Diplomacy and deterrence are the two pillars upon which the defence policy of Singapore is structured. By developing and maintaining good relations with other countries through diplomacy, Singapore is creating a safe environment which de facto diminishes the possibilities of an armed conflict. Nevertheless, Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) should always be alert and ready to intervene whenever this is needed. That is why Singapore continues to maintain a well-integrated force that is trim, balanced and potent. Under this concept Singapore government decided to further modernize the armed forces of the country. This is clearly illustrated by the fact that during the period 2006-2009 imports of arm equipment reached the amount of 3325US$ m. expressed at constant (1990) prices whereas for the period 2002-2005 this amount was 1244 US$ m. at constant (1990) prices, hence increased by more than 167%. Furthermore, Singaporean defence budget has been considerably augmented during the last decade. In 2000 it was 7,423 million Singapore dollars, whereas in 2009 it reached 11,447million.
This increase in military spending has funded a raft of major arms acquisitions in recent years, in Singapore. France has a leading role in the Singapore arms imports. For the period 2006-2010 Singapore imported defence equipment amounting 1984 US$ m. at constant (1990) prices from France. Apart from France, other important countries that exports arms to Singapore are, USA, Germany and Israel. Imports are diversified in their geographical structure. The four (4) first places are occupied by two (2) European counties, a country from Middle East (Israel) and one form North America (USA).
As it is stated above France is the main exporter of military goods to Singapore. In 2000 Singapore procured (6) F La Fayette Frigates from France the delivery of which concluded in 2009. The total amount of the procurement reached $750 m. Five of the frigates were produced in Singapore. Additionally in 2001 the country bought 300 Surface-to-Air Anti Missile (SAAM) weapon systems that will be used on the frigates. The deliveries were finished in 2010.
Additionally, in 2010 the delivery from the USA of 6S-70B/SH-60B Seahawk ASW helicopters was completed. Furthermore, in 2010 the delivery of the Leopard-2A (4) Tanks was completed. Some of them were in service with the German army and were modernized before delivery.
Diplomacy and deterrence is the shield of protection for Singapore. Nevertheless, SAF is constantly trying to stay ahead and to continually adapt to changes of its operating environment.
Epicos Newsletter Head Editor