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Revisiting Armaments Production in Southeast Asia: New Dreams, Same Challenges

Revisiting Armaments Production in Southeast Asia: New Dreams, Same Challenges Abstract: Several states in Southeast Asia have long attempted to produce their own armaments, both to support national security and to aid in national economic and technological advancement. In most cases, however, such efforts have been decidedly disappointing, and few local arms industries have been economically or technologically self-sustaining. Nevertheless, we may be witnessing a new phase of renewed interest among several Southeast Asian nations in expanding their capabilities for indigenous arms manufacturing, as evidenced in particular by new defence-industrial initiatives in Indonesia and Malaysia. These efforts have been supported by a long-term growth in defence expenditures and new efforts to utilize industrial offsets (such as technology transfers and localized production) as a part of arms acquisitions to build up local arms industries. It is unlikely, however, that these efforts alone will suffice to create economically viable local defence industries. Consequently, countries in the region will still have to make tough decisions about the future course of their defence industrial bases. Most likely, they will have to either invest considerably greater resources into developing their defence sectors (which may beyond their capacities and which are still no guarantee of success) or else they have to scale back their ambitions and choose to concentrate in niche areas where they have a better chance of being competitive in the global arms marketplace. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Revisiting Armaments Production in Southeast Asia: New Dreams, Same Challenges

Revisiting Armaments Production in Southeast Asia: New Dreams, Same Challenges


Contemporary Southeast Asia Vol. 35, No. 3 (2013), pp. 369–94 DOI: 10.1355/cs35-3c © 2013 ISEAS ISSN 0129-797X print / ISSN 1793-284X electronic Revisiting Armaments Production in Southeast Asia: New Dreams, Same Challenges RICHARD A. BITZINGER Several states in Southeast Asia have long attempted to produce their own armaments, both to support national security and to aid in national economic and technological advancement. In most cases, however, such efforts have been decidedly disappointing, and few local arms industries have been economically or technologically selfsustaining. Nevertheless, we may be witnessing a new phase of renewed interest among several Southeast Asian nations in expanding their capabilities for indigenous arms manufacturing, as evidenced in particular by new defence-industrial initiatives in Indonesia and Malaysia. These efforts have been supported by a long-term growth in defence expenditures and new efforts to utilize industrial offsets (such as technology transfers and localized production) as a part of arms acquisitions to build up local arms industries. It is unlikely, however, that these efforts alone will suffice to create economically viable local defence industries. Consequently, countries in the region will still have to make tough decisions about the future course of their defence industrial bases. Most likely, they will have to either invest considerably greater resources into developing their defence sectors (which may beyond their capacities and which are still no guarantee of success) or else they have to scale back their ambitions and choose to concentrate in niche areas where they have a better chance of being competitive in the global arms marketplace. Richard A. Bitzinger is Senior Fellow and Coordinator of the Military Transformations Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of Inter­- national Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. 03 Richard.indd 369 11/22/13...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
ISSN
1793-284X
Publisher site
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Abstract

Abstract: Several states in Southeast Asia have long attempted to produce their own armaments, both to support national security and to aid in national economic and technological advancement. In most cases, however, such efforts have been decidedly disappointing, and few local arms industries have been economically or technologically self-sustaining. Nevertheless, we may be witnessing a new phase of renewed interest among several Southeast Asian nations in expanding their capabilities for indigenous arms manufacturing, as evidenced in particular by new defence-industrial initiatives in Indonesia and Malaysia. These efforts have been supported by a long-term growth in defence expenditures and new efforts to utilize industrial offsets (such as technology transfers and localized production) as a part of arms acquisitions to build up local arms industries. It is unlikely, however, that these efforts alone will suffice to create economically viable local defence industries. Consequently, countries in the region will still have to make tough decisions about the future course of their defence industrial bases. Most likely, they will have to either invest considerably greater resources into developing their defence sectors (which may beyond their capacities and which are still no guarantee of success) or else they have to scale back their ambitions and choose to concentrate in niche areas where they have a better chance of being competitive in the global arms marketplace.

Journal

Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: Dec 13, 2013

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