According to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), which tracks global arms trade, three Indian companies are among the top 100 for total arms sales in 2020. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Indian Ordnance Factories, and Bharat Electronics Limited are the three companies (BEL). The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which was responsible for the Indian Ordnance Factories, has been abolished, and seven new Public Sector Undertakings have been established in their place.
In 2019, the three were also among the top 100 in terms of arms sales.
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HAL is ranked 42 in the current rankings, with revenues of US$ 2.97 billion, up 1.5 percent from 2019. With sales of US$ 1.9 billion, Indian Ordnance Factories is ranked 60th, up 0.2 percent from the previous year. BEL is rated 66th, with US$ 1.63 billion in arms sales in 2019, up 4% from the previous year.
India, on the other hand, has the smallest share among the top 11 defence manufacturing countries. According to the SIPRI survey, the United States has the most companies in the top 100 internationally, with 41. Their combined armament sales totaled $285 billion, up 1.9 percent from the previous year.
The United States accounted for 54% of the top 100 businesses’ combined arms sales. China came in second with 13%, followed by the United Kingdom with 7.1%. Russia and France came in fourth and fifth place, respectively, with 5% and 4.7 percent of the top 100 businesses’ combined arms sales.
“Combined arms sales of the five Chinese businesses included in the list totaled to a projected $66.8 billion in 2020,” according to the research, which is up 1.5 percent from 2019. “China’s growth as a major arms producer has been fueled by its desire to become more self-sufficient in weapons manufacturing and the implementation of ambitious modernization programmes,” says the report. Five Chinese armaments corporations are among the top 20, with three in the top ten, according to the report.
In 2020, India’s proportion of global armament sales was 1.2 percent. According to the research, “their collective arms sales of $6.5 billion were 1.7 percent higher in 2020 than in 2019” for the three Indian companies in the top 100, accounting for 1.2 percent of the total.
“Domestic procurement has helped to protect Indian enterprises from the pandemic’s harmful economic implications.” To assist domestic industries and increase self-reliance in arms manufacture, the Indian government declared a phased ban on imports of more than a hundred distinct types of military equipment in 2020.”
“Combined arms sales of the world’s major arms-producing and military services businesses were $531 billion in 2020,” according to the research, “representing an increase of 1.3 percent over their arms sales in 2019.” The increase in arms sales among the top 100 corporations is the weakest in three years, but the figures reflect a “consistent upward trend since 2015, broadly coinciding with rising global military expenditure levels.”