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Singapore sets USD15 billion defence budget for 2024

Singapore's defence budget is forecast by Janes to grow to around USD16.1 billion in real terms in 2025, up from USD12.1 billion five years earlier. (Janes Defence Budgets)

Singapore has announced a defence budget of SGD20.25 billion (USD15 billion) for 2024. The new expenditure, announced on 16 February, is a 13% increase over the original defence budget for 2023 and a 2.5% increase over the revised allocation of SGD19.76 billion.

The 2024 defence budget includes SGD19.34 billion (95.5% of the total expenditure) for operations, which is a 2.4% increase over the revised allocation in 2023. Nearly all the operations budget in 2024 – SGD19.28 billion – is for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

Official budgetary documents said the operations expenditure will pay for the purchase of military equipment, maintenance of equipment and facilities, and allowances and salaries for SAF personnel.

The remaining 4.5% (SGD905.39 million) of the 2024 defence budget is for development expenditure, an increase of 3.9%. Documents said this increase is mainly attributed to higher construction costs for development works, including projects previously delayed or disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government provided no additional defence spending details in official statements.

Singapore's military modernisation priorities include the procurement of 12 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL)-capable Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter aircraft and four Type 218SG Invincible-class diesel-electric submarines.

The F-35Bs were ordered in two batches, in 2019 and 2023, and are expected to be delivered from 2026. Singapore ordered the Type 218SG submarines from Germany's Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems under contracts signed in 2013 and 2017. The first of these boats arrived in Singapore in July 2023 for sea trials.

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