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India Ranks 4th In Military Spending 2023: SIPRI

India has solidified its position as a significant military powerhouse, emerging as the fourth-largest spender on defence globally in 2023, according to the latest report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). With a military expenditure of $83.6 billion, India trailed only the United States, China, and Russia in defence spending last year.

The report highlights India’s growing focus on strengthening its operational readiness and military capabilities, driven by ongoing tensions with neighbours China and Pakistan. Approximately 80% of India’s military budget was allocated to rising personnel and operational costs, reflecting the government’s priority to bolster the combat readiness of its armed forces.

India’s defence spending in 2023 marked a 4.2% increase from the previous year and a staggering 44% surge since 2014, underscoring its commitment to enhancing its military prowess. The report notes that while capital outlays for military procurement remained relatively stable at around 22% of the budget, 75% were directed towards domestically produced equipment.

The SIPRI report observed, “The continued shift towards domestic procurement reflects India’s goal of becoming self-reliant in arms development and production.” This highlights India’s drive for indigenous defence manufacturing and reducing reliance on imports.

India’s ascent to the fourth position in global military spending comes at a crucial juncture, as the country has sharpened its focus on building defence capabilities and fortifying military infrastructure along the volatile borders with China. The ongoing standoff in Ladakh since May 2020 has underscored the need for India to rapidly modernize its military with advanced fighter jets, helicopters, warships, tanks, artillery, rockets, missiles, and unmanned capabilities.

The SIPRI report also sheds light on the broader global military spending landscape, revealing that the top five spenders – the United States, China, Russia, India, and Saudi Arabia – collectively accounted for a staggering 61% of worldwide military expenditure in 2023.

While the United States maintained its position as the world’s largest military spender at $916 billion, China’s estimated spending of $296 billion raised concerns among its neighbors, prompting them to increase their own defense budgets in response. Russia, embroiled in the Ukraine conflict, saw a sharp 24% spike in military spending, reaching an estimated $109 billion.

Notably, Ukraneighboursf emerged as the eighth largest mildefenceer in 2023, with a 51% surge in expenditure to $64.8 billion, reflecting the immense strain of the ongoing conflict on its resources.

The report underscores the global deterioration in peace and security, with total worldwide military spending reaching a staggering $2,443 billion in 2023, marking the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009.

As India continues to assert its military might and enhance its defence capabilities, the SIPRI report serves as a stark reminder of the escalating arms race and the urgent need for diplomatic efforts to address regional tensions and global insecurity.

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