TAIPIEI — Submarine investment remains popular globally, with the Asia-Pacific region taking the lion’s share of builds and programs, according to Tony Beitinger, vice president of market intelligence for AMI International Naval Analysts & Advisors.
Worldwide naval investments in submarines continue to outpace all other naval procurements, he said, with 34 countries procuring or planning to acquire submarines over the next 20 years.
There are 12 countries in the Asia Pacific region investing in submarines: Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. The Philippines, Thailand and Bangladesh have publicly voiced the desire to acquire new or used submarines.
Submarines are a leading indicator of the larger pattern of naval spending in the Asia-Pacific region, said Bob Nugent, an independent naval analyst. Spending on submarines in the region, as with naval spending overall, is going up as a result of stronger economies for some countries and an increased sense of sea-based vulnerabilities and threats in the region for others.
“Submarines are the most expensive [ton for ton] naval platforms to acquire and arguably the most expensive to sustain in readiness from a broad perspective of resources needed to recruit, train, operate, maintain and modernize a capable submarine force,” Nugent said. This raises the question of the fiscal constraints to growing and modernizing regional submarine fleets.
Read More:Asia-Pacific Leads Sub Market.