Over the past decade, India has become the world s largest arms importer. During the Cold War, India bought arms mostly from the Soviet Union, but now it is increasingly buying from other suppliers. The Russia-India defense trade relations are not as bleak as often presented, however, as Russia supplies highly sensitive arms and technology. Likewise, the USA-India defense trade relations do have weaknesses, as the USA still has strict export controls on high-tech arms, technology, and post-export use of the arms. This thesis provides a holistic overview of all the motivations India has to buy from specific suppliers. All the different choices can be traced back to one larger theme. As India grows, it wants to improve the domestic capacity, increase strategic autonomy, and be accepted as an equal player in the worldwide arena. To do so, New Delhi needs to become independent and decrease the leverage that often comes with arms supplies. Developing its own industry, diversifying suppliers, avoiding countries that trade for ulterior motives, improving multilateral relations, and joining global export control regimes are some of the strategies India has used over the past two decades to achieve those goals.