India has topped a rating of the world's largest heavy arms importers, released on Monday by the independent Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), researching into conflicts, arms control and disarmament.
According to the report, India, the largest arms recipient, accounted for 10 percent of global arms imports between 2007 and 2011. Among the most significant contracts signed by India is the purchase of 120 Russian Su-30MK multirole combat aircraft, 29 Mig-29Ks and 20 British Jaguar fighters.
The top five arms importers include states in Asia and Oceania: India, South Korea, Pakistan, China and Singapore, which account for 30 per cent of all imports of major conventional weapons between 2007 and 2011, the report said.
SIPRI, which calls Russia “a minor importer of major conventional weapons,” mentioned Moscow's recent arms deals, which include the delivery of four French Mistral-class helicopter carriers, up to 2500 Italian 60 Lynx LMV armored vehicles and Israeli unmanned drones.
The United States and Russia were named the key arms suppliers that accounted for 30 and 24 percent of all exports respectively.
During 2011, the United States delivered 64 combat aircraft, including 11 F-15Es to South Korea, 7 F-15SGs to Singapore, 9 F/A-18Es to Australia, 12 F-16Cs to Turkey and 16 F-16Cs to Morocco, the think tank’s report said.
“The most significant order placed in 2011, the largest arms deal for at least two decades, was Saudi Arabia’s order for 84 new F-15SG combat aircraft and upgrade of 70 existing F-15Es to the same standard,” SIPRI reported.