woensdag 9 januari 2019

Fighter programs in Europe


An often heard complaint about the European defence industry is that it is divided and that every country has its own production facilities. An infographic by the European Commission on the lack of Integration in Defence clarified this for land and air systems. The figure shows that the United States has eleven types of fighter aircraft for 2,279 fighters. In the European Union, there are nineteen different types for 1,703 fighters. The message is clear: more cooperation and investment needed. But the given facts do not root in reality. The Military Balance, the widely-used standard work on militay capacities, gives significant different figures on number of fighter aircraft and programs (see table below).

Despite this vagueness the infographic of the European Commission is copied and translated by the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) in a report on the state of the Dutch security policy, although there seems not much science in this picture, but more a desire for growing investment in defence to be able to follow the US. A sincere concern for the position of the European Aeronautic in European capitals can be doubted, but one may even wonder if this concern is needed.

Firstly the aeronautic industry takes already by far the biggest slice of armament programs. According to the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), a European lobby group, almost 50 per cent of turnover in 2016, € 45 billion, came from military aeronautics. A share likely to grow because of the fast growing popularity of drones and satellites for overseeing and commanding the battle field. (Naval 23% and land 28% of European defence industrial turnover.)

In the European inventories, there are 10 different fighter aircraft (included 3 Russian types as a legacy of the Cold War period). At the same time many of the war planes flying around in Europe are bought in the US, a fact contrasting strangely to the expressed concern for European aeronautics. European air forces fly 7 types of US combat aircraft, the same number is flown by the US navy alone on a budget 16% below the combined EU-budgets for the armed forces. US fighters are mostly produced by Lockheed Martin, but also Boeing has its share. On the other hand the US is not operating a single one of the ten different European types, except for 24 Czech light subsonic attack jets for military training purposes provided by two civil companies (see table). When European governments would really concerned for EU arms industry they should buy European fighter planes.

The 'make America great again' policy is nothing new and many European governments are Uncle Sam's helping hands for a range of political, military and economic reasons. The F-35 or Joint Strike Fighter is making its debute in many EU countries at the cost of European fighters on offer. After weighting all options the F-35 is said to to have the best quality/price balance. The Dutch air force and Ministry of Economics were already in favour of the F-35 when it was in its early development stages and not tested at all. Reason: keep close links towards the US Air Force (including its nuclear weapons). Complaints on the unequal opportunities in the competition for Airbus, SAAB and Dassault are often voiced by these European companies. Airbus e.g. communicated after Belgium recently has chosen the F-35 as the fighter for its air force, that: “Airbus Defence and Space (…) is aware of the strong links between Belgium and the United States on defence industrial matters. Therefore, yesterday's decision does not come as a complete surprise.” But “it is a lost opportunity to strengthen European industrial cooperation in times when the EU is called upon to increase its joint defence efforts.”

It is not only the F-35 which is popular. In the Eastern part of the EU, countries choose the F-16. Aviation Week recently concluded that the 'F-16 market share continues to grow in Europe' and mentioned on 2018 alone potential procurement in Croatia (ex-Israeli, doubted early 2019) and Slovakia purchasing 14 Block 70/72 F-16s, which will make it the operator of the most advanced F-16s in Europe. But also Greece is upgrading its 80 F-16's with active, electronically scanned array radars. So far on the concern on the European aeronautic industries in European capitals.

Despite those disadvantages Airbus and Dassault start next year with Europe's next-generation fighter jet program. The two companies will now jointly draft a common concept for the new Future Combat Air System (FCAS), this includes the fighters design, its weapons and connectivity with other aircraft, including UAVs. The FCAS program is envisioned as a complex system of systems comprising a new-generation fighter aircraft, unmanned combat aircraft, future air-launched missiles, and swarms of small drones, all interconnected with satellites, other aircraft, NATO networks as well as national and allied ground and naval combat systems.

Facts and the fictional 'we-Europeans-run-foolishly-far-behind' are hard to separate. But when looking into European fighter programs of the past thirty years it is crystal clear that the European combat planes are exported to Brazil (cooperates with Italian Leonardo), Chile, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. Most of the customers can be found in the Middle East, the proverbial powder keg and the scene of war and gross human rights violations. On the FCAS, debate has already started in the military and civil press on how Germany will implement its arms export policy.

