SGPV or LCS…The Debate Continues….

SHAH ALAM: After crunching the numbers and a few words with those in the know, I must concede the billion ringgit price tag for the proposed SGPV/LCS is probably justified, with a few caveats of course.

1) One wonders why the ceiling price for the project was announced when the navy has yet to sign off the final design? Pray tell what will happen if by chance that the final design cost more than the ceiling price? Will the Government upped the ceiling price or will the navy have to grit its teeth and get a lesser design?

2) The final design will be selected from six international companies, of which three I am told have been down selected to become the technology partner for Boustead Naval Shipyard, the forerunner of PSC Naval Dockyard. As Boustead had already submitted its SGPV/LCS design, we are now left wondering whether the navy will choose this design for the project or not?

3) What will happen if the RMN choose the other two contenders? Will Boustead be force to follow their design or these companies, reputable shipbuilders themselves will have to validate the Malaysian design? With Boustead holding the IP rights for the Meko A100 design, wouldnt it be odd that it has to build a new ship to a different hull?

4) With the hull being the most expensive part of any ship, any changes to the status quo will have a profound impact on the project”s cost. The Danes got their Absalon class ships for some US300 million as they fixed the hull price to US100 million. Are we fixing the hull price to save cost?

Despite my grudging admission over the cost of the project, I am still of the opinion that the RMN and the Armed Forces as a whole cannot afford the project. Yes, I understand the navy need new ships and wars happen due to illogical reasons and therefore we need to be prepare for it but the fact remains our Armed Forces are under funded.

With an annual operating budget of an average RM10 billion and an annual procurement expenditure of around RM3 billion, how can we be spending RM1 billion a year, get this: a single ship and all the risks it carries. For example in 2008 and 2009, the Navy only got around RM1.5 billion as the development expenditure. I dont have the figures for 2010 but I am assuming that its more less the same.

But it seemed that the state of events had been put in motion two decades ago: the privatisation of the dockyard to PSC and Amin Shah. To ensure the success of the exercise, the NGPV project was approved with the Meko A100 as the winning design. Yes, by having a sole source contract to maintain navy ships for perpetuity would have been profitable of course but ship-building seems more messianic and empire building.

The subsequent failure of Amin Shah and PSC saw the rise of Boustead and doomed the project to a government bail-out ensuring the ships were completed well behind schedule and way over-budget.

The original cost of the NGPV was around RM600 million (Amin Shah was also PAID around RM600 million as a reward for taking an unprofitable venture and turning it into a world class facility) but the time the six was completed, these ships cost more or less around RM1 billion. And here we go planning a ship with a ceiling budget of RM1 billion.

I have argued before that the navy needs only a lot of 60 or 70 metres missile armed FACs, or also known in some navies as corvettes – like this one from South Korea – as they are cheaper to procure and maintain. These ships invariably have the same weapons suites as the SGPV/LCS and therefore well suited for the same roles.

Other examples for FAC/corvette is the Danish Flyvefisken class which was offered to RMN in the original NGPV project

But having FACs/corvettes goes against the navy’s aspiration of becoming a Blue Water Navy, a lofty ambition raised following the privatisation of the dockyarrd and accelerated with the setting up of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency or MMEA.

A Blue Water Navy armed primarily with a few Littoral Combat Ships! What an irony!

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2225 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Marhalim, not my intention to be argumentative or picky but IMO we can’t in all honesty describe the RMN as a ‘blue water’ navy even if it some time in the future operates dozens of frigates and destroyers or even carriers. There is a common misconception that a navy achieves ‘blue water’ status when it operates vessels above FAC, corvette or light frigate size, enabling them to operate further from the shore and in rougher sea states. The most accurate definition of a ‘blue water’ navy is a navy that can operate from great distances away from it’s homeports, for extended periods even without access to foreign ports or bases, due to having a large fleet train – replenishment ships, oilers, etc.

    When asked a few years ago what his vision for a future RMN would be, a former RMN Chief said it would be for the RMN to be a balanced, 3 dimensional littoral navy, with a niche in littoral operations including anti-mine operations.

    With planned 27 PV fleet and the other frigates, RMN will be able to justify to procure oilers for RAS operations. I wouldnt be surprised if the planned MRSS will also be equipped for RAS just like the Berlin class ships of the German Navy.

