India to become world's third largest arms spender

India to become world's third largest arms spender

A new analysis of arms spending from Jane’s Defence Budgets Report 2016 found that India has outgunned Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s fourth-largest defence spender.

Asia’s third-largest economy spent $50.6 billion in 2016, up from $46.6 billion last year. India now has the fourth-largest defence budget, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia. While Russia was at the fourth place last year, in 2016, it slipped to the sixth spot.

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The US, China, and the UK remain the top three, IHS Jane’s data shows. The report says that by 2018 India will become the third-largest in the group, surpassing the UK.

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“Procurement spending has been constrained in India over the last three years as personnel costs have increased,” Craig Caffrey, principal analyst, IHS Jane’s, said in a statement. “However, what we expect to see from 2017 onwards is a military focused on modernisation. India needs new equipment to fulfill its modernisation drive. Over the next three years, India will re-emerge as a key growth market for defence suppliers.”

In 2014, when Narendra Modi came into power, India purchased some $5.57 billion worth of arms, ammunition, and related goods from abroad. Earlier this year, India also signed a €7.8-billion deal to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.