The current most successful combat plane is the Typhoon or European Fighter Aircraft (an German, Spanish, Italian and UK product). It has ten different customers located in Europe and the Middle East and 72 of them have been sold to Saudi Arabia. Problematic for Germany, that has a stricter human rights approach towards arms export than most big EU countries? It was solved by the UK taking the responsibility for the exports to the Middle East. In case of the FCAS Paris will have no problem to play a similar role.

Fighter Aircraft Inventories 2018 United States and Europe (EU, NATO+)
US

(No.) Type
Inventory of
Europe
In production
1
Boeing F/A-18 (super) Hornet
US (700, A/A+B+C+D+E+F)
Finland (62, C+D)
Spain (85, EF-18A+ EF-18A+B MLU)
(Switzerland) (31, C+D)
Since 1983
2
Lockheed Martin (LM) F-35A Lightning II
US (122)
Italy (7),
Netherlands (2)
Since August 2016
3
LM F-35B Lightning II
US (50)
UK (13)
Since July 2015
4
LM F-35C Lightning II
US (28)

Since January 2018
5
LM AV-8B Harrier II
US (128)
Italy (16: AV-8B+TAV-8B)
Spain 13: AV-8B+AV-8B)
1981–2003
6
LM F-16 Fighting Falcon
US (1013, A+B+C+D)
Belgium (59, AM+BM)
Denmark (44, AM+BM)
Greece (175, CG/DG Block30/50+CG/DG Block 52+ C/D Block 52+ADV)
Netherlands (61 F-16AM/BM)
(Norway) (57, AM+BM)
Poland (48 C Block 52+D Block 52+)
Portugal (30, AM+BM)
Romania (9, AM+BM)
(Turkey) (253, C Block30+C Block 50+D Block 30+D Block 50)
Since January 1974
7
Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle
US (454, C+D)

Since July 1972
8
McDonnell Douglas
F-4E Phantom II

Greece (20)
Turkey (20)
1958–1981
9
Northrop F-5B Tiger Freedom Fighter
US (43, F+N)
Spain (109)
(Switzerland) (54: E+F)
(Turkey) (53, A+B)
1959–1987
10
LM F-22 Raptor
US (179)

1996–2011
11
Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II
US (227)

1972–1984
12
LM AC-130J Ghostrider
US (15)

2012-2021
13
AC-130W Stinger II
(former MC-130W Dragon Spear)
US (12)

Since 2010
European Union/(NATO Europe)
Customers rest of world

1
Panavia Aircraft Tornado GR4
Saudi Arabia
Cyprus (6),
Germany (88, IDS+ECR)
Italy (68, Tornado IDS+ECR)
UK (46, GR4/GR4A)
1979–1998
2
Typhoon / European Fighter Aircraft (Eurofighter GmbH: Airbus Defence 46%, BAe Systems 33%, Leonardo 21%.)


Kuwait
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
(wiki list potential sales)
Austria (15)
Cyprus (6)
Germany (123)
Italy (86)
Spain (61)
UK (153, FGR4/T3)
Since 1994


3
SAAB Gripen
South Africa
Thailand
(wiki list potential sales)
Sweden (97, C+D)
Czech Republic (14, C+D)
Hungary (14 C+D)
Since 1987
4
Dassault Rafale
Egypt
India
Qatar
(wiki list potential sales)
France (162, M F3+B+C)
Since May 2001
5
Dassault Mirage
Chile
Israel
South Africa
France (153, 2000N+C+D)
Greece (43, 2000-5EG Mk2, 2000-5BG Mk2, 2000EG; Mirage 2000BG)
Since July 1973
6
AMX Ghibli (Italian/Brazilian: Alenia 46.5%, Embraer 29.7% and Aermacchi (23.6%)
Brazil

Italy (71, AMX+AMX-T)
1986–1999
7
Aero Vodochody AL-59 ALCA
Iraq
Czech Republic (16, ALCA+T)
Hungary (1, leased)
1997–2003 and 2016–2017

Russian
8
Sukhoi Su-22
See for extensive wiki list
Poland (18, UM3K+M4)
Since 1966
9
Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) Mig-21
See for extensive wiki list
Romania (25, Lancer B+C)
Croatia (11, bis+UMD)
1959 – 1985
10
MiG-29 Fulcrum
See for extensive wiki list
Bulgaria (16, A+UB)
Poland (33. A+UB)
Slovakia (12, AS+UBS)
Since 1981
Used categories in Military Balance listings used for this table.
FGA = fighter ground attack
FTR = fighter
ATK = attack/ground attack
Together they cover the listed combat aircraft.

