dinsdag 1 september 2020

Tweets for September 2020

Latest on top:

September 18

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Companies are lining up to build a replacement for the MQ-9 Reaper drone

Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Atomics all showed off new design concepts for the MQ-Next program.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/air-force-association/2020/09/17/defense-companies-are-lining-up-to-build-a-replacement-for-the-mq-9-reaper/

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Many UK universities are increasing their investments in arms companies and acting as their research and development partners. They risk becoming militarised spaces, losing their public ethos and giving the military industry a humane public face. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-18-british-universities-are-being-increasingly-captured-by-arms-corporations/

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Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is facing fresh calls to end arms exports to Saudi Arabia after a United Nations panel named Canada for the first time as one of the countries helping fuel the war in Yemen. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-trudeau-urged-to-end-arms-exports-to-saudi-arabia-after-canada-cited/

September 16

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Despite conflicts; Arms exports to Turkey remain at a high level - "It's scandalous" https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article215853042/Ruestungspolitik-Waffenexporte-in-die-Tuerkei-weiter-auf-hohem-Niveau.html

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It's about €250m and 120,000 new rifles: The Thuringian armory CG Haenel in Suhl has landed a major order from the Bundeswehr. https://www.mdr.de/thueringen/sued-thueringen/suhl/sturmgewehr-haenel-bundeswehr-100.html

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Retweet @MinBijleveld Nederland in top-5 van sterkste cybermachten in de wereld, volgens Harvard’s @BelferCenter. Dankzij extra cybercapaciteit zijn we op de goede weg, maar we kunnen niet achterblijven op de rest. Daarom moeten we blijven investeren #defensie https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/national-cyber-power-index-2020

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EP report on defence industry & arms export control published. It serves both hawks & doves. On the dove part it aims to improve controls. But they aren't the problem. They are in place. Strict implementation isn't for obvious (economic, foreign) reasons. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0224_EN.pdf

Addition: Thanks to @ENAAT EP report on EU arms exports and CP, as adopted in plenary session yesterday should be available in all EU languages at a later stage, through this link:

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-9-2020-0224_EN.html

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Vague, isn't it? The first factor for industry consolidation—a shrinking demand—may not be present in European countries in the short-term, but it cannot be ruled out for the mid- to long-term given the magnitude of the current economic crisis. https://www.sipri.org/commentary/essay/2020/covid-19-new-wave-european-arms-industry-consolidation

Addition: It also cannot be ruled out investment in & consolidation of military industries will be seen as a remedy. Which EU country considers to downgrade its military (acquisition) budgets, against the trend of increasing them? #Greece #Netherlands #COVID #SIPRI https://www.sipri.org/commentary/essay/2020/covid-19-new-wave-european-arms-industry-consolidation

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Fanning the fire, instead of taking its oxygen.

Israel Seeks $8B Arms Deal At White House: F-35s, V-22s, KC-46s. The new weapons are meant to keep Israel's qualitative edge after President Trump agreed to sell the F-35 to the UAE.

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/09/israel-seeks-8b-arms-deal-at-white-house-f-35s-v-22s-kc-46s/

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For those air forces in Europe who used the F-104, NF-5, F-16 and the F-35, there is a next US fighter looming on the horizon to be bought and so keep Washington happy. The US Air Force has secretly designed, built and flown a next-generation fighter jet. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/09/15/the-us-air-force-has-built-and-flown-a-mysterious-full-scale-prototype-of-its-future-fighter-jet/

Addition: Who is Secretly Building the USAF’s New Fighter?

Officials are mum, so here’s a roundup of clues. Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman or someone else. https://www.defenseone.com/business/2020/09/who-secretly-building-usafs-new-fighter/168541/

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Again what do the participants in the program (https://f35.com/global) think about this? US President Trump said he would have “no problem” selling the advanced F-35 fighter jet to the UAE. They stay silent, hiding behind the back of Uncle Sam? Yemen?https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/09/15/trump-no-problem-selling-f-35-to-uae/

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LETTER: Armscor was irredeemably corrupt

SA has no reason for a war industry, not even one it euphemistically calls a ‘defence’ industry

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/letters/2020-09-15-letter-armscor-was-irredeemably-corrupt/

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Retweet @thyssenkrupp_en Kennis is kracht en daarom delen wij die graag. Wij gaan in Nederland een Center for Submarine Sustainment and Innovation (CSSI) ontwikkelen. Hier wordt het personeel getraind dat nodig is om de nieuwe onderzeeboten af te bouwen en te onderhouden.

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Retweet @TNInstitute We issuing an open call for essays, papers, infographics and artistic collaborations on military, police and coercive state power for our State of Power report. How are state coercive powers legitimised within society? And how can they be delegitimised? https://tni.org/en/article/call-for-essays-on-military-police-and-coercive-state-power

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Britain must halt sales of tear gas to Greece after its use on refugees in Lesbos, campaigners demand https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/britain-must-halt-sales-of-tear-gas-to-greece-after-its-use-on-refugees-in-lesbos-campaigners-demand

September 15

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French La Tribune notes that Belgium is still a client for US arms. Belgium will acquire 322 military command vehicles produced by US company Oshkosh, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. Contract valued at €135m. (La Belgique se tourne encore vers les EU) https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/armement-la-belgique-se-tourne-encore-vers-les-etats-unis-857004.html

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Even though #Damen announced layoffs to start in the 2nd part of August (about 870 people from the construction sites in Galaţi and Mangalia), the Constanţa Shipyard is hiring and ... every day, it has 1,600 people who go to work on construction site gate.

https://www.economica.net/bosanceanu-daca-nu-e-razboi-e-de-bine-snc-face-angajari-pandemia-doar-a-redus-ritmul-delivrare-al-navelor-la-una-la-9-luni_189640.html

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Ending the Pentagon’s Pandemic of Spending.

Lockheed Martin reported that, compared to 2019, its earnings are actually up — yes, up! And Lockheed Martin is far from the only such outfit. This while US reaction on Covid-19 and poverty is shockingly poor. https://www.juancole.com/2020/09/pentagons-pandemic-spending.htm

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Polish arms industry wins 4 large contracts:

- 60 Rosomak-S armoured army APCs, €23.5m;

- various kinds of ammo, including ZSU-2 and ZSU-23-4 air defence systems, €50m;

- 11,000 shells, Dana howitzer, €17m; and

- 8,000 shells, Gozdzik howitzers, €9.3. https://www.pnb.pl/clientarea/polish-news-bulletin-daily/508972.html

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John Mason, 77, of GPT Special Project Management, is accused of bribing officials in the Saudi Arabian National Guard in exchange for contracts in the period 2007-2012. Jeffrey Cook the firm’s former director, is jointly charged with corruption. https://www.greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk/news/john-mason-ormesby-saudi-defence-contract-charges-1-6837461

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State Department officials have raised alarms about the legal risk in aiding airstrikes that kill civilians. The Trump administration recently suppressed findings as it sold more weapons to Gulf nations. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/us/politics/us-war-crimes-yemen-saudi-arabia.html

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Normalisation of ties between Israel and Arabian states "could lead to an 'emboldened' UAE in Yemen in Libya", thus more Emirati operations in war zones. It would surely lead to more arms trade to a region seen as the least peaceful already. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/israel-ties-bind-giving-gulf-arab-states-200911162339159.html

September 14

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China creates its own internal dissent. Language rules for Inner Mongolia another step to erode ethnic groups in China. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3101186/language-rules-inner-mongolia-another-step-erode-ethnic-groups

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Retweet Martin Butcher Retweeted @RethinkingSecu1 External consultation should not be an after-thought of national security reviews. We're pleased to have contributed to this excellent article from @willrworley, along with @Saferworld, @bondngo, @SarahChampionMP and @RUSI_org. https://www.devex.com/news/uk-s-integrated-review-accused-of-lack-of-serious-consultation-98070

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Must European values come from the barrel of a gun? Or is that just a recent idea, replacing the long - unfortunately not strongly - developed idea European power has more to do with soft diplomacy & economic (alas neoliberal since the 1990's) strength? https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-priorities-2020/opinion/after-one-year-of-the-geopolitical-commission-its-time-to-get-real/

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In the meantime Greece announces its next arms fair 11-15 may 2021 in Athens. https://defea.gr/exhibitors/why-defea/

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Armament: What's the role of France in India (Rafale, Scorpène submarines)? https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/armement-quel-role-pour-la-france-en-inde-rafale-scorpene-856912.html

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Retweet @stopfuellingwar "In a bizarre twist to the Greek debt crisis, France and Germany are pressing Greece to buy their gunboats and warplanes, even as they urge it to cut public spending and curb its deficit." https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eurozone-greece-warships-analysis/broke-buy-a-few-warships-france-tells-greece-idUSTRE62M1Q520100323

Addition: The above article is 10 years old. Sometimes it takes a while for such lobby to materialize. Greece would buy 18 Rafale fighters, but also 4 frigates and 4 four navy helicopters. https://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202009/15/WS5f6024b7a3101ccd0bee06df.html

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Dassault regards it has a first time chance on the US dominated European fighter market. The Rafale is currently engaged in two important competitions, in Finland and in Switzerland, two countries not tied to the US market. https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/une-commande-qui-entrouvre-la-porte-de-leurope-au-rafale-1241992

Addition: Le Rafale en Grèce, une bonne nouvelle pour l'aéronautique et Dassault

The Rafale for Greece, good news for [French] aeronautics and Dassault.