  2. first of all, the biggest mistake the RMN made is not to define what they are buying in the 1st place. Tonnage, weaponry, sensors, principle operation profile non were announced. When they can\’t even get simple things like PR right, how can the people trust them to handle multimillion Ringgit project?

  3. It is common to not reveal all the details due to ongoing discussions with various companies.
    With regards to tonnage, it has always been taken for granted that the LCS/SGPV/OPV will be slightly larger than the Kedah class. But yes I think most of us here are in agreement that MINDEF should get it’s house in order with regards to providing information to the public.

  4. in the interim, while awaiting the ships to be build with whatever final outcome, they should at least order more MM40 exocet to armed the 6 kedah Class.

    We already lost the kasturi’s for upgrades while the 8 fac missile are already 40 years old almost, dont think can do more open sea operation. It would be almost suicidal to send the kedah class opv to open sea with just guns while your opposite is carrying missiles.

    Though the SEARAM would be good to have but i doubt it will ever be ordered, so interim solutions is to borrow some ANZA manpad from Gapu and armed the kedah class.

    For ASW, the kedah class can use the lynx heli for that as i believed it has a hangar.

    Just my take on the issue

  5. The most simple explanation for this darn problem is that some people in this country love to politicize everything including the police forces and the armed forces matter. They always try to find people mistake but not giving any idea or explanation of what they think is better. All they know is pointing at other people. That’s how they do it to ruin this country.

  6. 12 Gumdoksori class FAC from South Korea are enough to replace all RMN FAC’s + SGPV-LCS.

  7. based on what is stated in wikipedia (yes not the best source) The Gumdoksori is between 50m to 60m, armed with korean made anti ship missiles and korean made SAM (manpad based). It has no Asuw capability but mainly used for surface combatant. Endurance around 14 days.Its price in 2009 terms approximately USd37 million.

    Compared that with our requirement that would need ASW and ASuW. So there will be additional requirement for hull mounted sonar etc. Also (i may be wrong) the new class is mainly to replace old FAC that was mainly tasked to fight north korea speed boat and fac near the korean border and close to shore.

    While ours will be more open seas i.e the south china sea and would require longer endurance and need to withstand rougher sea state.

    But at what price? Only time will tell

  8. The Gumdoksori at 550 tonnes wont have the range, endurance and seakeeping of the Kedah class or LCS/SGPV but yes on paper it should be cheaper. Being a smaller ship it also has no hangar and pad. With Sarawak and Sabah the RMN has more costline and a bigger EEZ to cover than the ROKN. The Gumdoksori is meant to be the ROKN’s TEAM B, with TEAM A consisting of the KDX3’s and KDX2’s. For the RMN, the LCS/SGPV will be it’s main combatants, alongside the Lekiu and Kasturi class, our TEAM A.

    If the LCS is equipped with the towed sonar it will be the new Team A unless the Lekius undergoes a SLEP soon.

  9. Marhalim, have you heard anything about the hijack of the MV Leopard which apparently was carrying munitions for the boys at 18 Squadron?

    Kamal, the Super Lynx operating from the Kedah class technically can’t do ASW as it doesn’t have a dipping sonar and the Kedah class doesn’t have an ASW sonar. Detection and target coordinates have to be provided by hull mounted sonars on the Lekiu or Kasturi class. The Kedah class does have a hangar and the Super Lynx does operate from it but the problem is we don’t have enough helis to go around. One Fennec is already on the Bunga Mas and 1 or 2 helicopters are at Teluk Sepanggar.

    Nothing has been in the public eye since the hijacking. Yes, that the current batch of Super Lynx are not equipped with a dipping sonar. The RMN had said publicly that they want another six Lynx equipped with the dipping sonar. I am wondering that requirement will be met during RMK10.

  10. Not sure if the production line for the Super Lynx is still open given that Westland Agusta is now concentrating on the Lynx Wildcat. If I’m
    not mistaken not all of the 6 Super Lynx’s are fitted with a FLIR. ASW configured Merlin’s would be nice as it has the range, endurance and space for a dipping sonar but the problem here is that there is no ship with a hangar large enough to fit the Merlin!

