India Overtakes Saudi Arabia to Become Fourth-Largest Military Spender

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India has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia in defense spending, making the nation of 1.25 billion the fourth-largest defense spender in the world.

As soon as in 2018, India will become the third-largest military spender, taking the slot now occupied by the UK, if Jane’s 2016 Defense Budget Report pans out correctly. India spent $50.6 billion on its military in 2016, in an effort to bolster its forces after it spent $46.6 billion in 2015.

The US notched first place, spending a mammoth $622 billion, the report notes, while China maintained its number-two spot, spending nearly $191.75 billion on defense capabilities. The UK barely edged out India, spending some $53 billion.

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A significant portion of the new military funds went to personnel costs, however, according to Craig Caffrey, Jane’s lead analyst on the report. Moving forward into 2017 and beyond, Caffrey expects "a military focused on modernization," which will likely attract weapons manufacturers around the world.

In October, India inked a deal with leaders in Moscow to acquire billions of dollars worth of missile systems, combat-grade helicopters, and frigates.

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