The Libyan government is looking to spend at least 6 billion dinars (Dh17.15bn) on defence and national security in the coming year with fighter jets and naval frigates among the high-end items on the country's shopping list.
Colonel Abd El Nasser Busnina, a senior officer in the Libyan Air Force, sat in the cockpit of a US$50 million (Dh183.6m) Eurofighter Typhoon jet on display at the International Defence Exhibition (Idex) in Abu Dhabi last month, like a driver contemplating the purchase of a new car.
"We have 2,000 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline to defend and six borders with African countries," he said. "We need to rebuild our armed forces. The equipment we have is old and in need of repair."
The colonel rose to prominence in Libya during the months of armed struggle against Muammar Qaddafi in early 2011. He led a defection of air force officers in the east of the country and vowed to defend the Benghazi air force base against pro-Qaddafi militia.
He has become something of a revolutionary hero in Libya for the decisive role he played in turning the military establishment against its commander in chief and shifting the balance of power in favour of the rebels.
The newly planned military spending is understood to represent at least 10 per cent of the 66bn dinar national budget passed last week after months of wrangling.
"The defence budget is at least 10 per cent of the total budget," Col Nasser said. He added that all branches of the Libyan military were seeking to buy the best hardware that western defence manufacturers could offer.
"Since we had in the past mostly Soviet equipment, all three branches of our forces want western equipment," he said.
Ali Mansour Asbali, the newly appointed Libyan commercial attache in Abu Dhabi, said national security was a top priority.
"Security is the most important thing in Libya today," he said. "Weapons are everywhere in Libya today. They are left from the Qaddafi regime. Because of this Libyans are suffering a great lack of security so we need all the help we can get to remove the guns from Libya and stabilise our national security. To do this we need the armed forces and police to be well equipped."
The security of Libya's borders with Egypt, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Tunisia and Algeria were of the greatest concern to the General National Congress (GNC).
Muammar Qaddafi struck deals with Chad, Niger and other countries to provide economic and military assistance in exchange for peaceful relations. Mercenaries from some of those African countries were also believed to have come to Qaddafi's aid during the last days of his reign.
"Qaddafi spent much of our defence budget on the Africans in his day," Mr Asbali said. "Now we need to secure those borders."
Mr Asbali was unable to confirm the exact allocation of this year's budget to defence spending but said "it might be 10 per cent it might be more than that. The GNC will confirm it."
International defence manufacturers and governments are queuing up to offer their services to Libya as the fledgling state represents a rare virgin market for them.
Next week, the British government's Trade and Industry department, called UKTI, is expected to send a navy frigate to Tripoli replete with up to a dozen British security companies.
Babcock, the largest provider of training services to the British armed forces, was expected to be aboard.
A spokesman for UKTI said that training was at the forefront of the services on offer and that the possibility of buying high-end hardware of the sort being described by senior Libyan military personnel was not on the agenda.
"To go from having no Typhoons to Typhoons is quite a significant step and one that will take some time," the spokesman said referring to the Eurofighter being developed by EADS and Britain's BAE Systems.
He added that British companies and UKTI were looking to engage with Libya to assist with simpler security projects.
"Patrolling borders is one very good example," he said. "You can be very effective with things like fences and binoculars that are far easier to purchase and deploy than a Eurofighter."
Libya has been unable to engage fully with defence manufacturers since Qaddafi's demise because of strict sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.
The sanctions were eased two weeks ago, however, allowing the country to buy non-lethal military equipment for humanitarian and protective use. This could include aeroplanes, ships and vehicles so long as they remain unarmed.
Libya can also import some lethal equipment under the new terms but it must seek authorisation from the UN sanctions committee.