But is it good for downplaying tension? Or for the poverty stricken Greece population?

https://www.lefigaro.fr/international/le-rafale-en-grece-une-bonne-nouvelle-pour-l-aeronautique-et-dassault-20200913

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‘Historische’ vredesakkoorden tussen de ene notoire mensenrechtenschendende staat (Israël) en andere schurkenstaten #VAE #Bahrein komen uiteindelijk neer op lucratieve wapenhandel. Beide behoren tot Saoedische coalitie die rücksichtslos #Jemen bombardeert. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2020/09/14/een-te-negeren-humanitaire-ramp-a4011878

September 13

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German leopard gets new competition; Poland wants to buy up to 800 battle tanks - an order worth billions. South Korea is now launching its K2 Black Panther model. [ in German] https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/plus215544046/Kampfpanzer-Der-Leopard-bekommt-Konkurrenz-aus-Suedkorea.html

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According to Die Linke the value of German arms exports could exceed one billion euros this year. In the first half of the year they valued already more than € 623m, the party based this prognoses on information from the federal government.https://www.pressreader.com/germany/delmenhorster-kreisblatt/20200911/281870120850897

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Despite Sanctions, Israeli Firm Cellebrite sold phone-hacking tech to Venezuela. Cellebrite is a firm that creates devices to extract information from most handheld mobile devices. Cellebrite denies plans to sell Caracas its latest system. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/tech-news/.premium-despite-sanctions-israeli-firm-sold-phone-hacking-tech-to-venezuela-1.9144879

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Saudi air force pilots fly “air-to-ground training sorties” in the Britain, Declassified has found.

Video recordings of the bombings are being withheld by the RAF, which refuses to release the footage in case it upsets diplomatic relations with Riyadh. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-09-11-revealed-censored-videos-show-saudi-pilots-bombing-britain/

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The Philippine Navy’s plan to integrate its AW159 naval helicopter with the Jose Rizal-class frigate is delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. The navy is waiting for UK instructors to arrive in the country in order to start deck-landing operations. https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1114833

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Campaigners criticise UK for allowing arm sales to undemocratic Swaziland

The undemocratic absolute monarchy of Swaziland (eSwatini) is among a list of countries that have received arms from the United Kingdom, the Campaign Against Arms Trade reported. https://swazimedia.blogspot.com/2020/09/campaigners-criticise-uk-for-allowing.html

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Vietnam has selected Israeli company Controp to supply its border guard with surveillance and observation systems for new ships built in Vietnam and India, the company announced Sept. 8. https://www.defensenews.com/global/asia-pacific/2020/09/10/israels-controp-to-supply-electro-optics-for-vietnamese-border-guard/

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US sale of F-35s to UAE. The F-35 is an international project. What is the opinion of the nations where components come from? Has The Hague e.g. no problem with Dutch parts for fighter aircraft ending in the UAE when the US does do the dirty business? https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200907-israel-demands-compensation-from-us-for-sale-of-f-35s-to-uae/

Addition: UN Rights Experts Urge Countries to Stop Fueling War in Yemen https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/un-rights-experts-urge-countries-stop-fueling-war-yemen

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An overview on how Chinese export restrictions on tech export has changed recently. https://www.allenovery.com/en-gb/global/news-and-insights/publications/china-technology-export-control-and-beyond

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Thales and PT Len to modernize multi-role light frigate KRI Usman-Harun of Indonesian Navy. https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2020/september/8969-thales-to-modernize-multi-role-light-frigate-kri-usman-harun-of-indonesian-navy.html ; https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/netherlands/press_release/len-industri-and-thales-modernise-indonesias-naval-capabilities

The Indonesian navy is currently used to bring troops to heavenly repressed Papua. Thnx to @etan009

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The UK Defence Secretary has announced a further £23.8 million investment in the UK logistics hub at Duqm port in Oman, as part of a visit to Oman and Qatar to discuss shared security challenges and future collaboration. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-announces-investment-in-strategic-omani-port

September 10

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AMENDMENTS 011-013 - REPORT on Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP - A9-0137/2020(011-013) (a.k.a. the Hanah Neumann report)

https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/A-9-2020-0137-AM-011-013_EN.pdf

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Can France be a worthy ally to India amid border row with China? Here's why Dassault Rafale induction is a key strategy. https://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-can-france-be-a-worthy-ally-to-india-amid-border-row-with-china-here-s-why-dassault-rafale-induction-is-a-key-strategy-2841997

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Indonesia, China agree on dialogue to resolve sea disputes; Defence chiefs also discuss defence industry cooperation, reports Singapore Straits Times. https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-china-agree-on-dialogue-to-resolve-sea-disputes

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Florence Parly in India, between promotion of arms sales and diplomacy. A bit of both.

Florence Parly en Inde, entre promotion des ventes d'armes et diplomatie https://www.lecourrieraustralien.com/florence-parly-en-inde-entre-promotion-des-ventes-darmes-et-diplomatie/

September 9

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In a global economy you'll go where the opportunities arise and neglects morality. "The UAE is advanced in terms of educating its people and having the right systems, legislations and tech." The UAE has e.g. a Minister dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. https://menafn.com/1100765098/UAE-Aerospace-defence-leaders-discuss-industry-challenges-and-opportunities

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#Airbus has been selected by Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (Yahsat), #UAE's leading satellite operator, to build Thuraya 4-NGS, enabling next generation mobility solutions for all customer segments, including defence and government. #Leiden http://parabolicarc.com/2020/08/27/yahsat-signs-contract-with-airbus-to-build-thurayas-next-generation-system/

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With the participation of SpaceX (a Elon Musk toy) and Airbus Defence and Space, the Turksat 5A will be launced. https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/spacex-to-launch-turkish-satellite-by-year-end-158096 The launch of Turksat 5B and 6A is already foreseen in 2021. 6A Turksat will have a military function. (https://spacewatch.global/2020/01/turkey-to-unveil-national-space-programme-soon-launch-several-satellites-over-next-two-years/)

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German stock market candidate Hensoldt doesn't expect cuts in military expenditure despite the pandemic cost. On the contrary. "Europeans must do more for defence, quite independently of developments and statements from abroad ", said CEO Thomas Müller. https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article215318610/Hensoldt-Radar-Spezialist-geht-bis-Ende-des-Jahres-an-die-Boerse.html

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When words lost meaning, except to win the harts and minds of ones own support base again. President Trump on Monday accused military leadership of wanting to "fight wars" to help arms makers boost profits, but ignored his own record of doing just that. https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-fueled-war-arms-sales-attacks-military-leaders-for-it-2020-9

September 8

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When resources are abundant: US Accountability Office GAO reported US DoD does not properly consider contractors' research and development projects when developing its own programs, meaning it may be misdirecting its research efforts and wasting money. https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/709139.pdf

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French Defence Minister Florence Parly to visit India on Sept 10 for Rafale jets induction ceremony. https://zeenews.india.com/india/french-defence-minister-florence-parly-to-visit-india-on-sept-10-for-rafale-jets-induction-ceremony-2308134.html