    The Wildcat is the RN version so if we wish to buy more Lynxs I am guessing that AgustaWestland will oblige…

  11. Emm… What is all about the rough sea state, EEZ patrolling etc etc? It is supposed to be a LITTORAL combat ship. Litoral ie. close to shore… LCS is supposed to fight asymmetric threats close to shore, or in malaysia’s case the straits of malacca and seas between sabah and its neighbours. The specs of RMN’s LCS, it seems does not address that need specifically. If it is like what they said, just call it a frigate for god’s sake!

    Another thing that worries me is that if this 6 ship taking all the funding, what about the LPD requirement? And the 2 training frigates from korea is it a done deal? And how much is it does that cost?

    The requirement is for a sea going vessel with a littoral combat capability hence the LCS, a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet. I have not heard about the training frigate deal from South Korea. I believe both the LCS and MRSS projects will carry over to the next Malaysian plan.

  12. Marhalim, I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the Wildcat, for which the RN and British army will be the first customer, is an improved version of the Super Lynx Mk300.

    LCS is just another fanciful term the military and the bureacratic pen pushers at MINDEF like. If the programme was really intended to solely deal with asymmetrical threats at sea there would not be a need for missiles and ASW gear. Rough sea states can also be encountered in littoral areas and not just large deep water oceans/seas. There was an incident in the past where a Sabah or Kris class patrol boat capsized with loss of life due to the sea conditions.

    Yes the Wildcat is an improved version of the Super Lynx but there are many different things else well so its a remain different animal. If we intend to buy the ASW version it will better for maintenance and other operational issues like pilot and crew proficiency to rebuild the old Super Lynx to these standard.

  13. Nice read on the LCS concept

    Note the ASW capability on the USN LCS is not on the ship itself, but depended primarily on heli-based systems.

    BTW there are 2 sides of Littoral Warfare, the defender and the attacker. USN concept is based on being the attacker, without the advantage of a friendly coastline. We on the other hand, are defending our coastline, where IMO smaller and faster ships running around and hiding in shallow waters, river mouths and islands have a bigger advantage compared to a bigger ship.

    There are many detractors against the LCS concept too in the US. Too me its too expensive to begin with and I believe even the US LCS will not survive without air power.

  14. Whatever the arguments regarding the need for the LCS, it is more effective to equip the Kedah class with all the weapon systems that it is designed to carry but was not equiped with.Thus change the guns from the puny thing it is now to bigger capacity super rapid ones, put in the torpedoes, fix the anti ship missiles and put in the anti air missiles-Aasters maybe-the VL version. And arm them with sonars too and we will have a very capable six ships.
    Later on if we still want to expand the navy then please go ahead. Why waste what we have now and leave it at a not so capable state?

    In interview during DSA 2008, I asked the same question to the then RMN chief. He said they prefer for the SGPV project to be approve than having funds to buy the systems that was supposed to be fitted to Kedah.
    There is no space for a torpedo launcher on the Kedah unless you want to sacrifice one of the space (port or starboard) for the RHIB. The Kedah class has a hull mounted sonar mostly for navigation purposes. I believed that they can installed a towed array sonar such as the Captas Nano at the stern of the ship. It may interfere with operating a helicopter so it may not be a good idea.
    The Kedah is fitted for a RAM so changing to a VL system may attract cost issues so it is also not good idea. They could fit 4 Exocet on top of the deck behind the bridge just aft of the Ito-Melara. Its a tight squeeze but the mounting for the launchers are installed on the floor of the deck. No idea about wiring and integration issues, however….

  15. YM Lee, numbers, numbers and numbers. In relation to the number of patrol assets it has -6 Kedah class, 4 Perdana class, 4 Handalan class, 6 Jerong class – to the size of the area it is reponsible for, it is very obvious that the RMN is very short of hulls, even before the retirement of the Sabah/Kriss class patrols boats and the transfer of the Mystari OPV’s to the MMEA. Fully arming the Kedah class won’t change the fact that there is a shortage of assets for peacetime duties. At times, even the 4 Mahamiru’s are used for routine patrolling! The guns on the Kedah class are standard fit and are not puny – Super Rapid 76mm and a Mauser 30mm – and are more than adequate, anything with a larger calibre [127mm] won’t fit. Due to it’s size the Kedah class cannot take the Sylver VLS for the ASTER only RAM or perhaps an 8 VLS cell for the Seawolf.

