Globalization and Singapore’s Defence Industrial Base
Date of Issue2004
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The unveiling of the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer 1 - called the Primus - by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) last November has turned the spotlight on Singapore's defence industrial base (DIB). The DIB refers to those sectors of the economy that produce goods, services and technology for the defence establishment. The development and launch of the Primus was noteworthy for being an in-house enterprise by the Defence Science and Technology Agency, Singapore Technologies Kinetics and the SAF. It raises questions of defence economics because it essentially went against the current trend in the global defence industry of outsourcing, buying ‘off-the-shelf’ and customizing to local requirements, a trend seen particularly in small and medium powers. The Primus raises the question of where the limits to the outsourcing of defence production lie and whether the decision to develop and produce locally was based purely on economic criteria. Also, given Singapore's embrace of the ‘new economy’ precepts of industrial streamlining, contract manufacturing and outsourcing, why has Singapore's DIB retained a significant local component of development and production?
DRNTU::Social sciences::Political science
RSIS Commentaries, 003-04
Nanyang Technological University