DIIG Current Issues No. 24: India's Defense Spending and Military Modernization
March 29, 2011
Photo left: INDIA (Jan. 20, 2010) - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates receives a tour of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. (DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry Morrison)
Between 2006 and 2010, India surpassed China as the world’s largest importer of weapons systems, reflecting the nation’s intent to modernize its armed forces and project military capabilities beyond the subcontinent. Accordingly, India’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) plans to spend approximately US$80 billion on military modernization programs by 2015, which some analysts predict will keep India on track to be one of the largest defense customers over the next decade.
As the MOD’s spending continues to rise in real terms, it has drawn fresh international interest to its budget allocation, the recent release of its first defense production policy, and the prospect of new business ties with U.S. and European defense contractors.