurement of arms, of which the US has been a major beneficiary.

"It is notable that India, while the principal Russian arms customer, during recent years has sought to diversify its weapons supplier base, purchasing the Phalcon early warning defense system aircraft in 2004 from Israel and numerous items from France in 2005, in particular six Scorpene diesel attack submarines. In 2008, India purchased six C130J cargo aircraft from the United States," CRS said.

In 2010, the UK sold India 57 Hawk jet trainers for USD 1 billion. In 2010, Italy also sold India 12 AW101 helicopters.

In 2011, France secured a USD 2.4 billion contract with India to upgrade 51 of its Mirage-2000 combat fighters, and the US agreed to sell India 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for USD 4.1 billion, it said.

"This pattern of Indian arms purchases indicates that Russia will likely face strong new competition from other major weapons suppliers for the India arms market, and it can no longer be assured that India will consistently purchase its major combat systems," CRS said.