Saudi Arabia pips India to become the world’s largest importer of weapons

India is no longer the world’s largest importer of weapons. Saudi Arabia overtook India between 2014-2018.

The data released by Swedish-based think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that “India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms in 2014-18 and accounted for 9.5% of the global total.”

The assessment was carried out over a period of 5 years.

India who remained on the top importer for close to 10 years, was overtaken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, who were leading at 12%. China ranked 6th in the list with global import share at 4.2%.

India’s imports fell 24% between 2009 and 2018 due to delay in delivery of fighter jets and submarines from Russia and France. India also is manufacturing weapon systems locally, which avoids need for import.

Russia and United States are the world largest exporters of weapons, together they account for 57% of the global share. Interestingly China ranks 5th in the list of arms exports, Russia, Pakistan and Bangladesh are China’s major clients.