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India will soon surpass the UK to become the World's 3rd biggest defence spender

India’s large defense budget and the country’s vast unmet weapons needs guarantee that India will remain an important arms buyer for years to come.

India will soon surpass the United Kingdom to become the world’s third biggest defense spender, after the United States and China.

Last month, Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said that India will purchase some four hundred military aircraft in the next three-four decades.

Per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia supplied 68 per cent of India’s imported arms during the 2012-2016 period.

The United States lagged considerably behind, providing only 14 percent of India’s imported weapons, with Israel occupying third place at 7 percent.

India is also the largest foreign purchaser of Russian weapons, buying some 38 per cent of Russian defense exports.

At the end of 2016, India’s defense orders from Russia exceeded $4 billion.

In addition to having the advantage of long-established ties and Soviet legacy systems that need upgrades, Russian arms suppliers have been willing to offer more sophisticated military hardware and technologies to India than Western countries.

Still, India is also the lead foreign buyer of Israeli weapons and the second largest purchaser of British exports. Regrettably, India does not even rank in the top five of the foreign purchasers of U.S. defense exports.

Based on planned deliveries and orders, SIPRI expected that Russia would retain its dominant position for at least several more years—unless the Trump administration makes it a priority to support more U.S. defense sales in India.

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