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Singapore Air Show 2012

February 16, 2012 by staff 

Singapore Air Show 2012, 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 defence 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,anlysts said, to jet fighters, maritime patrol aircraft, radar and in some cases submarines.

Asia’s mostly littoral nations are less concerned now with old neighbourhood rivalries, focusing more on the need for force projection across seas,anlysts 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 programme director at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

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