India’s Weapons Procurement From The U.S. Jumps To $3.4 Billion In 2020
A participant fires an M4 carbine during the Fall 2015 Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot in West Point, Kentucky, U.S. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

India’s Weapons Procurement From The U.S. Jumps To $3.4 Billion In 2020


India's weapons procurement from the United States jumped from a meagre $6.2 million to a whopping $3.4 billion in the final year of the Donald Trump administration, according to latest official data.

As per the data released by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the jump in the sale of American weapons to India comes at a time when sale of weapons from the U.S. to other countries has dipped to $50.8 billion in 2020 from $55.7 billion in 2019.

In 2019, the sale of U.S. weapons to foreign countries was $55.7 billion. In 2017, it was $41.9 billion, it said.

Major buyers of American weapons in 2020 were India ($3.4 billion up from $6.2 million in fiscal year 2019), Morocco ($4.5 billion up from $12.4 million), Poland ($4.7 billion up from $673 million), Singapore ($1.3 billion up from $137 million), Taiwan ($11.8 billion up from $876 million), and the United Arab Emirates ($3.6 billion up from $1.1 billion), the data showed.

Several countries reported a drop in purchase of weapons from the U.S.

Prominent among them were Saudi Arabia which came down from $14.9 billion in 2019 to $1.2 billion in 2020, Afghanistan ($1.1 billion down from $1.6 billion), Belgium ($41.8 million down from $5.5 billion), Iraq ($368 million down from $1.4 billion), and South Korea ($2.1 billion down from $2.7 billion).

According to the 2020 edition of the Historical Sales Book, India purchased weapons worth $754.4 million in 2017 and $282 million in 2018. Between 1950 and 2020, U.S. sale of weapons to India under Foreign Military Sales category was $12.8 billion.

The U.S. designated India as a "Major Defence Partner" in 2016 which allows New Delhi to buy more sophisticated and sensitive technologies from America at par with that of the U.S.' closest allies and partners.

For Pakistan, the official figures reflected that sale of weapons under FMS did happen, even though there was a freeze in any military and security assistance to Islamabad from the Trump administration.

In 2020, U.S. sale of weapons to Pakistan was $146 million, in 2018 it was $65 million and in 2017 it was $22 million.

In 2019, there was no sale of U.S. military weapons to Pakistan. In fact, the U.S. refunded $10.8 million to Pakistan, taken for the purchase of weapons.

Between 1950 and 2020, Pakistan purchased weapons worth $10 billion from the U.S. under the FMS.

However, the total supply of American military weapons to Pakistan is much more, as a major chunk of weapons to Pakistan has gone from the United States as military and security assistance.

According to the Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs Clarke Cooper, fiscal 2020 saw a total of $175.8 billion in U.S. government-authorised arms exports. This is overall a 2.8% increase since fiscal year 2019.

The overall value of State Department-authorised government-to-government FMS cases implemented by the DSCA decreased 8.3% from $55.39 billion in Fiscal Year 2019 to $50.78 billion in Fiscal Year 2020.

"The dollar value of potential FMS sales, formally notified to Congress, also rose by more than 50% from $58.33 billion to $87.64 billion. This was driven by the July potential sale of $23.11 billion worth of F-35 aircraft to Japan, which was the second largest single FMS notification ever authorised by the Department of State, Cooper said.

The Direct Commercial Sales, which is the Department of State-authorised commercial export licenses, totalled $124.3 billion in fiscal year 2020, and this was up from $114.7 billion in fiscal year 2019, he said.

"This represented an 8.4% increase. This total value covers authorisations of hardware, defense services, and technical data. The total number of licences issued decreased by 20% from 36,111 in Fiscal Year 2019 to 28,800 in Fiscal Year 2020," Cooper said.

The top commercial DCS notified to Congress in Fiscal Year 2020 included a $8.39 billion sale to Australia, Canada, Denmark, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom for F-35 components.

This also included a $3.2 billion sale to Australia for P-8 aircraft parts, and a $2.48 billion sale to the United Kingdom and Australia for E-7 airborne early warning and control aircraft, Cooper said.

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