Source: Military Balance 2018 and for 'Customers rest of the world,' the wikipedia pages for the aircraft listed in the MB.

Geschreven voor Stop Wapenhandel

zondag 23 december 2018

Gekte als vliegwiel voor Europese defensie-uitgaven

"Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat president Xi en ik in de toekomst, samen met president Poetin van Rusland, zullen spreken over een redelijke einde aan wat een grote en oncontroleerbare wapenwedloop is geworden. De Verenigde Staten hebben dit jaar 716 miljard dollar uitgegeven. Gekte!"
TweetDonald Trump 3 december 2018 

Misschien verdedigde de opportunistische vastgoedmiljonair Donald Trump hier zijn eigen financiële en electorale belangen, die niet altijd overlappen met die van het Amerikaanse leger. De tweet werd verzonden in het heetst van de strijd die de afgelopen maand woede over het vergroten van de Amerikaanse defensiebudgetten. De president kreeg een hele stoet vertegenwoordigers van het Pentagon en het Congres op bezoek om hem een besparing van $ 33 miljard op de Defensieuitgaven uit het hoofd te praten. Prominent in deze missie naar de President was de Minister van Defensie Jim Mattis. Deze havik ruimde afgelopen week het veld na een serie van conflicten met de president, waarbij in de analyses achteraf juist dit financiële meningsverschil nauwelijks genoemd wordt. Daar is Trump zelf misschien wel debet aan, als het er om gaat de troepen achter zich te krijgen belooft hij net zo hard weer een stijging van de Defenswiebegroting. Dat Staatszaken geen Trump-only-zaken zijn, wil er niet zo erg in. Patrick Shanahan, de opvolger van Mattis, heeft zowel een voorstel voor 700 als voor 733 miljard dollar op tafel gelegd.

De hoogte van de Amerikaanse militaire uitgaven en de solidariteit van de NAVO-begroting wordt vaak gebruikt als argument om ook de Europese defensie-uitgaven te verhogen. Onlangs zijn de Europese defensiebudgetten inderdaad begonnen te groeien. Europa zou zich ook kunnen richten tegen de gekte van steeds hogere budgetten, die ook de uitgaven elders in de wereld opdrijft.

De Nederlandse militaire uitgaven zijn een voorbeeld van deze Europese tendens (zie grafiek 2). Cijfers over de afgelopen drie decennia weerspiegelen politieke ontwikkelingen:
  • hoog tijdens de Koude Oorlog, gevolgd door afname na 1989,
  • groei veroorzaakt door de oorlog tegen het terrorisme;
  • afname na de economische crisis; en
  • weer groei door de magische NAVO-norm van 2% van het BBP (gerationaliseerd door de zogenaamde Russische dreiging).
De defensie-uitgaven zijn in absolute cijfers echter genormaliseerd naar niveaus van na de Koude Oorlog toen de uitgaven werden aangepast aan de krachtsverhoudingen na de implosie van de Sovjet militair industriële capaciteit. Tot op heden Rusland nog steeds slechts een schaduw van wat de USSR militair ooit was.

Naast de bekende '2% BBP-norm' voor defensie-uitgaven van NAVO-leden is ook een andere norm afgesproken, nl. dat 20% van de uitgaven geïnvesteerd moet worden in materieel, een beslissing die warm onthaald is door wapenfabrikanten. De nadruk op wapenaankoop binnen het budget onderstreept de verschuiving van weddes voor troepen naar uitgaven voor hightech-wapens. Om deze verschuiving snel te begrijpen, is het de moeite waard om even te kauwen op de vaak gebruikte afkorting C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance). Informatie is de sleutel tot moderne oorlogsvoering. Informatie moet worden verzameld, gecommuniceerd met commandanten en worden verzonden naar wapensystemen in lucht en ruimte, op het land en op zee. Het moet de greep op het slagveld vergroten en bommen, raketten, satellieten en drones richting geven. Juist deze moderne technologieën brengen enorme kosten met zich mee. Begrotingen verschuiven dan ook van troepen naar technologie, ten gunste van de wapenindustrie.

