India Imports More Arms Than Any Other Country

This article was written with the assistance of A.I. technology, and has been edited and fact-checked by Melly Alazraki.

India is the world’s biggest importer of arms, and it has been for some time. From 2018 to 2022, India’s arms imports accounted for 11% of the world’s arms imports, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. In the previous five-year period India’s arms imports accounted for 12% of global arms imports.

The world’s second-most populous nation has tense relationships with bordering countries Pakistan and China, both of which are nuclear powers. Over the decades, India was involved in armed conflicts with both at various times.

While India is developing many industries, its own arms industry is not as developed as that of some other countries and imports much of its arms needs. The Indian government is the world’s third largest spender on the military after the U.S. and China.

Russia is the largest supplier of arms to India, accounting for 45% of India’s arms imports. France is next, supplying 29% of India’s arms imports. The United States is the third-largest weapons supplier, accounting for 11% of India’s arms imports.

Russia and India’s relationship date back decades. The Soviet Union was already a major supplier of arms to India during the Cold War, and successor Russia has continued that tradition. Russia is willing to sell arms to India on favorable terms, and has supplied it with fighter aircrafts, helicopters, nuclear submarines, frigates, cruise missiles, air defenses, and more.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-India relationship is also described as a strategic partnership, with the U.S. also selling to India aircraft, helicopters and missiles in an attempt to reduce India’s reliance on Russia.

Click here to see which nations are importing the most weapons and their biggest suppliers.

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