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Pakistan is the 10th Biggest Importer of Arms: SIPRI

September 25, 2021

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s yearbook 2021, India has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the second largest arms importer, while Pakistan is ranked tenth (SIPRI).

The yearbook includes original data on global military spending, international arms transfers, arms production, nuclear forces, armed conflicts, and multilateral peacekeeping operations, as well as analysis of key aspects of arms control, peace, and international security.

SIPRI has identified 164 countries as major arms importers over a five-year period (2016-20). Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia, and China accounted for 36 percent of total arms imports in the years under consideration. The top five remained the same from 2011 to 2015, with the exception of Egypt, which replaced the United Arab Emirates, though there were some rank order changes.

Saudi Arabia surpassed India as the world’s largest importer of major arms in 2016–20. In 2016-20, Asia and Oceania accounted for 42 percent of global arms imports, followed by the Middle East (33 percent), Europe (12 percent), Africa (7.3 percent), and the Americas (7.3 percent) (5.4 percent). In 2016–20, Middle Eastern countries imported 25% more arms than they did in 2011–15. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are four of the top ten arms-importing countries in 2016-20. The United States supplied 52 percent of the region’s arms imports, while Russia supplied 13 percent and France supplied 12 percent.

SIPRI has identified 65 states as exporters of major arms during 2016–20. The five largest suppliers of arms during that period — the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China — accounted for 76 percent of all arms exports. This is slightly higher than in 2011-15 and 2006-10, when the top five accounted for 73 percent of the global total. France had the highest increase in arms exports among the top five. The US and German arms exports also grew, while Russian and Chinese arms exports decreased.

Between 2011–15 and 2016–20, India’s imports decreased by 33%. In both 2011-15 and 2016-20, Russia was India’s largest arms supplier. In 2011-15, the United States was India’s second largest arms supplier, but in 2016-20, India’s arms imports from the United States were 46% lower than the previous five-year period, making the United States India’s fourth largest supplier. In 2016-20, France and Israel were India’s second and third largest arms suppliers, respectively. India increased its arms imports from France by 709 percent, while imports from Israel increased by 82 percent. In the period 2016-20, combat aircraft and missiles accounted for more than half of India’s arms imports.

Pakistan’s arms imports decreased by 23% between 2011-15 and 2016-20. In 2011-15, China accounted for 61% of Pakistan’s arm imports, rising to 74% in 2016-20. “Pakistan, like India, its main regional rival, has a number of large pending orders for major weapons systems. 50 JF-17 combat aircraft, 8 Type-041 submarines, and 4 Type-054A frigates from China, as well as 4 MilGem frigates from Turkey, are expected to be delivered by 2028. According to SIPRI, the ships on order arethe most significant expansion of Pakistan’s naval capabilities in the country’s history.

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