Asian Shift: $60b for Asian Navies Over Next 5 Years
Agence France Presse quotes naval consultancy AMI International, whose analysts are forecasting that Asian states will spend $60 billion to modernize their navies in the next 5 years. That amount is very similar to the USA’s forecast spend over the same period. If the USA is excluded from calculations, it’s more than the forecast combined spend among all NATO states.
So, where’s the focus expected to be? And who is expected to lead?
AMI International VP Bob Nugent sees a focus on submarines, frigates and aviation-capable ships, as Asian countries begin to build navies for “blue water” use around the globe rather than focusing on local patrol.
China, Japan, and South Korea are expected to lead spending. South Korea has taken steps to maintain its world-class shipbuilding and shipping capabilities despite the global downturn – capabilities that have become a national asset, translating into on-time, on-budget delivery of very advanced navy ships. India is also making investments, Singapore maintains a very modern fleet, and Australia’s 2009 White Paper places more emphasis on the RAN. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are also expected to invest in modernization over the next 5 years. Nugent:
“Defense spending in Asia has proven stable over the last year and is expected to remain so. Looking at the global market, we’ve not seen the same cutbacks that are unfolding in Europe. In our view, this reflects greater macroeconomic stability and relatively less exposure to systemic and credit risk in most Asian economies as well as a recognition of how vital effective sea power is to national security and prosperity.”