The Strategist

World’s Defence Market- Set to Grow

03/20/2015 - 17:35

US topped the list of world’s largest exporter of weapons, while India took the lead in arms import.

World’s Defence Market- Set to Grow
India’s is the leading buyer of arms and ammunitions as its import of defence weapons in past 5 years was more than twice as compared to the previous span of 5 years. Moreover, the US continued to remain the top exporter of defense followed by Russia, France and the UK. The steeply climbing demand in the defense industry was driven by the developing nations particularly for military aircraft and increasing tensions in the Middle East and also Asia.
According to SIPRI, the total volume of international trade of defense between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014 soared by 16%. In addition, exports of arms and ammunitions by the US rose 23% during 2010 to 2014. And, the US share of defense exports was 31% in 2010-2014 as compared to 27% from Russia, world’s second largest exporter of weapons. Moreover, exports of large arms and ammunitions from the Kremlin stepped up by 37% during the same period.
In terms of volumes, India’s arm imports were almost 3 times as high as China and Pakistan, two of the leading countries to top the list. Import of large weapons by India substantially increased 111% in 2009-2013 as against 2004-2008 years, with its share of imports increase from 7% to 14% for the same period.
Russia entered into an agreement with Egypt previous month, worth $2 billion arms, accounting for almost 75% of arms supplied to India, while the US exported only an insignificant portion of 7%. China, the second biggest global importer, is also a major dealer of arms in Asia, accounting for nearly 82% of Bangladesh’s imports and about 54% of imports for Pakistan.

Gulf Cooperation Council states defense imports jumped 71% from 2005-2009 to 2010-2014 that accounts for almost 55% of Middle East imports in latter period. Since 2010, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the second largest importer of weapons across the globe, with a considerable increase of imports by 4 times as compared to the period 2005-2009.
South Asian defense supplies by China, the US and Russia are largely driven by political as well as economic consideration. Specifically, the US and China utilize the arms exports to Asia to enhance their influence over the region. Over the 5 year period ending 2013, Azerbaijan’s imports escalated by 378%, Australia witnessed a rise of 83%, while imports to the Persian Gulf nations also stepped up 23%.

According to SIPRI, Saudi Arabia stepped up to the fifth position in 2013 in the top list of defense importers from its earlier No. 18 position in 2008. The Gulf countries that have experienced sporadic turbulence as a result of the Arab spring, have been investing hugely in advanced air and missile systems including long-range strike mechanism. This fuelled orders for battle aircraft with arms and ammunitions from the US and the UK.