    If they do install a towed array on the Kedah they will also have to install a hull mounted sonar. No one operates just a towed array as both the towed array and hull mounted sonars are complemtary being for different purposes.

    As taste of what will be fitted to the LCS/SGPV if indeed the ESSM is selected. It seems to have a very fast reaction time, like the Seawolf.

  16. Azlan

    Dont forget that there is MMEA now. RMN do not need as many patrol vessel for peacetime patrolling as it did in the past.

    RMN role is now as a deterrent and to step in when things get hot.

  17. yes numbers numbers numbers. We have some existing assets which I believe can be made better use of.Thus the upgrading of the Kedah class makes sense and in fact the original plan was to acquire these vessels as OPV’s and then upgrade to frigate level armaments.
    With the money the gov can then buy say only 3 new littoral combat ships and maybe some logistic vessels which is sorely needed by the country and the navy.We urgently also need at least two big landing ship docks too to support our rapid intervention force and also for navy needs.
    Its making efficient use of the limited money that Malaysia has that I am talking about especially we are not like the Americans who has deep pockets but even they cant afford to buy much more of the ultra advanced F22 Raptors.

    Three MRSS are supposed to be procured during the RMK10, for around RM2 billion. As I had commented earlier, I would not be surprised if these ships will also double as RAS vessels….

  18. Once again, the discussion is driven by equipment/armaments obsessions rather than role or mission. As usual, this is dominated by the 5% SAM/SSM/ASW stuff which costs a ton of money, isn’t very useful and is too expensive to master with live fire.

    The RMN’s critical areas of responsibility are
    1) To ensure the security of Sea lanes Of Communication between Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Lumped into this is the question of the Spratlys. This is a green water activity.

    2) To secure the Straits of Malacca for lawful commerce and navigation. This is a task we share with Indonesia and Singapore, though historically, the former has not always been amenable. This is a classic littoral activity, one in which light forces and mine warfare excel. In order to effectively do this mission, the northern and southern ends beyond Malaysian territorial waters require surveillance.

    3)Securing territorial waters adjoining the Peninsular and East Malaysia, specifically the Gulf of Siam and the ever troublesome Sulu Sea.
    Both are near littoral activities with the necessity of extended surveillance.

    4) protecting and securing Malaysian vessels beyond immediate waters against the threat of piracy and terrorism. This is the Ops Fajr, blue water stuff of sorts.

    What is obvious is that there is as great a need for surveillance beyond the horizon from shore. This is at this time very limited, and to my mind at least the major shortcoming in the national maritime security policy. It is necessary for the Navy to own this as they manage the Maritime Control activities. It is a tasking they could share with other services like the AF and MMEA but I see little or no moves at all in this direction. This is in part becuase of the the glorious goat rope that our domestic UAV programs have turned out to be. Rather than talking about buying F-18Ds, we should be requesting Mariner UAVs by the dozen.

  19. well ships are still the best when it comes to domination of the waters.Ships unlike planes, can stay on station for a long time -provided its supplies allows it to. Thus buying ships is a forgone conclusion.But comes to role and threat patterns. The Straits of Malacca can best be patrolled by the light strike crafts that our navy are still having.The Straits dont require huge ships to control.Fast strike crafts are the best. Mines is another way to close the straits completely. Actually the modern 155x56mm howitzers can also control the entire straits. These shells can reach about 40km-more than sufficient to give any ships a headache in the Straits. So it takes just two batteries stationed at both ends to control the straits.In fact even a Battery of the 150mm oto melara guns situated on top of hills in Malacca can control the straits at its narrowest part. But then the Spratleys and Saban and Sarawak are a totally different kettle of sotong altogether. Here it is firepower, force multipliers and big ships reign. Big Guns and big ships.Tested concept. In the Spratleys, the RMN senbt the missile strike craft and the Vietnanese thum their nose at our navy but when send Hang Tuah there and the Viets scooted.

  20. MR. T,

    The peacetime roles which the LCS/SGPV and Kedah class are meant to perform are pretty much obvious to most here and have been discussed before, however briefly. Apart from the need to deploy to the Gulf of Aden, our peactime littoral concerns have not changed much for several decades. The ”equipment/armaments obsessions” are because no one wants to see a repeat of the Kedah class fisco where a tonne of cash was allocated for ships that are only armed with guns [have less combat potential than the 30 year old Spica-M’s] and which only can perform peacetime roles. A fleet of UAV’s would be nice, being more useful at present than our PT-91’s, ASTROS, Seawolf missiles etc, but it’s unfortunatly not going to happen anytime soon.

