Skip to comments.Fighters, radar, marine patrols top Asia's military wish-list
Posted on 02/16/2012 4:21:46 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Fighters, radar, marine patrols top Asia's military wish-list
(Reuters) - Singapore hosted military brass from across Asia this week at the region's biggest arms and aerospace bazaar, almost 70 years to the day since it fell to Japanese forces sweeping across Southeast Asia during World War Two.
Japan has since become allied with most other Asian nations. It is now China which is the behemoth others are eyeing with unease.
And bigger defense budgets, means sales of fighters, weapons and other tools of death and destruction are higher than ever before.
At the Singapore Airshow, salesmen in business suits escorted visitors in the sweltering heat to mock-ups of the world's most advanced jet fighters, helicopters and transport aircraft parked on a tarmac. Nearby, inside a vast air-conditioned hangar, state-of-the-art radar and surveillance equipment were exhibited and deals for missile systems were being inked.
Interest is shifting away from ground weapons like tanks and guns, analysts said, to jet fighters, maritime patrol aircraft, radar and in some cases submarines.
Asia's mostly littoral nations are less concerned now with old neighborhood rivalries, focusing more on the need for force projection across seas, analysts said.
For many, a resurgent China is the main threat.
"Other than India-Pakistan and the Korean peninsula, the contested spaces in Asia are maritime spaces, particularly the South China Sea," said Andrew Davies, a program director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.
"The vulnerabilities that countries feel are often maritime as well because of the dependence on energy supplies being shipped in by sea.
China's aggressive pursuit of claims to islands in the South China Sea is causing much concern in the region. Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei also have claims and the row is seen as th
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Thanks for the article. Very poor reporting on one key item, though. The author claims everyone else is looking to increase expenditures in response to the perception of a Chinese threat and then includes China in his aggregate of regional defense expenditures instead of breaking it out, which would be necessary to prove his unfounded assertion. In truth, China is increasing defense expenditures, and most other countries in the region are either flat or down, figuring that Uncle Sam will fight China for them, if the Chinese get too big for their breeches. For instance, just after the Senkaku provocations, the Japanese cut defense spending. If China’s neighbors are going to play a game of “Let’s you (US) and him (China) fight”, so Uncle Sam can incur the entire cost of defending their territory from a Chinese invasion, I’d rather “you and him” be those Asian countries and China, respectively. From the article:
Expenditure on navies will be mostly flat at $12 billion, although spending on submarines will jump to $3.1 billion from $2.5 billion.
The forecast includes China, Japan, the Koreas and the Southeast Asian nations.
Within three years, China’s defense expenditure would exceed the combined spending of all other major countries in Asia, according to IHS Jane’s.