India ranks third-highest in global military spending in 2021

New Delhi, Apr 25 (EFE).- India’s defense spending of $76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world last year, up by 33 percent in the last decade, a Swedish military watchdog said in a report on Monday.

“In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 percent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms (in India),” said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), which monitors developments in military expenditure worldwide.

India’s total defense spending in 2021 is up by nearly 1 percent from a year ago.

The report noted that the five largest spenders – including the United States at the top, followed by China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia – accounted for 62 percent of total global expenditure in 2021.

Sipri’s report showed that the military expenditure reached a record level in the second year of the pandemic as the defense spending continued to grow in 2021, reaching an all-time high of $2.1 trillion.

It was the seventh consecutive year of increase.

“Even amid the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, world military spending hit record levels,” said senior Sipri researcher Diego Lopes da Silva.

“There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 percent.”

US military spending amounted to $801 billion in 2021, a drop of 1.4 percent from 2020.

American funding for military research and development rose by 24 percent between 2012 and 2021, while arms procurement funding fell by 6.4 percent over the same period, the report showed.

“The increase in R&D spending over the decade 2012–21 suggests that the United States is focusing more on next-generation technologies,” said Sipri researcher Alexandra Marksteiner.

The US government has repeatedly stressed the need to preserve its military technological edge over strategic competitors.

Russia also increased its military expenditure by 2.9 percent in 2021, to $65.9 billion, amid a conflict with Ukraine.

It was the third consecutive year of growth, and Russian military spending reached 4.1 percent of GDP in 2021.

Sipri said high oil and gas revenues helped Russia boost its military spending last year.

“Russian military expenditure had been in decline between 2016 and 2019 as a result of low energy prices combined with sanctions in response to the annexation of Crimea in 2014.”

The final figure was $48.4 billion, 14 percent higher than budgeted at the end of 2020.

As it has strengthened its defenses against Russia, Ukraine’s military spending has risen by 72 percent since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Spending fell in 2021 to $5.9 billion but still accounted for 3.2 percent of the the Ukraine GDP.

China, the second-largest spender, allocated an estimated $293 billion to its military in 2021, an increase of 4.7 percent compared with 2020.

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