India the world’s biggest arms importer but missing MakeInIndia #Hindustan360

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According to the SIPRI Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India had a staggering 13% share in the global arms import during 2012-16, much higher than that of its bigger rival China. View more at #Hindustan360.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, India had a staggering 13% share in the global arms import during 2012-16, much higher than that of its bigger rival China, which has, in fact, “firmly emerged” as the world’s third biggest arms exporter, behind the US and Russia and ahead of France, Germany and the UK.

The fact that India continues to import more arms than any other country is a rude shock to the “Make in India” programme and especially to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who had emphatically said two years ago that “this is one area where we would not like to be Number One”. Why have things not changed, even marginally, over the years? The simple answer is that the Indian defence establishment is quite content with import, and the happiness is ingrained in its strategic planning and in the way defence procurement and industrial affairs are handled. Very little is being done to change the status quo.

Self-reliance in defence procurement has always been an avowed objective of Indian policy makers since the country’s independence. However, the objective is yet to be translated into a concrete plan of action. This is very much evident in the ministry of defence’s (MoD) approach to defence acquisition on which billions of dollars are spent every year. Within the MoD, there are numerous plan documents, apart from dedicated hierarchical structures, for procurement.

International arms transfers

According to research institute, SIPRI, the volume of international transfers of major weapons in 2010–14 was 16 per cent higher than in 2005–2009. The ?ve biggest exporters in 2010–14 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and France, and the ?ve biggest importers were India, Saudi Arabia, China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan. The flow of arms to Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, and the Middle East increased significantly between 2005–2009 and 2010–14, while there was a notable decrease in the flow to Europe.

SIPRI has identified 60 countries as exporters of major weapons in 2010–14. The top 5 exporters during the period were responsible for almost 74 per cent of all arms exports. The composition of the five largest exporters of arms changed between 2005–2009 and 2010–14: while the USA and Russia remained by far the largest exporters, China narrowly, but notably, replaced Germany as the third largest exporter as Germany slid down to 6th place. The top 5 exported 14 per cent more arms in 2010–14 than the top 5 in 2005–2009.

In 2010–14, 153 countries (about three-quarters of all countries) imported major weapons. The top 5 recipients accounted for 33 per cent of the total arms imports during the period (see table 2). India, China and the UAE were among the top 5 importers in both 2005–2009 and 2010–14. Asia and Oceania accounted for nearly half of imports in 2010–14, followed by the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and Africa (see figure 3). SIPRI also identified seven groups of rebel forces as importers of major weapons in 2010–14, but none of them accounted for more than 0.02 per cent of total deliveries

Cybersecurity industry

The cybersecurity industry is becoming the most important defence industry as cyber attacks are being deemed as one of the greatest risk to defence in the next ten years as cited by the NATO review in 2013. Therefore, high levels of investment has been placed in the cybersecurity industry to produce new software to protect the ever growing transition to digitally run hardware. For the military industry it is vital that protections are used for systems used for reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence gathering. However, to protect the cyber world from attacks there are advanced cyber protection strategies used such as content, cloud and wireless security. These can be intertwined to form several secure layers.

As the threat to computers grows, the demand for cyber protection will rise, resulting in the growth of the cybersecurity industry. It is expected that the industry will be dominated by the defence and homeland security agencies that will make up 40% of the industry.

Major suppliers

As the investment increases the demand from organisations to improve their cybersecurity systems for these markets increases as well. The major organisations involved in cyber defence are:

  • Intel
  • BAE Systems
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • The Boeing Company
  • General Dynamics

A country of India’s size, economy and strategic importance does not deserve to be the world’s largest arms importer. A country which has made giant strides in nuclear and missile technologies and achieved stupendous success in reaching the Mars orbit in the very first attempt can do much more in defence production—provided a clear self-reliance plan is articulated, and a vibrant and efficient industrial base is put in place to translate that vision into reality.

World’s largest arms importers

2016 rank Recipient Arms imp
1  India 2629
2  Saudi Arabia 1550
3  China 1357
4  Indonesia 1200
5  Vietnam 1058
6  Taiwan 1039
7  United Arab Emirates 1031
8  Australia 842
9  Oman 738
10  Singapore 717
11  Pakistan 659
12  Azerbaijan 640
13  Iraq 627
14  Morocco 594

View more at #Hindustan360.