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India holds the title of the world’s largest arms importer even with its “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliance) initiative to develop domestic military equipment. This information comes from data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

While India’s aim is to reduce reliance on foreign weapons, imports actually rose 4.7% between 2014-2018 and 2019-2023. This growth is likely due to ongoing border tensions with China and Pakistan.

However, there’s a shift in India’s supplier base. For the first time since the 1960s, Russia provided less than half of India’s arms imports, accounting for 36%. This suggests a deliberate effort by India to diversify its weapons sources, potentially due to a desire to lessen dependence on Russia and the impact of the Ukraine war on their arms industry.

The volatile situation in the Indian subcontinent continues. China remains a major factor, supplying 82% of Pakistan’s weapons and maintaining close military cooperation with them.