The financial crisis may have hit, but that has not stopped China and India from investing heavily in defence, and other Asian nations trying to keep up with the game according to a report done by defence researcher Jane’s.

In 2008 Asia (from Australia to Central Asia) spent $220bn modernising and maintaining its force, a figure that is predicted to rise to $239bn this year — a figure predicted to grow yet again in 2010.

China now spends more on its defence force than any other nation in Asia with $59bn spent in 2008 and countries like Singapore (up 6% annually to $7.53bn this financial year have also followed suit.

In a report done by The Economist on 5 April this year, Jane’s regional defence specialist for Asia Jon Grevatt was quoted as saying Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia are also expected to raise defence budgets, in what could be called a ‘mini arms race’ in Southeast Asia.

India’s defence budget has risen 24% to $29.4bn this year.

Armoured vehicles, submarines and homeland security are what is most appears on Asia’s purchase list.