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Turkey procured its RDX & HMX explosives for warheads (used in raids on Kurdish targets in Iraq & Syria) from European suppliers. As some of them imposed arms embargoes on Turkey. Ankara went to China, South Africa and former Soviet bloc countries. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2020/09/02/turkey-begins-developing-its-first-surface-to-surface-laser-guided-missile/

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André Loesekrug-Pietri director of the Joint European Disruptive Initiative (JEDI, aiming to accelerate Europe’s technological leadership by financing and nurturing the development of breakthrough technologies) is demanding a clear EU strategy and results. https://www.latribune.fr/opinions/tribunes/souverainete-technologique-arretons-les-grands-discours-856201.html

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Protecting the French military industry. Plan to sell Aubert & Duval special alloys, supplier of aeronautics, nuclear submarines, Rafale jets and missiles - is being followed "at the highest level of the State", declares Minister of Defence Florence Parly. https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/la-vente-daubert-duval-alerte-le-ministere-de-la-defense-1240259

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Dutch Combat Support Ship #CSS will be built by Damen in Romania, after which the ship's combat management system - amongst others - will be installed in Den Helder, Netherlands. The engineering of the vessel will largely take place in the Netherlands. https://www.gepowerconversion.com/press-releases/ge-provide-electric-propulsion-systems-royal-netherlands-navy-new-combat-support-ship

September 7

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Lobby by twitter

@thyssenkrupp_en We are opening a new chapter of innovation with our #submarines by constantly investing in continuous design and construction to get the Dutch citizens the best possible protection. Securing trade routes, surveillance and high-level missions: no challenge is too big. https://www.thyssenkrupp-marinesystems.com/nl-en/the-new-submarines.html

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Russia has reassured India that it would not supply arms to Pakistan while promising to give priority to India's needs for advanced military systems, according to defence quated in the the Bangladeshi Daily Star. https://www.thedailystar.net/world/news/will-not-supply-arms-pakistan-1956677

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Restraint seems to be the policy of Boeing, Lockheed, Dassault and Airbus in Swiss fighter yet contest not to spoil opportunities. Parliamentarians, in particular those of the security committees, testify to having been little approached. https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/avions-combats-fabricants-reticents-sexprimer

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Satellite launches are not often in the critical press or refered to by the NGO's. Here an UK example. The arms industry is preparing to use two spaceports planned for Scotland to launch military spy satellites, an investigation by The Ferret reveals. https://theferret.scot/spaceports-scotland-military-spy-satellites/

September 6

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UK government suspends military training to Belarus dictatorship after outcry

Campaigners say UK should not have been training country’s forces in the first place

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-government-military-training-suspended-belarus-army-a9705846.html

September 3

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Vega-rocket launched from Kourou (French Guyana) with 53 micro-satellites (civil and #military). [in Dutch] A number of Dutch companies, like Airbus Leiden, Innovative Solutions in Space and Aerospace Propulsion Products, were involved. https://www.astroblogs.nl/2020/09/03/video-vega-raket-gelanceerd-vanaf-kourou-met-maar-liefst-41-micro-satellieten-aan-boord/

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UN envoy to Libya Williams said that +/- 70 resupply flights had landed since July 8 to strengthen forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar. 30 Flights had been dispatched to western Libya to help forces loyal to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA). https://africa.cgtn.com/2020/09/03/un-envoy-criticizes-violations-of-libya-arms-embargo/

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An F-35 sale to UAE & KSA would be a boost for Trump’s policy of increasing US arms exports. The billions of dollars could compensate for the removal of Turkey from the F-35 program. Here why the Begin-Sadat center for Strat. Studies regards it a bad idea. https://besacenter.org/perspectives-papers/f35-uae-saudi-arabia/

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Together we polluted the air, caused the ice caps to melt, woods to burn, fields to dry and we called it Defense.


Retweet @MicheleEvansLM @LockheedMartin unveiled a mural on our Ft. Worth flight line that celebrates decades of aviation innovation at Air Force Plant Four, the pride we have in our Ft. Worth roots & the employees who work tirelessly to deliver for our customers. Click to read: https://tiny.lmco.com/46323

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182,585 corona deaths in the US, but luckily for the US citizens all the research into hyper sonic weapons continue. DARPA & the US Air Force reaffirmed plans to start free-flight tests of two scramjet-powered missile demonstrators by the end of the year. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/missile-defense-weapons/darpa-usaf-reaffirm-hawc-flight-test-plans-years-end

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Bernd Riexinger, co-chair of the DIE LINKE party, visited the Kurdish association in Essen and declared that the least the Federal Republic of Germany had to do in view of the Turkish military operations was to stop arms exports. https://anfenglish.com/news/die-linke-co-chair-stop-arms-exports-to-turkey-46359

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Ukraine and its Black Sea neighbor Turkey are striving to deepen their emerging defense and aerospace industry cooperation, with high-level visits and talks on joint programs. https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2020/09/02/ukraine-and-turkey-in-talks-to-bolster-industrial-cooperation/

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Tear gas and stun grenades made in the UK were used against pro-democracy protestors recently in Greece, according to human rights groups.

The protest was against a new law introduced by the Greek government which restricts the right to demonstrate. https://theferret.scot/uk-tear-gas-fired-pro-democracy-protestors-greece/

September 2

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UAE implicated in lethal drone strike in Libya with a Wing Loong II drone fired Chinese Blue Arrow 7 missile operated by the UAE in Libya. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53917791

In Dutch: Betrokkenheid Emiraten bij drone-aanval in Libië. http://troepenbewegingen.blogspot.com/2020/09/betrokkenheid-emiraten-bij-donre-aanval.html

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How the Arms Trade Treaty has influenced the US-China diplomatic chessboard. The US is no part of the ATT a position weakening its position vis-a-vis China to talk it into other arms control regimes, according to the writers. https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2020/08/31/how-the-arms-trade-treaty-has-influenced-the-us-china-diplomatic-chessboard/

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Is the South Caucasus a new flashpoint for Turkey and Russia? While Russia armed both sides of the conflict, experts argue that the military and political rapprochement between Turkey and Azerbaijan can further push Armenia toward Russia. https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/is-the-south-caucasus-a-new-flashpoint-for-turkey-and-russia-39379

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday informed Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades that Washington would allow non-lethal arms trade for Nicosia for fiscal year 2021 starting Oct. 1, a move that drew opposition from Turkey. http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-09/02/c_139335600.htm

September 1

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Retweet @NavyTimes Commander in Chief of US armed forces is very much disliked by 42% of his own troops.


How favorable do troops view President Donald Trump in the latest . @MilitaryTimes and @IVMFSyracuseU poll? https://www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/08/31/as-trumps-popularity-slips-in-latest-military-times-poll-more-troops-say-theyll-vote-for-biden/


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Death of young Georgian women who received files associated with trafficking of arms by 3 Georgian officials may be connected to the supply of weapons from Serbia through Georgia to Armenia or a new fact of arms supplies to Armenia through Georgia. https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2020/8/free/politics%20news/en/127166.htm

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I don't like the hypocrisy argument or measuring who's biggest human rights violator. But Pompeo how about Sisis or MbS. How about the US streets? What do you mean by force China “take responsibility,” while the US continues to sell to those other brutes. https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/us-will-prevent-iran-from-receiving-chinese-weapons-pompeo/

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Something for Hamburg, Kiel, Hengelo, Trieste? Will Turkish naval market expand? Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey was quoted in local media saying that the country requires three aircraft carriers in order to be a “a deterrent at sea”. https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-should-move-to-an-upper-league-in-defense-production-erdogan-157640

woensdag 26 augustus 2020

Military vessels and naval production for the Eastern Mediterranean

source



This week EU foreign ministers will discuss the crisis in the eastern Mediterranean at an informal meeting in Berlin, while Turkey and Greece flex their muscles and sent their fleets to sea. According to the Turkish president Erdogan to act with more determination concerning the protection of its rights, and (of) laws in the region.” According to an article in the Jeruzalem Post, Ankara's want to stoke crises with Europe as well as also in Libya, Iraq and Syria. Greece's navy and air force will conduct military exercises beginning Tuesday in the eastern Mediterranean near a contested area where Turkey is prospecting for oil and gas. Complicating the tensions are the relations with Egypt and Libya on the Southern shores of the Mediterranean.