  21. Marhalim, I knew the Abraham Lincoln and her escorts were at Port Klang 2 weeks ago but had no idea it’s air wing conducted any training with the RMAF.

    As usual we are shy about this type of exchanges. I dont think it was an official visit, as their Facebook page only mentioned their Singapore visit….

  22. Azlan…the fiasco has entirely to do with the criminal activities of Amin Shah and his masters.

  23. Just a comment from an arm chair general. I personally believe we need the combination of all i.e. Frigates, OPV, UAV, MPA and even subs. But we donot have the USd13 billion SG budget to fullfill that and as such we have to be wise with what we are spending.

    Personally i believe the frigate class should not be done/built here as unlike SG or South Korea, we have yet to developed the necessary skilss plus more importantly our meagre defense budget does not allow for economies of scale. I do not have all the facts together, but i personally believe we should have a compromise between no and technology. A frigate with price range between USD200-USD250 a piece may provide us with sufficient no and decent capability in ASuw, ASW and AA.

    We do however have the capability and expertise to built simple yet effective 60 to 70 metre patrol/combat boat/ships armed with 57mm or 76mm cannon, 30mm or CIWS AA. Some could even be configured for ASW monitoring role with towed sonar (is anylting less than 90 m ships can have hull based sonar?). This would cost between RM70 to RM150 million each depening on final configuration. Local ship yard like hong leong lursen, NGV tech and even boustead can be tasked to do this a plenty.

    But other “factor” could be the key issue here i guess.

  24. SINGAPORE : Singapore, which has one of Asia’s best-equipped militaries, has raised its national defence budget by 5.4 per cent this year, government data showed on Friday.

    The government plans to spend S$12.08 billion (US$9.5 billion) on defence in the 2011 fiscal year, up from S$11.46 billion the year before.

    Singapore’s navy, army and air force will get S$11.53 billion to buy and maintain military equipment, for the upkeep of camps and for payment of salaries.

    The city-state currently has a population of more than five million, a quarter of whom are foreigners.

    Singapore’s economy grew 14.5 percent in 2010, the fastest in Asia.

    The defence budget is about five per cent of gross domestic product.

    (Channel News Asia)

    *as a knowledge

  25. Good for Singapore but it doesn’t change the fact that the MAF still has it’s own operational requirements to look out for rather than focusing on one specific potential threat. At any rate Indonesia poses a more serious long term threat rather than Singapore. The Sings have a fraction of the area, both on land and at sea, that Malaysia has to look out for [Sabah, which is covered by a single infantry brigade, is larger than the whole of Singapore. From Kuantan it is about 1,300km to the nearest RMAF base in E.Malaysia!].

    Whether the BN remains in power or PKR takes power [looking increasingly unlikely IMO], the fact remains that unless Malaysia is suddenly faced with a serious threat, defence is not going to be a priority and will continued to be gamble with by whichever government is in power on the assumption there is no threat to justify the financial outlay needed. Schools, housing projects, roads, dealing with corruption and rising food prices, etc, buy votes not spending on defence. For the MAF to gain a capability increase in one area, another area has to go without. To pay for Paul’s LCS/SGPV’s and MRCA’s it is necessary to rob Peter of his funding for his MPSS’s and other stuff.

  26. @scorpio,

    1. You need to wake up and smell the roses. Trends are changing (and you should really be watching Indonesia’s defence spending more closely). In 2010, Malaysia (with a GDP of about US$239.96 billion in 2010) is still the third largest economy in ASEAN but that will change in this decade. In contrast, Singapore’s GDP in 2010 is about US$239.33 billion.

    2. According to SIPRI data, Malaysia (in 2009 Malaysia spent US$4,078 million* on defence) was not being out-spent on defence by Singapore (in 2009 Singapore spent US$7,966 million*) alone.

    3. Malaysia was also being out-spent by other ASEAN countries with larger GDPs like:

    (i) Indonesia (in 2009 Indonesia spent US$4,908 million* on defence); and

    (ii) Thailand(in 2009 Thailand spent US$4,117 million* on defence) too.

