The choice of arms trade partners made by the Indian subcontinent has changed frequently over time simply because the country prefers to not depend on its old arms trade partners like Russia. India spends around 15% of its GDP (Gross Domestic Product) on the accounts of the global arms import and around 2.3 % on defence. India decided to equip the second largest armed forces in the current year for 64.4 billion dollars.
Some of the largest suppliers of arms to India in 2020 were the United States of America (USA), South Korea, Israel, France and Russia, as reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) which analyses the volume of international transfers of weapons using trend indicator value (TIV), a common unit for comparison.
Meanwhile, the new arm exporting countries such as Brazil, South Africa and South Korea have also occupied a major share of the Indian arms segment.
The New trend in the imports of arms by India
India is trying very hard to lower down its dependence on Russia in the terms of arms. Russia’s percentage of arms exports witnessed a drop of 22% due to the cut off in arms imports made by India. There was a drop of around 33% of the arms imports in India between 2011-15 and 2016-20.
On a macroeconomic scale, Russia was the most affected country by the cut off made by India even though 46% of Indian imports of US arms also fell during the same span of time. On the other hand, Indian imports from France have increased.