Both Greece and Turkey are NATO countries. They share the same arms suppliers. Submarines of both Greece and Turkey come from HDW in Germany. Major surface vessels of Greece come from KMS de Schelde in Flushing (currently Damen) and Blohm & Voss. Turkish surface vessels are also from B&V. Turkey also has some second hand frigates from the US and some locally designed corvettes. And also a fleet of well armed Fast Attack Craft of German Lürssen design. No wonder Germany seems reluctant to impose sanctions on Turkey. Italian sold naval 76mm guns to both countries. The Netherlands sold combat systems to both countries. In general the Netherlands is restrictive on arms exports, but not when it comes to naval equipment, a policy shared by Germany recently in case of Turkey.

While Greece is predominantly depending on arms imports, Turkey is creating its own defence industry able to produce a growing range of arms at home (although still with foreign help). This is resulting from a NATO policy of supporting weaker members at the Southern flank, a policy which fell on fertile ground in Turkey. Joint Ventures has been a method to create a stronger Turkish defence industry. One of them was Yaltes, which was established in November 2002 as a Joint Venture between Turkish Yalcin Group and Thales Nederland B.V. The company is the only production facilities of three Thales companies fully owned by Thales in Turkey (list until December 31, 2018). Yaltes locally provides technologies, system integration solutions and system support in the field naval warfare management systems and systems.

According to the Turkish company Thales International Western countries B.V. Took over all shares in September 2011 with current shareholding structure Thales International Western Countries B.V. 60% and Thales Nederland B.V. 40%. Both mentioned Thales branches are located in the Netherlands, Thales Nederland in Hengelo (East, near German border) and Thales International Western Countries in Delft (West, near North Sea). The Dutch government however reported that Thales Netherlands has sold its shares in the Turkish military technology producer in the summer of 2019. It seems to be a formality not yet on the webpage of the Ankara based company. It happened shortly before the EU agreed to “commit to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey.”

Unclear is if the shares of Thales 'Western Countries' are also sold or still being held in possession of a Dutch juridical entity under control of Thales France directors. Western Countries is one of the many Dutch Thales establishments in the Netherlands. Officially it involved in activities such as bookkeeping and trade agency in machinery, technological tools, ships and planes. But according to the Chamber of Commerce the company has no personnel, while owning 100% of Thales International Europe B.V., an entity also without personnel and under the same directors. The vague juridical structure has been established for tax or organisational reasons, but at least it is an school example on intransperncy. It is unknown where Yaltes is now embedded in the Thales concern.

Another Dutch contribution to the Turkish naval industry is a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between shipyard Damen and Askeri Fabrika ve Tersane İşletme (ASFAT) to cooperate on the production of naval vessels. The MoU was signed during the International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) arms fair in Istanbul spring 2019. AFSAT was established to enhance the use of 27 military factories and three naval shipyards for Turkey's Ministry of Defence. Boran Bekbulat of Damen said, “There is a natural synergy to be found between Damen and ASFAT. Both parties are seeking to provide innovative answers to the requirements of clients around the world. By combining our strengths in this manner we will be able to ensure the optimisation of processes and develop a wider reach of our services, all the better for serving the needs of our customers and maximising capabilities.” Turkey sold four of its corvette to Pakistan. Damen sold Karachi two Yarmook-class corvettes which will be armed – among others – with Turkish Aselsan STAMP 12.7 mm guns. Is this the innovation for clients abroad? It is at least new on a market so far dominated by other suppliers (Oto Melara, Bofors, Oerlikon).

The shipbuilder from the Netherlands also sold the Turkish Coast Guard also 15 SAR 1906 search and rescue boats. They will be paid for by the European Union as part of its response to the ongoing migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. The Head of the EU delegation in Turkey, Christian Berger said: “The strenuous efforts by the Turkish Coast Guard have been crucial in saving human lives in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean. The EU is proud to be able to contribute to the efforts of the Turkish Coast Guard through these first two state-of-the-art search and rescue vessels delivered today.” But Mr. Berger is missing something. For Turkey as well as for Greece, refugees are a pawn in their power struggle. Coast Guards sometimes play a horrendous part in this. Turkish coastguard 'attacks boat packed with migrants' as The Independent reported a year before the EU ceremony. And this was not the only time. And the Greeks do the same. The struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean, in which navy ships from Germany and the Netherlands play a central role, is taking place on the same same stage where the most vulnerable are so far hit the hardest.

 Written for Stop Wapenhandel

woensdag 19 augustus 2020

Mega Egyptian order for Dutch branch of French Thales

Egyptian President al-Sisi celebrates Egyptian Naval Day, in Alexandria, October 2017. (bron)
 


This week the Dutch government answered questions of the Dutch MP's Karabulut (Socialist Party) and Van Ojik (GreenLeft) on a large military sale of C3-technology to Egypt. Hiding behind commercial confidentiality the government refuses to name the company involved and the frigate – build by a European shipbuilder – on which the systems will be assembled.

Enormous

The Dutch naval website marineschepen.nl concluded however on the few facts available that the military technology is meant for a German MEKO-frigate, probably a A200 type. Although the Dutch government did not provide information on the selling company, the order, valued €114.038.400, must be for Thales, and concerns detection and tracking radar, fire control systems, and combat data systems, concluded marineschepen.nl. Because potentially five more of the same vessels will follow, in the end the order might bring the total amount at €660 million for the Dutch branch of the French Thales concern. In relation to the financial size of Thales Netherlands the sale to Egypt is enormous, almost one and half the company's annual turnover.

Thales Netherlands

Thales is a special company in the Netherlands. Together with Fokker and Damen it makes up the biggest military and security companies in Netherlands. But it is also one of the few companies in which the Dutch government has a ownership, although only 1 percent. Because of this position the government has to report on Thales in an annual report on Beheer Staatsdeelnemingen (Governance State Holdings), which provides scarce information on Thales Netherlands. The report states that the company is one of the least transparent companies in the Netherlands, but gives info on size of work force, turnover, profit and share of exports in total sales. They are respectively €459 million, € 39 million and 66 percent in 2019.

MEKO-frigate deal

Last year the German government gave its green light for the delivery of six MEKO-frigates produced by Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Egypt as part of a deal worth about €2.3 billion. The sale had a peculiar history. In an earlier phase the Saudi's pressured the Egyptians to freeze the deal because of German criticism in connection to the Khashoggi murder. “The deterioration of Saudi-German relations, particularly after Saudi Arabia's killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly led to Riyadh putting a hold on providing funding for Egypt's purchase” Navy Recognition quoted the French Paper La Tribune. But the cold soon was out of the air and the deal continued.

Naval build-up

The naval acquisition policy of Egypt is gigantic, the MEKO-frigates order is one of many. Taking together all Egyptian naval orders of the recent past it turns out Cairo is establishing a fleet stronger than all other North African fleets. Not only has it acquired a Helicopter Landing Ship from France and a number of submarines from Germany, when just focussing on the addition of frigates and corvettes in the last five years it seems Cairo is to build a naval fleet belonging to a large and prosperous country. This navy will be capable of power projection and defending spheres of influence. Able to control and police the Suez channel and Eastern Mediterranean, but also capable of coastal bombardments and naval blockades. While the most visible are the sales from France, Italy and Germany, the Dutch silently play their part. Fire control and combat data systems from the Dutch town Hengelo are adding to a growing naval strength of one of the major players in that region.


Egypt acquistions of frigates and corvettes 2015-2020

No.

Ship class

Type

Country      

Thales Netherlands y/n

Commissioned

1

French FREMM

Frigate

France

Y

2015

4

French Gowind

Corvette

France

Y

2017-2020

2

Italian FREMM

Frigate

Italy

? (most probably not)

Approved1

6

MEKO A200

Frigate

Germany

Y

2021-...

1

Po Hang class

Corvette

S. Korea

Y2

1984 (transferred to Egypt 2016)3

Sources:

1) https://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/news/defence-news/2020/june/8587-italy-approves-the-sale-of-two-fincantieri-fremm-frigates-for-egyptian-navy.html
2) https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/kamervragen/detail?id=2017Z13600&did=2017D32628
3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pohang-class_corvette

Regional power

MP Van Ojik asked the Dutch government on what ground it trusts the navy of Egypts will stay clear from the blockade of Yemen. According to the Dutch government the role of Egyptian navy in the anti-Yemen coalition is “very limited”. This involvement is mostly reported in general terms, like in a SIPRI April 2019 background paper on foreign military presence in the Horn of Africa, which notes “continuous support for war in Yemen, including naval blockade of Yemeni ports.” A report clearly stating involvement of the Egypt navy in the blockade on Yemen Stop Wapenhandel considered to be from the International Maritime Organisation turned out to be part of an Mexican education project. But Yemen is not all. Egypt is expanding its military and naval foothold as reported before and prepares to establish a naval base in Somaliland. Ethiopia is not amused with these plans, because Egypt locked horns with Ethiopia over the water of the Nile River.

