Tension between North and South Korea is driving the establishment of extra air defense sites in the Northern areas of South Korea. Neighboring countries like Japan and China around Korea's coast are also taking the extra effort to bolster their air military might. India and Pakistan's tension have held the two countries locked in an arms race, to challenge each other in terms of aerospace technology, capability and networking readiness. These social tensions have increased the need to acquire state of the art aerospace technology to reduce risk.
According to Frost & Sullivan's Asia Pacific Consultant of Aerospace & Defense Practice Kunal Sinha, Asia Pacific's Military Aerospace Procurement revenue will grow to a total of US$70.64 billion by 2016, at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2010 to 2016.
He continues, 'The expected growth of military aerospace procurement in Asia Pacific will further encourage the indigenous development of new fixed, rotary winged and UAV's to support the increasing operational demands within the region."
Led by China, countries such as India, Australia, and Singapore are increasingly expanding their military capabilities. These countries usually have defense budgets worth approximately 2.3% of their respective GDP. Developing countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia are also progressively increasing defense spending to modernize their capabilities. Although the latter countries do not spend as much as the former countries, overall, there is an upward trend for defense budgets.
In recent days, there is a higher incidence of military aerospace systems to take on humanitarian roles over wartime roles. These additional roles have a strong influence on the demand for increased procurement.
'The environmental impact of several severe natural disasters in Asia Pacific over the past year has necessitated reinforcements in relief efforts and capabilities. For example, the earthquake in Padang and Pariaman, Indonesia in 2009 has urgently required military aerospace support," says Sinha.
Also driving the defense procurement market is the advancement in technology and outdated systems. Some of the countries in the region are interested in procuring more technologically advanced platforms i.e. JSF, whereas some countries are more focused on upgrading its current technologies.
On the other hand, the advancement in technology also increases the cost of military aerospace platforms due to the exorbitant research and development costs involved.
'Rising costs of military aerospace systems will continue to restrain the purchasing desire of countries in the region. There is also the concern over the implementation, adaptation and integration of new or upgraded technologies with existing technologies. Still, a number of wealthier countries in Asia Pacific are looking to procure advanced aerospace platforms and technologies for its forces," elaborates Sinha.
Several countries in the region have also set about developing their own military airborne platforms; and leading the way here are countries such as China, India, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
However, research and development of aerospace technology is limited to a few countries in the region, and it is still in its infancy stages as compared to western countries. Asia Pacific will still be dependent on Western countries for acquisition of key aerospace technology.
'Investments from foreign market players through strategic alliances with the local business partners is imperative. Strategic alliances also ensure better chances of market penetration, reduced costs and also ensure better system interoperability. The transfer of technological knowledge will also better enable after sales support which is currently lacking in some countries in the region," Sinha explains.
He concludes, 'Asia Pacific is a major importer of defense technology, but local competition is set to become significant competitive markets."
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