Annual UDT Asia conference to bring together senior naval and industry personnel exploring solutions for underwater naval projects in Southeast Asia
Singapore, Feb 10 – For 2012 and beyond, the opportunities for securing new business in the Asian naval market has never been greater. The underwater theatre is where navies are looking to industry to help fill in the technological gap they have on their current and future requirements. In Asia-Pacific, they are expected to spend US$30 billion in order to strengthen their submarine, surface combatant platforms and other maritime defence capabilities. This expenditure makes the region the number one global maritime defence market over the next decade, according to U.S. based naval consultancy AMI International. In total, regional navies are expected to acquire a total of 841 vessels by 2016.
It is a clear indicator that operating and maintaining an undersea fleet is no longer the domain of major world powers alone. In fact, according to conservative estimates by IHS Jane’s “countries in Southeast Asia will acquire 13 submarines at a cost of around USD 4.7bn”. Regional navies like those of Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam are weighing options for procuring new platforms and equipment in order to develop indigenous UUV capabilities, identify the correct submarine type for their navy and integrate the latest undersea technologies.
Indonesia is currently building their capabilities and is looking to receive their submarines between 2015 — 2016. The submarines are to satisfy a partial requirement of the 2024 defence strategic plan of 10–14 submarines as its minimum essential force. Thailand is looking to purchase second hand submarines from European suppliers, most likely from Germany. The Philippines announced last year that it too is assessing the procurement of their first submarines in the coming years. Elsewhere, Vietnam has 6 Kilo Class SSKs on order, while Malaysia already has its Scorpenes, and Singapore with its Archer class now in operation.
Last year’s UDT Asia, held 30 November — 1 December in Singapore, was an undisputed success. With over 120 naval and government attendees from Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, United States, NATO and many more from the region plus 10 industry sponsors and exhibitors supporting the conference, the venue was abuzz with active networking and ideas sharing among the delegation of naval, academic and industry experts.
Continuing this success, UDT Asia 2012 will again bring together the Asian naval underwater defence community to discuss how they are pioneering new concepts, doctrines and technologies in the undersea battlespace. Industry and naval personnel will engage in open discussions around the current and future level of naval development in Asia. Topics will allow participants at UDT Asia to delve into specific areas of interest like UUVs, MCM, R&D for underwater defence and the surge of submarine procurement in Southeast Asia.
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