One of the questions asked by MP Karabulut was on the remark by Egyptian president Sisi to use military violence when Tripoli should concur Sirte from the Libyan strongman Haftar. Dutch government answered that it is currently unclear if the developments will really lead to military action, and if so, whith what materiel. Mahmoud Gamal, researcher at the Egyptian Institute for Political and Strategic Studies, however concluded: “factors that may make al-Sisi’s declared intervention in Libya most likely are currently increasing.” A navy role can be expected. Sirte is a coastal town and Egypt is in the middle of a maritime dispute with Turkey. It is siding with its arch enemy Greece by delineating their bilateral maritime boundaries and exclusive economic zones for exploitation rights of resources.
 

While troops are sent to the border, the Dutch government concludes “there are no concrete steps in the direction of a military intervention.” Let us hope so, but why wait till the sables rattle? One wonders what the region of tension criteria of the European arms export rules mean for the Dutch government: “Member States are determined to prevent the export of military technology and equipment which might … contribute to regional instability.” Not so much one is inclined to conclude, they start to function when the damage is done.

Geschreven voor Stop Wapenhandel


Post Scriptum. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs state in the answer on question 6 of SP on Egypt deal that in the recently published 'Report on Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP (2020/2003(INI)), Committee on Foreign Affairs 17/07/2020, A9-0137/2020' makes no direct connection between Egypt and the Human Rights situation in Yemen. But what is does however is:

Recalls its resolution on the situation in Yemen of 4 October 2018; urges all EU Member States, in this context, to refrain from selling arms and any military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and any member of the international coalition, as well as to the Yemeni Government and other parties to the conflict;”

“Welcomes the decisions of the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands adopting restrictions on their arms exports to countries which are members of the Saudi-led coalition involved in the war in Yemen;”
and

“recalls that between 25 February 2016 and 14 February 2019 Parliament, via plenary resolutions, called at least ten times on the VP/HR to launch a process leading to an EU arms embargo on Saudi Arabia, including in 2018 also regarding other members of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen; reiterates this call once again;”

It may be disputable is Egypt is involved in the naval blockade, but that is part of the Saudi Coalition against Yemen is not. Military backing may be limited, but it does exist. So although not specifically mentioned it is part of the numerous calls by the European Parliament. However new development closer to home in the Mediterranean may be a better argument not to build-up the power afloat on Saudi funds.

dinsdag 4 augustus 2020

Tweets for August 2020


 

 

August 31

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The United States has actively pursued the development of hypersonic weapons—maneuvering weapons that fly at speeds of at least Mach 5. On August 28, the Congressional Research Service published: Report on U.S. Hypersonic Weapon Development.

https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/7047482/Hypersonic-Weapons-Background-and-Issues-for.pdf

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Greek newspapers report that Greece will be getting 18 Rafale fighters; a preliminary agreement has been reached. 10 Will be the F3-R variant built from scratch while the other 8 fighters will be 2nd-hand French Air Force jets transferred for free. https://www.pagenews.gr/2020/08/29/ellada/rafale-nea-agora-maxitikon-aeroskafon-apo-ti-gallia/

Addition: La France tente de placer en Grèce le Rafale et la frégate de défense et d’intervention (FDI). Les Américains jouent la carte du F-35. (The US plays the F-35 card) https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/des-rafale-pour-la-grece-855951.html

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Nigerien businessman Aboubakar Hima, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Societe D Equipment Internationaux (SEI), is alleged to have received the sums for the purchase of equipment for the Nigerian Military. https://hallmarknews.com/shock-disbelief-trail-multi-billion-naira-defence-contracts-scandal/

August 30

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#EDA aims to support Member States’ R&D in this sector, from creating a common set of AI references and terminology to pinpointing logical areas for their cross-border collaboration to framing the most important areas of AI for Europe’s strategic autonomy. https://www.eda.europa.eu/info-hub/press-centre/latest-news/2020/08/25/artificial-intelligence-joint-quest-for-future-defence-applications

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Retweet @SAAB_DAMEN Saab, innovative partner of @damen in the Walrus replacement project, is pleased to invite media, financial analysts and investors to the annual submarine seminar on the 3th of September 2020. https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/news/2020-08/welcome-to-saabs-submarine-seminar/

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The first F-16 fighter jet maintenance and service centre in the Indo-Pacific has opened in Taiwan in collaboration with a major US defence contractor, a move certain to infuriate mainland China. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3099267/new-f-16-fighter-jet-maintenance-centre-gives-taiwan-edge

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For Yemen, no consistent EU policy in sight.

EU public diplomacy in Yemen cannot work as long as its policies convey an image at odds with the identity the EU claims as its own. The incapacity of the EU damages its soft-power projection in the world. https://www.fairobserver.com/region/middle_east_north_africa/marc-martorell-junyent-european-union-yemen-policy-aid-arms-sales-news-14421/

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The world of Syrian arms trafficking “is like any other trade ... there are agents for arms manufacturing companies, they don’t mind bringing the weapons from another agent in Israel or anywhere else,” a Lebanese arms dealer said. Most wanted US M16 & M4.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1726731/middle-east

August 29

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Thailand’s intention to buy 2 more submarines from China has run into vociferous resistance, with the country’s main opposition party questioning the need of the acquisition against the backdrop of the economic slump caused by the coronavirus pandemic. https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/08/28/thai-submarine-purchase-hits-rough-seas/

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How are German weapons reaching crisis zones? | DW Documentary https://youtu.be/3SCjJT5_3Ag

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New arms trader on the block. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. signed a contract with the Philippines to deliver an air radar system, the first export of a newly made complete defence product since Japan's long-held arms trade ban was eased in 2014. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200828/p2g/00m/0bu/099000c

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Krieg und Rüstung – Die vergessenen Klimasünder https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/article211016375/CO2-Emissionen-Krieg-und-Ruestung-die-vergessenen-Klimasuender.html

And an automatic 'translation': CO2 emissions: war and armaments – the forgotten climate sinners. https://pledgetimes.com/co2-emissions-war-and-armaments-the-forgotten-climate-sinners-welt/

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Questions & Answers by Van Dam en Van Helvert (both Christen Democrats, CDA) on Heckler & Koch rifles on sale @ Lock, Stock & Barrel (https://lsb-malta.com/en/articles-news/news/78/postwar-smg---original-heckler-and-koch-mp5---exclusive-offer-on-rare-dutch-contract.html) in Malta claimed to be Dutch. https://tweedekamer.nl/downloads/document?id=50ef0f9e-8008-4212-96d1-f6ee48e23d36&title=Antwoord%20op%20vragen%20van%20de%20leden%20Van%20Dam%20en%20Van%20Helvert%20over%20de%20verkoop%20van%20Nederlandse%20MP5%E2%80%99s%20in%20een%20Maltese%20wapenhandel.docx… (Vaguely I've an other Dutch MP5 story in my head, Jordan +/- 2006) 

August 28

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Privately held drone maker General Atomics, of San Diego, is laying off approximately 630 of its roughly 10,000 employees. The company is the producer of the MQ-9 Reaper. https://www.defensenews.com/2020/08/27/drone-maker-general-atomics-lays-offs-hundreds/

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South Korea“s military trade has achieved another breakthrough! Delivered trainer attack aircraft to Senegal to seize the African arms trade market. https://en.daydaynews.cc/military/763608.html

***
Indonesia’s attempts to purchase jet fighters has gained attention. The notorious Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto approached his Austrian counterpart to express his interest to acquire the latter’s 15 Eurofighter Typhoons. https://www.policyforum.net/indonesias-impulsive-arms-trade/

August 27


***

Republicans Have Organized a Backlash Convention, and It’s Tearing This Country Apart

The shooting of two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wis., again draws attention to Trump’s apocalyptic rhetoric.

https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/kenosha-republican-convention/

