India's weapons' spending is largely behind a 24 percent surge in the global arms trade over the last five years, a Swedish think tank said Monday.
India, now the world's largest arms importer, accounted for 10 percent of all weapons imported during the period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute (Sipri) report.
India's imports of major weapons increased by 38 percent between 2002-06 and 2007-11, the Sipri study revealed.
India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said last week that military spending will increase by 17 percent in 2012-13, according to the government's latest budget.
The report also found that Russia has supplied 78 percent of Syria's weapons imports since 2011, with arms exports to the Assad regime surging by more than 600 percent over the last five years.
The five largest importers were all Asian states, with Asia and the Oceania region accounting for 44 percent of purchases, followed by Europe at 19 percent, Middle East at 17 percent, the Americas 11 percent and Africa 9 percent, Reuters reported.
The transfer of arms to states affected by the Arab Spring has provoked public and parliamentary debate in a number of supplier states, said Mark Bromley, senior researcher with the Sipri Arms Transfers Program, according to Reuters.
However, the impact of these debates on states' arms export policies has, up to now, been limited.
India, the new number one, was followed by South Korea, Pakistan, China and Singapore.
The results are based on the volume of arms traded rather than their monetary value.
China, the largest recipient of arms during the previous five year period (2002-2006), fell to fourth place due to its growing domestic arms industry.