Voor Nederland gaan de grotere delen van het defensiebudget naar de verwerving van Lockheed Martin F-35 straaljagers. Afgelopen week kondigde het Ministerie van Defensie aan dat er nog 15 meer van zullen worden besteld. Is dit gerechtvaardigd door een dreiging vanuit Rusland? Het is de moeite waard om een onderzoeksrapport van Rand over de militaire machtsverhoudingen in de Baltische staten te lezen. Volgens dit rapport heeft de NAVO een overwicht op Rusland van 364: 0 op jachtvliegtuigen van de 5e generatie, zoals de F-35 (bij de oudere 4e generatie is ook vier maal zoveel, 5.094 : 1.251).

Het afschilderen van Rusland als een grote dreiging is niet conform de werkelijkheid. In een conflict tussen de kleine Baltische NAVO-leden en Rusland heeft Moskou een veel betere geostrategische startpositie en beschikt over een sterke interne transportinfrastructuur. Het zou waarschijnlijk ook de overhand hebben tijdens de eerste stadia van een conflict tegen de Baltische staten. Maar Rusland is zwakker en ook kwetsbaar in het Oosten, waar het dicht bij de grote Amerikaanse militaire bases in Korea en Japan ligt. Binnenvallen van de Baltische staten zou een duidelijke zelfmoordmissie zijn voor de Russen. Moskou is niet zo dwaas.

VS Defensie secretaris Mattis stelde: "We moeten de Amerikaanse krachtpositie herstellen." Maar Amerika's sterkte wordt alleen in het Pentagon zelf betwijfeld. Internationale betrekkingenspecialist Chris Ogden merkte bijvoorbeeld op dat Washington beschikt over een ongeëvenaarde mogelijkheid elders troepen in te zetten. Het Pentagon en zijn vrienden onderschatten het Amerikaanse leger om nog meer geld te krijgen. De National Defense Strategy Commission heeft in november een begroting voorgesteld van maximaal een biljoen (en dat is geen vertaal fout, maar 1.000 miljard) in de komende vijf jaar.

Het echte argument voor de hoge begrotingen van de VS en zijn bondgenoten wordt benadrukt door Bloomberg Opinion columnist Hal Brands: "Het is misleidend om eenvoudigweg de Amerikaanse en Russische militaire begrotingen - of de Amerikaanse en Chinese militaire begrotingen - één op één te vergelijken, omdat de Verenigde Staten wereldwijd opereren op een manier zoals geen van onze tegenstanders. Voeg daar nog aan toe dat we alleen uitwedstrijden spelen - we opereren in de buurt van de territoria van onze concurrenten, aan het einde van onze zeer lange bevoorradingslijnen, wat hen een groot geografisch voordeel oplevert - en we hebben gewoon veel meer militaire macht nodig om onze allianties geloofwaardig en onze invloed voelbaar maken." De toenemende kosten van hightech bewapening die het leger gebruikt om deze macht uit te oefenen, creëert nog meer vraag naar nog hogere budgetten.

Prominent veiligheids specialist Michale T Klare citeert de Nationale Veiligheids Strategie in december 2017 waarin wordt gesteld dat de Verenigde Staten tot in de verrre toekomst het de militair en technologisch overwicht tegen Rusland, China en alle andere potentiële uitdagers moet hebben, een zogenaamde overmatch. Binnen deze visie zit de VS alleen aan de top van de globale hiërarchie; er kan geen partnerschap tussen de grootmachten zijn.

De VS willen kortom de overhand op mondiaal niveau en de illusie van een unipolaire wereld overeind houden. Dit vereist een wereldwijde militaire dominantie van de VS, inclusief offensieve mogelijkheden. Europa volgt deze gevaarlijke illusie. Het is geen gekte. Er is een logica voor; deze militaire begrotingen moeten de economische belangen van de 1% ten koste van alles behartigen.
Geschreven voor Ravage-webzine (zie daar voor een geredigeerde versie)

donderdag 20 december 2018

Dutch transit of Czech ammo to Guatemala

a country sliding “towards becoming a dictatorial state”

In the largest harbour outside Asia, that of Rotterdam, remarkable things happen. Sometimes questions must be asked, like in the case of a large shipment of bullets to Guatemala, a country with a horrible past which is still a chilling part of the present.

Guatemala was the stage of a civil war from the sixties into the ninety-nineties. The war ended with a peace process and in 1994 a Commission for Historical Clarification was established. In February 1999 the Commission published a report which found that 200,000 people had been killed or had "disappeared" between 1962 and 1996, the vast majority of them indigenous Mayans.