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As often the heading is much stronger as the text. Europe's military corona opportunity; The Covid shock also opens up new opportunities. Is a European army or even an atomic bomb now approaching? A meeting in Berlin was now a first reality check. https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/plus214403434/Verteidigung-Europas-militaerische-Corona-Chance.html

***
Greece has a deadly new migration policy - and all of Europe is to blame. Security and defence industry offering hi-tech solutions, such as the drone surveillance that has replaced naval patrols in the Mediterranean. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/aug/27/greece-migration-europe-athens-refugees


***
A UK MoD spokesman said: "The guiding principle of the review is to ask ourselves what the threat is, and whether we have the capability to meet it." https://pressreader.com/uk/the-daily-telegraph/20200827/281852940952264

***
New York Times explains what the major defence/intelligence contractor Palantir is doing on big data and AI. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/technology/palantir-ipo.html

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Analysts are looking forward to potential cooperation among the defense industries of Israel and the United Arab Emirates, following the Aug. 13 announcement that the two countries are establishing full diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal. https://www.defensenews.com/global/mideast-africa/2020/08/26/what-kind-of-industrial-cooperation-will-improved-israel-uae-relations-produce/

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Turkish drone attacks of August 23 and 25 on Shengal/Sinjar as seen and commented by Kurdish YBS fighters in the region. In Dutch https://koerdischnieuws.nl/ybs-de-aanvallen-op-ybs-moeten-worden-gezien-als-een-aanval-op-het-yazidisme-koerdische-autonome-regio/ and English https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/ybS-shengal-will-not-become-like-afrin-46211

August 26

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At the cost of shifting shrinking Government funds to health care and support of those most needed it during and after the pandemic France does not intend to abandon its plan of boosting military spending in 2021. http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Defence_Arms_13/New-Investments-Possible-Consolidation-France-s-Support-of-Its-Defence-Industry.shtml

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broekstukken: Military vessels and naval production for the Eastern Mediterranean. How a region of tension is armed. https://broekstukken.blogspot.com/2020/08/military-vessels-and-naval-production.html

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People are ‘demanding’ the release of a UK soldier, arrested for protesting over Yemen https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2020/08/26/people-are-demanding-the-release-of-a-uk-soldier-arrested-for-protesting-over-yemen/

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US State Department’s Office of Inspector General recently released a report that, even in its redacted form, makes plain that the Trump administration circumvented US law in multiple ways to carry out arms transfers to the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen. https://www.justsecurity.org/72188/state-dept-inspector-general-linick-saudi-arms-sales/

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Egypte is een land met een militaire regime en dreigende conflicten met buurlanden. De Nederlandse regering heeft het wapenexportbeleid onlangs versoepeld. Lees de backgrounder over een gigantische Nederlandse wapenorder en de politiek/militaire situatie: https://stopwapenhandel.org/EgypteBackgrounder

Addition: Tekst overgenomen door Belgische DeWereldMorgen.Be https://www.dewereldmorgen.be/artikel/2020/08/28/brutaal-repressief-regime-egypte-beschikt-vrij-over-nederlands-en-belgisch-wapentuig/

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Radar funded by Scottish taxpayers has been developed for an air vehicle that can be armed with air-to-air missiles & cannons. The Osprey 30 radar is made by Italian arms firm Leonardo which has a factory in Edinburgh employing around 1800 people. https://theferret.scot/radar-scottish-enterprise-funded-drone-missiles/

August 25

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A serving UK soldier is being investigated by Military Police for protesting against arms sales to Saudi Arabia. He accuses the government of having ‘blood on their hands’ and says: ‘I’d rather sleep peacefully in a cell than stay silent for a paycheck.’ https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-25-military-police-probe-british-soldier-over-yemen-war-protest/

Addition: Un soldat britannique en service arrêté parce qu’il manifeste contre à la guerre au Yémen – VIDEO https://www.alnas.fr/actualite/en-vrac/un-soldat-britannique-en-service-arrete-parce-quil-manifeste-contre-a-la-guerre-au-yemen-video/

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After summer break, MEPs will debate 2 parliamentary reports, one on the state of play of the EU’s arms exports regime (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JCGH5FEI33GadrrWIEYN3_R-WR6toByY/view?usp=sharing) which is meant to address concerns over the lack of transparency and common arms export rules across the bloc. https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/defence-agenda-defence-initiatives-and-squabbling-allies/

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The Trump administration is reportedly eager to sell the UAE F-35's. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/20/politics/kushner-uae-israel-f-35-fighter-jet/index.html

What's the reaction of those countries contributing technology to the fighters, like e.g. the Netherlands? (Oh I know already: we don't control the policies of our NATO-allies).

August 24

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Military Spending and Official Development Assistance in Recipient States: Is there a Relationship? https://www.sipri.org/publications/2020/sipri-insights-peace-and-security/military-spending-and-official-development-assistance-recipient-states-there-relationship-0

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 Retweet Martin Hoek @fratzz En alweer gaat er een transport met giftig radioactief verarmd #uranium (#uf6) vanuit #gronau (hier staat een uraniumverrijkingsfabriek, net als in #almelo) per trein naar (vermoedelijk ) #amsterdam om daar per schip naar Rusland gebracht te worden voor 'verantwoorde verwerking'
(12.30) Durchfahrt #Urantransport durch #Münster-#Hiltrup. Der Zug ist jetzt auf dem Weg nach #Hamm und wird dort evtl. eine Pause machen! #urenco #rwe #eon #uranmüllexport.


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Pentagon's top weapons buyer said that the Lockheed-built F-35 should finally go into full production by next March following a series of delays -- the latest for COVID-19 workplace restrictions. https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/08/21/f-35-will-finally-go-full-production-next-march-acquisitions-chief-says.html Does it prevent the one millin Covid deaths will be reached?

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Summer of 2019 Thales Netherlands sold its shares in Turkish military tech producer Yaltes (https://www.yaltes.com/hakkimizda/profil.html) which was established in November 2002 as a Thales Nederland BV (Thales Netherlands) partner.https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/blg-939419.pdf

Addition: It is unclear if this also counts the Dutch based Thales International Western Countries B.V. which held the other 60% of Yaltes shares and is part of Thales International and located in the Dutch town of Delft (Delftechpark 22).

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Busy flexing its muscles since late July with maritime security operation Okun Alafia II, the Nigerian Navy's counter-piracy efforts are still short of two Damen patrol boats stuck in Vietnam because of complications linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. https://www.africaintelligence.com/central-and-west-africa_business/2020/08/24/covid-19-pandemic-deprives-nigerian-navy-of-damen-patrol-boats,109601248-ar1

Addition: The ships are mostly seen as part of the fleet of SR Platforms, a wholly owned Nigerian company that delivers marine and offshore support services. It is not a FSC 408 patrol boat, but a FCS 4008. https://safetyatsea.net/news/2019/piracy-in-nigeria-spurs-more-patrol-vessels-deliveries/

Addition 2: #Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency #Nimasa gets De Haas (built Maasluis, Nl) fast interceptor rigid-hulled inflatables & 2 De Hoop (launched Foxhol, Nl) Special Mission Vessels to fight piracy/maritime crime. #Corruption in the past is no .. https://www.defenceweb.co.za/featured/nimasa-getting-ready-for-major-deep-blue-deliveries/

August 23

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Pressure on Netanyahu mounts at home and abroad as Israel bombs Gaza again https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2020/08/23/pressure-on-netanyahu-mounts-at-home-and-abroad-as-israel-bombs-gaza-again/

Bradford on Avon Friends of Palestine group want the UK to stop the arms trade with Israel https://www.wiltshiretimes.co.uk/news/18670465.bradford-avon-friends-palestine-group-want-uk-stop-arms-trade-israel/

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UK ‘strengthening’ Belarus dictatorship’s army with military training British military instructors have given advanced command courses to Belarusian officers. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/belarus-uk-military-training-lukashenko-election-protests-a9682026.html

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Airbus delivers first of 16 advanced law enforcement H125 helicopters to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. http://www.helicopters.airbus.com/website/en/press/Airbus-delivers-first-of-16-advanced-law-enforcement-H125-helicopters-to-U.S.-Customs-and-Border-Protection_2340.html

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The Future Fighter program of France, Germany and Spain embodies idea of ​​a European defence industrial cooperation, but is also drive n by the cost: € 50 to 80 billion, production cost included and the refusal to go American. https://www.sudouest.fr/2020/08/19/combat-aerien-une-revolution-a-l-horizon-7763502-10142.php

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China-India border dispute: advanced fighter jets sent to nearby airbases

Two J-20s seen at Hotan airbase in China’s Xinjiang region, while India has deployed five new Rafales to Ladakh, according to media reports.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3098035/china-india-border-dispute-advanced-fighter-jets-sent-nearby

August 22

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Back to Cold War nuke policy?

