Saudi Arabia Current Affairs - 2019
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According to recently released report of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India has emerged as fifth largest military spender in 2017. India had spent $63.9 billion on defence in 2017, an increase of 5.5% compared with 2016, when it was in the sixth spot overall.
Global defence spending: The world’s five biggest military spenders in 2017 are United States ($610 billion), China ($228 billion), Saudi Arabia (69.4 billion), Russia (66.3 billion) and India ($63.9 billion). They together accounted for 60% of global military spending. The total global military expenditure in 2017 rose to $1,739 billion, a marginal increase of 1.1% in real terms from 2016. It accounted for 2.2% of global gross domestic product in 2017.
India’s defence spending: It was higher than that of France ($57.8 billion), UK ($47.2 billion) and Germany ($44.3 billion) in 2017. It has grown in past decade for several reasons, including mounting salary bill for about 1.4 million serving personnel and pensions for more than 2 million veterans, projects worth billions of dollars to induct new warships, combat fighter jets, helicopters, artillery guns and infantry weapons and to enhance capabilities. India has been world’s largest weapons importer in last five years and arms exported by US to India during 2013-17 registered a 557% jump when compared to 2008-12.
China: It was second-largest defence spender globally in 2017. It had increased its defence spending by 5.6% to an estimated $228 billion in 2017. It defence spending share in global military expenditure rose from 5.8% in 2008 to 13% in 2017. It also accounted for 48% of Asian total and was 3.6 times that of India.
In Union Budget 2018-19, Government had allocated Rs. 2.95 lakh crore for military spending during 2018-19, down from Rs 2.74 lakh crore in 2017-18 budget. The military budget had slipped to just 1.57% of the GDP. The total figure includes Rs. 99,563 crore for buying new weapons and systems, which is up from Rs. 86,488 crore in previous fiscal. The budget had breached Rs. 4 lakh-crore mark after factoring in defence pensions (Rs. 1.08 lakh crore).
It in international institute based in Stockholm, Sweden. It dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. It was established in 1966. It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources to policymakers, researchers, media and interested public.
The Gulf Shield – 1 military exercise of 23 countries including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states was held in Eastern Region of Saudi Arabia. It was organised by Ministry of Defence of Saudi Arabia. The one month exercise was largest military drill in region as it saw participation of participation of ground, naval and air forces of participating countries.
Gulf Shield 1 military exercise
The multilateral exercise was aimed to raise military readiness of participating countries, modernise joint mechanisms and enhance coordination and cooperation. It also aimed to exchange expertise in fields of planning, organizing, and implementing different training activities.
It also enhanced skills of participating elements and developed their abilities to carry out symmetric and asymmetric tasks in different fields of operations in order to secure vital goals and protect maritime borders and corridors.
The exercise comes within armed forces joint-training plan with brotherly and friendly countries, to exchange experiences and enhance military cooperation in order to reach the highest levels of efficiency and combat readiness.