06:34 GMT +326 May 2017
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    Shipyard workers and German soldiers attend the christening of the U36 new submarine of the 212A class for the German Marine at the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems shipyard in Kiel, northern Germany. (File)

    Navy Proliferation: Singapore Buys 2 German-Made Submarines

    © AFP 2017/ CHRISTIAN CHARISIUS / DPA
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    The trend of naval expansion is not limited to global powers like China, Russia and the US: The Republic of Singapore Navy has moved to beef up its fleet, too.

    Singapore’s Ministry of Defense has inked a deal to buy two more German-made Type-218SG submarines, an MoD statement announced.

    ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the contract winner, previously agreed to a deal with Singapore to send subs to the country in 2013. The new announcement brings the underwater program to four subs total, which the city-state’s MoD remarked was “good progress.”

    The move is intended to help Singapore catch up with neighboring Asian nations that have also added naval assets, Defense Minister Ng End Hen told Straits Times, despite the fact that Singapore plans to continue “work together” with nearby navies to limit security threats.

    What’s more, a significant chunk of Singapore’s GDP comes from overseas trade. This underscores the need to secure strategic trade routes from pirates or hostile forces. Over the past 10 years, Singapore’s trade volumes have ticked up about 20 percent, Ng said at the International Maritime Defense Exhibition and Conference Asia.

    The Type-218SGs will phase out a previous set of Challenger-class submarines, whilst doubling the amount of time a Singaporean submarine can stay underwater from three weeks to six.

    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as “Australia, China and India have all increased the strength of their navies,” the defense minister said, adding that he expects maritime security budgets to rise 60 percent over the next three years.

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    Tags:
    militarism, submarines, ASEAN, Ng End Hen, Singapore
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