Tactical Nuclear Weapons @ Sea: Although tactical nuclear weapons were withdrawn from warships in 1991, tensions with Russia & China today could lead to a new generation of sea-based nonstrategic nuclear weapons. Kyle Mizokami

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2020/august/tactical-nuclear-weapons-sea

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Since the early 1990s a range of international and regional reporting instruments on arms transfers and arms transfer controls have been created. However, as the number of instruments has increased, the level of participation in many of them has fallen. https://www.sipri.org/publications/2020/other-publications/reporting-conventional-arms-transfers-and-transfer-controls-improving-coordination-and-increasing

***
Dominican Navy got its 1st Near Coastal Patrol Vessel. The Betelgeuse (102) was donated by US Dep. of State & the US Southern Command #USSOUTHCOM under the Foreign Military Financing #FMF program. It was built by Metal Shark based on Damen Stan Patrol 2606.https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/08/dominican-navy-commissions-first-near-coastal-patrol-vessel/

August 20

 ***  

Renowned magazine Nature: Despite threats to human existence from climate change, biodiversity loss and a pandemic that’s devastating economies and paralysing societies, countries still spend recklessly on destructive weapons for wars they'll never fight. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02460-9

***
De komende 10-20 jaar levert Rheinmetall Waffe Munition #RWM munitie aan Nederland. DMO en RWM hebben hiervoor een overeenkomst getekend. Het gaat om munitie voor m.n. CV90 voertuigen en houwitser PzH2000NL. Kosten voor Nederland bedragen circa €50m p.j. https://magazines.defensie.nl/materieelgezien/2020/06/11_munitie

***
Verzin het en de kans bestaat dat het Venlose Nedinsco, producent van precisie-instrumenten en componenten voor o.a. Defensie het produceert: warmtebeeldsystemen; dagzichtcamera’s, (onderdelen voor) periscopen, spectrometers voor kernfusiecentrales. https://magazines.defensie.nl/materieelgezien/2020/06/05_in-bedrijf

***
Defensie, klimaatbeleid & fosiele brandstof. In 1995 leverde de Defensie Pijpleiding Organisatie #DPO de 1ste kerosine af op Schiphol. De volgende 25 jaar pompte het Central Europe Pipeline System (CEPS) zo'n 48 miljard liter kerosine naar Schiphol. https://magazines.defensie.nl/materieelgezien/2020/06/07_dpo-25jaar

***
Naval diplomacy heats up in the Mediterranean

Turkey’s goal is to stoke crises with Europe as well as also in Libya, Iraq & Syria. https://www.jpost.com/middle-east/naval-diplomacy-heats-up-in-mediterranean-639301

Italy, France, and Germany are arming Mediterranean naval powers with vessels. Netherlands delivers its C3 to many of them.


***

5 EU countries will develop a new robotic missile system. Belgium: John Cockerill Defense, Royal Military Academy, FN

Herstal, Thales Belgium & Xenics;

Cyprus: Aditess, the Cyprus Institute & SignalGenerix;

France: MDBA, Novadem & Safran; DELAIR

MILREM, Estonia

Carmenta, Sweden https://johncockerill.com/app/uploads/2020/08/PR_2020807_BLOS_EN.pdf

*** 

The 'Report on Arms export: implementation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP (2020/2003(INI))' of July 17 was mentioned in recent answers on questions concerning an arms deal to Egypt. It wasn't yet online. Here it is. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JCGH5FEI33GadrrWIEYN3_R-WR6toByY/view?usp=sharing See also blog https://broekstukken.blogspot.com/2020/08/mega-egyptian-order-for-dutch-branch-of.html

***
On the Belgian arms trade policy in respect to Yemen in Belgian magazine Knack. https://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/geen-belgische-wapens-meer-naar-saudi-arabie-voor-wandaden-in-jemen/article-opinion-1629929.html

***
While the process on corruption didn't conclude yet, South Africa is approaching a milestone: in October 2020, it will make its final payments on the loans to pay for the purchase of submarines, corvettes, helicopters and fighters for the same Arms Deal. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-08-18-the-r142bn-bomb-revisiting-the-cost-of-the-arms-deal-twenty-years-on/

***
When the US started the F-35 it involved partners. UK most prominently; 2nd tier nations Netherlands and Italy. It costed a lot to enter. The production of components was there to earn back some of the investment. Will those component now soon end in UAE? https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpeck/2020/08/18/why-america-selling-f-35-stealth-fighters-to-the-uae-could-be-a-middle-east-game-changer/#1741bb8b183b

August 19

at Belarusian protesters are made by a Polish private company from Pionki. "We neversold ammunition to Belarus," the company asserts. A former ABW [Internal Security Agency]said. "This smells like a provocation." Rzeczpospolita, 13/08/20.

***
Origin of Surveillance Technology used Around the World (Chinese, US, other)
https://www.statista.com/chart/20221/origin-of-ai-surveillance-technology-by-country/Bullets fired

***
Beantwoording Kamervragen @SadetKarabulut door Minister Stef Blok over in 2017 zoekgeraakte wapenleverantie Libië. https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2020/08/18/beantwoording-kamervragen-over-in-2017-zoekgeraakte-wapenleverantie-libie

***
Q&A by SP MP Sadet Karabulut (https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2020/08/17/beantwoording-kamervragen-over-vergunning-voor-export-militair-materieel-naar-egypte) and GreenLeft MP Bram van Ojik (https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten/kamerstukken/2020/08/17/beantwoording-kamervragen-over-verlening-vergunning-voor-wapenexport-naar-egypte) on Thales mega deal with Egypt and the anwers by Dutch Ministers of FA. And the response I wrote for Stop Wapenhandel @ctwnl (https://broekstukken.blogspot.com/2020/08/mega-egyptian-order-for-dutch-branch-of.html)

***
Retweet @keesamok Secret Service bought phone location data from apps, contract confirms - An internal Secret Service document describes the purchase of Locate X, a product that uses location data harvested from ordinar https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/jgxk3g/secret-service-phone-location-data-babel-street

***
André Bosman, VVD (Dutch right of center liberals) asks how co-financing for defence-industrial projects is organised in the context of the #EDF policy to demand a 100% coverage when this isn't covered by EDF itself. How can the Dutch Government step in? https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/kamervragen/detail?id=2020Z13975&did=2020D31802

August 18

***
Number of foreign companies within US defence supply chain grew over past decade. Reliance on foreign suppliers in the defense industrial base rose—notably in packaged software and IT services—even as calls for reshoring increase, according to a new report. https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2020/08/number-foreign-companies-within-defense-supply-chain-grew-over-past-decade-report-says/167767/


***
The Turkish defense industrial base has made progress. It can be difficult to determine the percentage of foreign input in a system. And what the Turkish authorities portray as “indigenous systems” (or 100% national systems, in local jargon) are often not. https://www.defensenews.com/top-100/2020/08/17/turkish-industry-prospers-but-foreign-relations-are-limiting-its-potential/

***
A fighter yet competition between the UK and EU members would reinforce the perception that Britain’s divorce from the bloc has weakened the intra-continental defense alliance — a notion that leaders on both sides of the Channel have been trying to dispel. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/08/17/europes-next-gen-fighter-club-faces-a-dilemma-who-else-can-join/

***
The UK Government has bailed out companies complicit in human rights abuses and environmental destruction.

Companies had accepted billions of public money while paying shareholders and firing staff. Some of those companies are responsible. #Airbus #RR https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ep4k7k/uk-government-ccff-human-rights-environment

***
Will the Labour First Minister in Wales allow training of Saudi pilots on Welsh land?

Plans to use land owned by the Welsh government for a military training site called into question.

https://leftfootforward.org/2020/08/will-the-labour-first-minister-in-wales-allow-training-of-saudi-pilots-on-welsh-land/

