Asian navy buildup a fillip for shipyards

Dalian: The governments of Japan, Korea and China are set to come to the rescue of many big, well established yards once again during the downturn, and this time not through subsidies, but huge investments in navies.

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 five 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. 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-leading shipbuilding capabilities despite the global downturn, and its capabilities have become a national asset that is translating into on-time, on-budget delivery of very advanced 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 five years.

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