A report has ranked India the second-largest arms buyer among developing countries.
The report Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations 2008-2015 stated that India spent US$34 billion in arms transfer agreements over the aforementioned time frame. The document has been released by the Congressional Research Service — an autonomous, bipartisan research wing of the US Congress.
The report emphasised Indian attempts to diversify its defence purchases. “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 defence system aircraft in 2004 from Israel and numerous items from France in 2005, in particular, six Scorpene diesel attack submarines.” the report read.
In 2008, India purchased six C130J cargo aircraft from the US while it bought 57 Hawk jet trainers and 12 AW101 helicopters from the UK and Italy respectively in 2010. France upgraded 51 Mirage 2000 combat fighters and the US sold 10 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to India in 2011.
“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,” the research service said.
Courtesy: Hindustan Times