The spending of Asian countries on naval procurement is expected to top $60 billion over the next five years, over what the whole NATO alliance (excluding the USA) is expected to invest in naval buildup. The biggest spenders in the region are expected to be China, Japan and South Korea, followed by India, Australia and Singapore. Closing the list are Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, expected to formulate new procurement plans in the next decade.
Beyond missile carrying frigates and diesel electric powered submarines, landing Amphibious Landing Ships capable of operating helicopters and vertical take-off and landing aircraft are becoming a hot procurement issue among several regional Navies, among them Japan and Australia. “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” said Bob Nugent, vice-president of US-based naval consultancy AMI International. “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.” He added.
Beyond the national security and maritime security, major Asian Navies are gearing to operate far beyond their coastlines, protect offshore oil rigs and platforms as the search for more energy sources expands.