India’s defence spending is expected to rise as it pursues a modernisation drive. Currently, it is estimated that India only spends $46 billion on its budget, and it is slated to become the fourth highest spender by 2020. It is already the world’s largest importer of military goods.
India has ballistic missiles with a range capable of hitting all of Pakistan or most of China. Indian military strategy has been dominated by its long-simmering conflict with Pakistan, although there have also been minor wars between China and India in the past.
India has broken into the world top-five defence spenders’ club.
Asia’s third-largest economy spent $50.6 billion in 2016, up from $46.6 billion last year. India now has the fourth-largest defence budget, followed by Saudi Arabia and Russia, according to the 2016 Jane’s Defence Budgets Report, released by research firm IHS Markit on Dec. 12. While Russia was at the fourth place last year, in 2016, it slipped to the sixth spot.
The US, China, and the UK remain the top three, IHS Jane’s data shows. The report says that by 2018 India will become the third-largest in the group, surpassing the UK.
“Procurement spending has been constrained in India over the last three years as personnel costs have increased,” Craig Caffrey, principal analyst, IHS Jane’s, said in a statement. “However, what we expect to see from 2017 onwards is a military focused on modernisation. India needs new equipment to fulfill its modernisation drive. Over the next three years, India will re-emerge as a key growth market for defence suppliers.”