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Jane’s: India to Grow to Fourth Largest Defense Spender

A new report from IHS Jane’s estimates that India will outpace the United Kingdom, Japan and France to become the fourth largest defense spender in the world in less than ten years.

By 2020 the Indian defense budget is expected to grow to $65.4 billion. That level of spending will be behind only the U.S., China and Russia.


An Indian Air Force SU-Mk30 during an U.S. Air Force exercise. U.S. Air Force Photo

“We anticipate that India’s defense spend will overtake France in 2016, the UK in 2018, and Japan in 2020. By the end of the decade, India is expected to be spending up to USD 17.4 billion on the procurement of defense equipment each year,” Craig Caffrey, senior Asia Pacific analyst, IHS Jane’s Defence Budgets on Friday.

The IHS Jane’s estimate is based on a recovery of the Indian economy to bolster the increased defense spending by 2015.

“India continues to be a major market for the international defense industry, with major investments in all three services and its strategic missile forces. While short-term budget cuts will have an effect on these procurements, India’s geostrategic position and the parlous state of much of its inventory means that it will continue to invest in new fighter aircraft, attack helicopters, howitzers, submarines and aircraft carriers, to name but a few of its many programs,” James Hardy, Asia-Pacific editor, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly said on Friday.

The Indian military has historically has historically relied on Russian made and designed equipment for the bulk of their high-end combat systems. In December, the Indians entered into $4 billion worth of deals with Russian defense contractors for 42 upgraded SU-30MKI fighters.

India has also contracted with Russian shipbuilders to construct its new aircraft carrier, INS Vikramaditya. The program has faced delays.

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Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.