India has the fifth largest defence budget in the world

  • According to the the annual report by the ‘International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)’ India has the 5th largest defence budget in the world, at $52.5 billion in 2017 ($51.1 billion in 2016). It overtook the UK whose defence budget fell from $52.5 billion in 2016 to $50.7 billion in 2017.
  • The report, titled ‘Military Balance 2018‘ says that although India has overtaken the United Kingdom in defence spending, yet it is lagging in comparison to China, which is increasingly challenging Western dominance, a new report on military balance said on Wednesday.
  • The report sees China and Russia challenging the global dominance of the United States and its allies.
  • According to the IISS director-general John Chipman , while great-power war is not inevitable, the three leading military powers are systematically preparing for the possibility of conflict.
  • The IISS report warns that China was on track to begin operating the Chengdu J-20 low-observable combat aircraft in frontline squadrons by 2020. If this happens, the US would lose its monopoly on operational stealthy combat aircraft.  
  • According to the defence analysts, India’s traditional influence over the Indian Ocean is being challenged by China’s shipbuilding. Since 2000, China has built more submarines, destroyers, frigates and corvettes than India, Japan and South Korea combined.

About the report

    • ‘The Military Balance’ is the annual IISS (International Institute for Strategic Studies) assessment of the military capabilities and defence economics of 171 countries.
    • It  lists each country’s military forces, personnel numbers, equipment inventories and significant defence economic data.
    • The IISS was founded in the UK in 1958 with a focus on nuclear deterrence and arms control.
    • It is a registered charity headquartered in London,




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