India has now joined the US and China at the top of the table in terms of military spending. For the first time in history, two Asian countries are among the top three in the list. India is now spending over $71 billion ahead of Russia ($65 billion) and Saudi Arabia ($61.8 billion).
The US leads the table with $686.1 billion and China holds the second position with slightly over $260 billion. Even though, India has outpaced Japan in this race, the added money does not necessarily translate to advanced weaponry. With millions of troops on the ground, a huge chunk (over 40%) goes into salaries and pensions. Manning borders with its neighbors (Pakistan and China) is a cost that won’t bring in much to the advancement of military tech.
- ASC (Army Services Corps), responsible for the distribution of fuel to the Indian Airforce, army, and the navy has a vast network across the country. These services, even though essential, require some deep pockets.
- Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) alone makes up for about 10% of the Indian Army’s personnel. Sustenance and deployment of EME is a huge financial burden to the army.
- The new Rafale deal is costing over $15 billion, however, the payments are scheduled annually for the next 7-8 years based on delivery.
Having said that, military budgets across the globe have witnessed a spike. India is spending a lot on its manpower while maintaining its infrastructure. We also witnessed some new gadgets in the country’s arsenal but it doesn’t correlate with the increase in budget.