    *Note: All the above SIPRI data are at constant 2008 prices.

  27. Below is a list of ASEAN countries ranked by their defence spending, with defence spending data from SIPRI* (I’ve also included in the list, population size, literacy rate (of people above 15 years old), life expectancy, nominal GDP and size of armed forces; for ease of comparison).

    1. Singapore

    Population………………………………..: 5.08 million — Ranked No. 9 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 95% (81 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$182.23 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 4 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 72,500 (active) and 356,500 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 3.9% to a high of 5.1% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$7,966 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    2. Indonesia

    Population………………………………..: 238 million — Ranked No. 1 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 92% (71 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$539.37 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 1 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 302,000 (active) and 400,000 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 1.0% to a high of 1.4% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$4,908 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    3. Thailand

    Population………………………………..: 65.99 million — Ranked No. 4 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 94% (69 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$263.97 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 2 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 305,860 (active) and 245,000 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 1.1% to a high of 1.5% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$4,117 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    4. Malaysia

    Population………………………………..: 28.25 million — Ranked No. 6 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 92% (74 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$192.95 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 3 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 109,000 (active) and 296,300 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 2.0% to a high of 2.6% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$4,078 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    5. Vietnam

    Population………………………………..: 85.85 million — Ranked No. 3 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 93% (74 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$92.43 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 6 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 455,000 (active) and 5 million (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 2% to a high of 2.5% (data from 2003 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$2,073 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    6. Philippines

    Population………………………………..: 91.98 million — Ranked No. 2 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 94% (72 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$161.19 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 5 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 120,000 (active) and 171,000 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 0.8% to a high of 1.0% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$1,424 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    7. Myanmar

    Population………………………………..: 50 million — Ranked No. 5 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 92% (62 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$34.26 billion (IMF data)– Ranked No. 7 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 406,000 (active)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 1.3% to a high of 1.8% (limited data set)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: No data shown in SIPRI database

    8. Brunei

    Population………………………………..: 388,190 — Ranked No. 10 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 95% (77 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$10.41 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 9 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 7,000 (active) and 700 (reserves)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 3.6% to a high of 5.3% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$ 336 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    9. Cambodia

    Population………………………………..: 14.8 million — Ranked No. 7 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 78% (61 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$$11.45 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 8 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 124,300 (active)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 1.1% to a high of 1.8% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2008 Defence Spending……………….: US$ 123 million (at constant 2008 prices)

    10. Laos

    Population………………………………..: 6.3 million — Ranked No. 8 by population
    Literacy rate (and Life Expectancy)…: 73% (65 years) (World Bank data)
    2009 GDP (nominal) …………………..: US$$5.59 billion (IMF data) — Ranked No. 10 by GDP

    No. of Troops (active/reserve)……….: 29,100 (active)

    *Defence Spending as a % of GDP …..: Between a low of 0.4% to a high of 0.7% (from 2001 to 2008)
    *2009 Defence Spending……………….: US$ 21.2 million (at constant 2008 prices)

  28. At present, Indonesian defence spending is aimed at replacing obsolete gear and improving on what capabilities they have. There appear to be no current attempts to gain a serious power projection capability or offensive but that MIGHT change in the future. The TNI-AD remains a counter insurgency orientated army, more suited for small unit, low-intensity operations and the TNI-Al and the TNI-AU, like the RMAF and RMN remain underfunded and undersized given the large size of Indonesia.

    Something else we should bear in mind when analysing defence spending is that from the mid-90’s to about 8 years ago [with about a five year gap due to the 97 crisis], when Malaysia embarked on several major arms buys, Indonesia’s allocations for arms imports were very low. It can be argued that the recent contract – Flankers, Makassar LPD’s, Sigma corvettes, APC’s – as well as impending contracts – new or ex-USAF F-16s, the upgrade for the current F-16A/B fleet, Tucano COIN aircraft, subs, MBT’s – is really making up for lost time and with the execptions of the MBT’s are really improving on what the TNI currently have as opposed to developing new capabilities that were completely lacking.

  29. @Syameer
    Baru nak sign? OMG. I thought the G have given Deftech until June 2011 as the last deadline to present the 1st AV-8 prototype? Or Deftech have successfully delivered the AV-8 prototype, but then, if should be contract signing not MoU.

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