Naval services in Southeast Asia are increasingly faced with the challenge of reconciling increased operational requirements, with budgetary constraints. Among reasons why operational requirements have increased include more robust activities by claimant states in disputed maritime territories, keener competition for marine resources, and the increasing threat of maritime-borne terrorism activities.
To overcome these challenges, services in the region are increasingly partnering maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) companies to keep their equipment in service.
However, given the nuances in defence procurement regulations across the different jurisdictions of Southeast Asia, these MRO opportunities may, or may not be made public.
The purpose of this report is to highlight notable MRO and retrofitting programmes across naval services in Southeast Asia that are likely to emerge in the 2020-21 time period, but may have yet to appear in public tender documents.
The opportunities highlighted here are implied by virtue of outstanding requirements, comments made by senior leaders in the respective armed forces, and other information in the public domain.
As the number of potential conflict hotspots across the world increases, there is growing risk that similar tactics may be employed by militant groups that have demonstrated their competency in perpetrating attacks on the high seas, including the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in the Philippines, and the Islamic State factions of Southeast Asia. Propaganda material uncovered from Islamic State fighters returning from the Middle East to countries like Indonesia and Southeast Asia also suggest that fighters may harbour intentions to carry out maritime-borne acts of terrorism in this part of the world.
Against the backdrop of these risks, this report highlights several notable vessel protection systems that are currently on the market, or are on the verge of being commercialised. These non-lethal systems may be useful not only in preventing attacks by maritime terrorists, but also crimes perpetrated by pirates, and petty thieves.
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