Paris (AFP) - India remains the biggest buyer of arms in the world, importing nearly three times as many weapons as its nearest competitors China and Pakistan over the last five years, a Swedish think tank said.
The total volume of arms sales was up 14 percent in 2009-13 compared to the previous five years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Indian imports of major weapons rose by 111 percent in the last five years compared to 2004–08. Its share of total global arms imports increased from 7 to 14 percent, SIPRI said.
India replaced China as the world's biggest arms buyer in 2010. With its domestic defence industry struggling to manufacture high-tech arms, India is in the midst of a defence spending binge as it struggles to keep up with better-equipped Chinese forces and a range of military challenges in its volatile neighbourhood.
The main supplier of arms to India in 2009-13 was Russia, accounting for 75 percent of all imports -- reflecting India's need to upgrade and modernise weapons systems dating back to their close relationship during the Cold War.
India has lately sought to diversify its sources, looking particularly to the United States.