India largest importer of arms surpassing China: Antony

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New Delhi, May 16: India has become the largest importer of arms, surpassing the Chinese share of five per cent of global arms imports during 2007-11, the government told the Rajya Sabha today.

"As per a report published in March 2012 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has become the largest importer of arms during 2007-11 and accounted for 10 per cent of global arms import as compared to Chinese share of five per cent", Defence Minister AK Antony told the House in a written reply.

He was asked whether India has topped as weapons importer displacing China. On shortage of weapons, Antony said, "Shortage of weapons are adequately addressed through indigenous production and import... Procurement of arms and equipment for the armed forces is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges and available resources".

The procurement of arms and ammunitions is based on a 15 year Long Term Integrated Perspective Plan (LTIPP), five year Services Capital Acquisition Plan (SCAP) and Annual Acquisition Plan (AAP), he added.

Replying to a question on Chinese intrusion into Indian territory, he said, "The number of incidents of Chinese transgression beyond our perception of LAC during the last five years have generally been as per the established pattern".

There is no commonly delineated Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China and there are few areas along the border where India and China have differing perceptions of the LAC, Antony said.

"Indian security forces patrol up to all areas that fall within the Indian perception of LAC. Specific incidents of transgression due to differences in perception of LAC are taken up with the Chinese side through established mechanism such as hot lines, flag meetings, border personnel meetings and normal diplomatic channels", he said.

On steps taken to prevent incidents of transgression, the Defence Minister said, "Effective border management is carried out through surveillance and regular patrolling by forces to prevent transgression from the Chinese side". In reply to a query on shortage of resources in Indian Air Force (IAF), he said that strengthening and modernisation of the force is an on-going process.

"In accordance with Long Term Plans for IAF, steps have been taken to procure additional fighter aircraft like Su-30MKI, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) as well as various transport aircraft, helicopters and air defence systems", Antony said.

On upgradation of the existing fleet of aircraft, he said that Mirage-2000, MiG-29, Jaguars, AN-32 and Medium Lift Helicopters are being upgraded. The procurement for the IAF also include Advance Jet Trainers (AJT), Basic Trainer Aircraft (BTA) as well as simulators.


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