Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/06/2012 -- The Singapore Defence and Security Report examines the country's strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region and the wider world. It provides an overview of the contemporary geopolitical challenges facing the country, and the challenges it may face in the future.
The report examines the trends occurring in the country's current and future defence procurement, and the order of battle across its armed forces. The intention is to provide a clear and concise discussion of these issues. The report's general conclusion is that Singapore has responded decisively to changes in its geopolitical environment brought about by the rise of China by further strengthening its alliance with the United States and encouraging Washington to play a greater role in South East Asia.
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Within South East Asia itself, Singapore's military pre-eminence will remain unchallenged for the foreseeable future, with spending on defence set to remain high and a range of advanced new capabilities either already procured or in the process of being procured. However, the military modernisation of other countries in the region, especially Indonesia, could result in Singapore being overtaken as the region's biggest military spender in the medium term. But even with a spending advantage, it could take the Indonesian military decades to achieve parity with Singapore in capability terms.
In BMI's view, an economic downturn would pose the most significant threat to Singapore's defence strategy. Regional disputes centring on the South China Sea do not affect the city-state directly, and Singapore's relations with China, Indonesia and Malaysia are presently quite cordial. However, Singapore devotes an exceptionally high proportion of its national budget to defence, and any economic volatility could affect the country's ability to spend its way out of trouble when it comes to matters of security.
Over the last quarter BMI has revised the following forecasts/views:
- Singapore's decision to deepen its defence ties with the United States is discussed in detail. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen travelled to Washington for talks in Q2, and the decision to rotate US Navy littoral combat ships through Singapore was also formally confirmed. These developments have confirmed Singapore as one of a handful of key partners in the US's 'pivot to Asia'.
- Military and procurement updates include: a five-year weapons package for the air force's F-15 fleet valued at U$435mn; the activation of the air force's first squadron of Heron 1 UAVs; full operational capability reached by the RSAF's new fleet of Gulfstream 550 surveillance aircraft; and the formation of a SAF C4I Community to leverage C4I expertise across the SAF's different service arms.
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