The military, state-sponsored civil patrols and clandestine death squads were responsible for 90 percent of the grave human rights violations committed during the conflict, while the remaining 10 percent of the abuses were attributed to the guerrilla alliance. The influence of this conflict is still felt as“the same weapons are still in circulation and wreaking havoc” according to journalist Ana Campoy. That the military is still connected to the violence is a regularly heard complaint.

In August 2018 Guatemalan president Morales announced not to renew the mandate of the Agreement between the UN and Guatemala on the establishment of an International Commission against Impunity (CICIG), which will end in September 2019. Human rights organisations noted that this decision was taken by the president while an investigation against himself is carried out to alleged illegal financing of his election campaign.

They also observe a climate of intimidation and harassment against the main human rights organisations in the country and, specifically, against their leaders. Police seeks to locate them and monitors their offices, clearly to intimidate them. Morales policy is “a major blow to efforts to fight corruption, abuse, and impunity writes Human Rights Watch.

Seeking for justice is full of danger in Guatemala. UN experts expressed concern about attacks on victims, plaintiffs and members of the indigenous community who participated in court hearings, as well as threats and attacks targeting justice officials involved in transitional justice cases.

Juana Ramirez Santiago
In May this year Luis Arturo Marroquín was shot in the back by two men wearing hoods. Marroquín was a leader of a group of indigenous farmers defending people from evictions and pollution resulting from mines, hydro dams, logging, and palm oil and sugar cane plantations. The UK Guardian reports that the military and powerful political and financial figures with links to the drug trade, are behind the killing.

September 2018 indigenous rights activist Juana Ramirez Santiago (54) was the 21st human rights activist this year in Guatemala. She was a midwife and member of the Ixiles Womens Network, which provides psychological counseling, social help and birthing assistance to women in rural areas.

Europe

In September 2018, over a million small arms bullets of 22 different types were exported from the Czech Republic passing the Dutch largest harbour of Rotterdam on its way to Guatemala. End users are not mentioned. But it is legitimate to question who gets hold of the ammunition and if it fits human rights and internal security considerations of both the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, the last country providing transport infrastructure to this arms export. The questions must be raised in the light of a worsening human rights situation and targeted killings in the country.

The Dutch government reported recently about its policy on the transit of arms (see answer 57, in Dutch). This policy consist of three elements: the transit control follows the policy of allies; arms transit permits are monthly published; and it is controlled if a consignment appears to change from its declared destination at the time the export license is isued.

But in the case of Guatamala the Netherlands cannot hide behind the back of its Prague ally. The destination of the ammunition is too sensitive. There is a number of extra possibilities in the official Export Control User Guide on Strategic Goods and Services to stop a transfer like this. Such as “when international law or related agreements so requires or when the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation deems it to be necessary in order to protect the essential interests of national security.”

And if willing, a Dutch Minister can even do more. In case of transition of ammunition to Saudi Arabia the former Minister of Foreign Trade Ploumen contacted Prague to report the Dutch dislike of such transits. It it worth considering repeating this line of action in the case of Guatemala. At least Ploumen's predecessor Sigrid Kaag should learn who received all those bullets.


Geschreven voor Stop Wapenhandel

Date license
No.
Description
Calibre
Country of
Mode of transport
Place of exit
origin
destination
14-9-18
1,000
bullets
.30-M1
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
3,000
bullets
.45 Colt
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
2,000
bullets
.357 Mag
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
6,000
bullets
10 mm auto
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
25,000
bullets
.38 Spec
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
4,000
bullets
.308 Win
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
1,200
bullets
.270 Win
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
3,600
bullets
.22 Hornet
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
2,000
bullets
7X57 mm
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
500
bullets
.243 Win
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
6,000
bullets
.410
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
1,500
bullets
.32 S&W
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
1,500
bullets
7,62X25 mm
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
1,200
bullets
.44 MAG
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
3,000
bullets
.357 SIG
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
980,000
bullets
9 mm Luger
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
10,000
bullets
.380 ACP
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
70,000
bullets
.40 S&W
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
15,000
bullets
.223 Rem
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
6,000
bullets
6,35 mm
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
10,000
bullets
.45 ACP
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
14-9-18
1,000
bullets
.45 GAP
Czech Rep.
Guatemala
Ship
Rotterdam
Total
1,153,500