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SIPRI Report on International Arms Transfer

13th March, 2024 Security

SIPRI Report on International Arms Transfer

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SIPRI released new data on international arms transfers.


Report Data

  • India was the top arms importer in the world in the period 2019-23, with imports having gone up by 4.7% compared with the period 2014-18, according to Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
  • At the same time, arms imports by European countries increased by 94% between 2014-18 and 2019-23.
  • Russia remained India’s main arms supplier [accounting for 36% of its arms imports], this was the first five-year period since 1960-64 when deliveries from Russia [or the Soviet Union prior to 1991] made up less than half of India’s arms imports.
  • Nine of the 10 biggest arms importers in 2019-23, including the top three of India, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, were in Asia and Oceania or the West Asia.
  • Ukraine became the fourth biggest arms importer after it received transfers of major arms in 2022-23.
  • Imports of Pakistan, the fifth largest arms importer in 2019-23, went up by 43%, with China supplying as much as 82% of all its arms imports.
  • Arms exports by the world’s largest supplier, the U.S., grew by 17% between 2014-18 and 2019-23, while those by Russia fell by more than half. France emerged as the world’s second largest arms supplier as its exports grew by 47%.

India’s Budgetary allocation

  • In the interim Budget presented in February for financial year 2024-25, the total allocation for the Defence Ministry was ₹6.2 lakh crore, of which the capital allocation for new procurements was ₹1.72 lakh crore, 5.78% higher than the Budget Estimates of last year.
  • India seems to have come back to the top slot in arms imports after briefly ceding space to Saudi Arabia in the past.

Europe’s capacity

  • Over half of arms imports by European countries, 55%, in 2019-23 were from the U.S., up from 35% in 2014-18.
  • Europe is responsible for about a third of global arms exports, including large volumes going outside the region, reflecting Europe’s strong military-industrial capacity.
  • S. had increased its global role as an arms supplier — an important aspect of its foreign policy — exporting more arms to more countries than it has ever done in the past.
  • On France, which is now the second largest arms supplier, the report said 42% of its arms went to states in Asia and Oceania, and 34% to West Asia.
  • The largest single recipient of French arms exports was India, which accounted for nearly 30%. The increase in French arms exports was largely due to deliveries of combat aircraft to India, Qatar and Egypt.
  • “With many high-value arms on order — including nearly 800 combat aircraft and combat helicopters — European arms imports are likely to remain at a high level,” said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the SIPRI arms transfers programme.


Which of the following country was the world's largest importer of major arms in 2019-23?

  1. India
  2. Ukraine
  3. Israel
  4. France

Answer A