***
US #SOCOM spent $815 million on specialized equipment over 2 years, despite the fact that the command wasn't even sure they needed it. https://taskandpurpose.com/news/special-operations-command-equipment-evaluation-problems

The Defense Department inspector general even states the it would not be operationally effective. https://www.dodig.mil/reports.html/Article/2313070/audit-of-us-special-operations-command-testing-and-evaluation-dodig-2020-111/

August 17

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Turkish Daily Sabah on the skirmishes and strive for zones of influence by NATO-members (France, Greece and Turkey), Russians, Egypt, UAE and Saudi's in the Eastern Mediterranean, with a focus on Libya. Who calls for a count to ten? https://www.dailysabah.com/opinion/columns/how-greece-can-win-in-the-eastern-mediterranean

***
Something to remember when a lead country in EFA consortium exports to a dubious destination: Spain’s Indra gets a key role in new Eurofighter radar development. The EFA, Eurofighter or Typhoon is a European fighter not just British, German, or Italian. https://www.c4isrnet.com/global/europe/2020/08/14/spains-indra-gets-a-key-role-in-new-eurofighter-radar-development/

***
Revenues of the top 100 global military companies climbed for a 4th straight year, pushed upward by US military spending growth combined with strong foreign military sales. Fiscal 2019 revenues recorded totaled $524bn, up +/- 7% from $488bn in fiscal 2018. https://georivista.com/2020/08/17/arms-trade-momentum-globalization-and-us-defense-spending-drive-defense-industry-growth/

***
General Atomics von a $188.9 million contract action for Belgium MQ-9B SkyGuardian procurement. This contract provides for four MQ-9B unmanned air vehicles, two Certifiable Ground Control Stations, spares and support equipment. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2313931/

***
The Pentagon contracted Lockheed Martin with $62 billion (huh? = $ 689m each) to build 90 F-16 fighters for Foreign Military Sale #FMS customers. Twenty-four of those fighters will be for #Morocco while the rest is for #Taiwan. https://www.defense.gov/Newsroom/Contracts/Contract/Article/2313931/

***
SIPRI report on European Nonproliferation (NP) diplomacy in the shaddow of secondary sanctions.

The current US strategy has undermined the perceived utility of NP sanctions, making them appear as a pitfall, rather than a tool, of NP in Iran.

https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2020-08/pb_2008_instex.pdf

August 17

***
"Influence on decision making by Lockheed in US equal to this of the president," Lawrence Wilkersom (former assistant to Colin Powell in Bush II Administration)

Retweet @keesamok Lawrence Wilkerson (vm. assistent Colin Powell in regering Bush II): Lockheed Martin heeft een even grote invloed op de besluitvorming https://taz.de/US-Militaerexperte-ueber-Nahost-Deal/!5707300/

***
Missed it when published July, 22: the Defense News top-100 military industries. https://people.defensenews.com/top-100/

7 from the US (included largest 5)

2 from China (new for the top 100)

1 from the UK (BAE Systems)

There is a number of background articles. Latest: https://www.defensenews.com/top-100/2020/08/17/six-considerations-from-the-defense-news-top-100-list/

Addition: While Turkish defense industry broke records with their recent turnovers, the economic magnitudes reached carry them to the top of the lists where international comparisons are made. The number of Turkish companies in the "Defense News Top 100" rose to 7. https://www.aksam.com.tr/teknoloji/defense-news-top-100de-yer-alan-turk-sirketi-sayisi-7ye-yukseldi/haber-1101944

***
India’s move to ban the import of some weapon systems and military hardware to boost local manufacturing is being hindered by its push to procure as much as $2 billion in weaponry as it faces a border stand-off with China & volatile relations with Pakistan https://www.deccanherald.com/business/india-s-tense-borders-threaten-plan-to-ban-some-weapons-import-874212.html

***
The failing healthcare response is to protect jobs in the military industry by spending more Government budget.

Call to arms; Union chiefs say nine defence projects must be prioritised to safeguard jobs in recession. It's a method used across Europe. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/prioritise-255billion-defence-projects-protect-22530753

***
'They have enough to destroy both countries'; Borzou Daragahi on how an arms race is adding fuel to the fire of a bitter rivalry between Armenia & Azerbaijan. https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/world/armenia-azerbaijan-conflict-russia-military-fighter-jets-a9670761.html

EU licenses -> Armenia http://enaat.org/eu-export-browser/licence.en.html?destination=Armenia

EU licenses -> Azerbaijan http://enaat.org/eu-export-browser/licence.en.html?destination=Azerbaijan

August 16

***
Political theater should ask questions – and prompt to challenge the status quo. The recent play of the Common Wealth, 'I Have Met the Enemy (and the Enemy is Us)', is about the arms trade – a subject where we can all acknowledge that something is wrong. https://www.redpepper.org.uk/common-wealth-theatre/

***
UK halts military training for Hong Kong police as relations with China decline.

The UK also has several contracts with the armed forces of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/15/uk-suspends-military-training-for-hong-kong-police-force

***
1/... Dutch Financial daily reports on investigation on the combination between salary and morality by Florian Schneider and others of the University of Zurich. When the morality is low companies have to pay more to get personnel. https://fd.nl/futures/1353589/werken-aan-schonere-lucht .../2

2. Average salaries in cigarette and arms industry are 50% higher as in more acceptable sectors of the economy. Moreover jobs with a high immoral character inside immoral industries attract above average employees with low moral standards. https://fd.nl/futures/1353589/werken-aan-schonere-lucht

See for paper: Sorting and Wage Premiums in Immoral Work

University of Zurich, Department of Economics, Working Paper No. 353, 2020 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3646150

***
In 2018, the UK Government published a list of 30 “human rights priority countries”. Parts of the world where ministers were “particularly concerned about human rights issues, and where we consider that the UK can make a real difference”.

But guess what. https://www.thenational.scot/news/18654045.uk-government-arms-some-worlds-brutal-regimes/

***
Pot calling the kettle black. Outrageous is:

corruption by a Prime Minister

selling arms to countries in war

to quell the Palestinian population & steal their land.

Israel: Netanyahu condemns 'outrageous' UNSC decision to not extend Iran arms embargo https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/1597518345-israel-netanyahu-condemns-outrageous-unsc-decision-to-not-extend-iran-arms-embargo

August 15

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University funding through military research, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: "If asked to “do something for your country” within such a framework, we believe Australian university researchers would respond creatively to embrace a new opportunity." https://www.aspi.org.au/opinion/university-funding-can-be-boosted-through-defence-research

***
In FAZ 15/08 a story on the perspectives for the arms industry titled Rüstungsaktien in heikler Lage (Delicate position of stocks). "At first glance, the financial consequences of the corona pandemic are barely visible," After these words a litany with bears on the road starts.

***
MBDA & lockheed martin submit proposal for Germany’s next generation integrated air and missile defence system. #MEADS https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/mbda-and-lockheed-martin-submit-proposal-for-germanys-next-generation-integrated-air-and-missile-defense-system/

***
How to increase the military might of the EU despite and because of corona, that's the motto of the latest European Defence Agency magazine, European Defence Matters. https://eda.europa.eu/docs/default-source/eda-magazine/edm19_web.pdf

***
A lesson in how to waste: The U.S. Army has invested another $190 million into a counter-small unmanned aircraft system (C-sUAS), but it’s determined that the system will need to be replaced by a U.S. Marine Corps alternative. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2020/08/13/army-buys-189m-counter-drone-system-but-already-has-plans-to-replace-it/

***
#AI: Removing the human from mission command. Artificial intelligence decision-making algorithms for mission command will be revolutionary. Their pursuit and perfection in implementation are paramount to US success in 21st century great power competition.

https://www.c4isrnet.com/opinion/2020/08/13/artificial-intelligence-removing-the-human-from-mission-command/

***

Pompeo calls it 'just nuts' to allow Iran to trade in arms as UN rejects embargo extension. But is it more 'nuts' as arming the other Gulf nations to the teeth? Is it more 'nuts' as spending almost half on the military as the rest of the wold does? https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/pompeo-calls-it-just-nuts-to-allow-iran-to-trade-in-arms-as-critical-un-vote-nears/2020/08/14/68e2ee84-de2b-11ea-b4af-72895e22941d_story.html

August 14

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HSBC bank invests & provides services worth millions to companies that supply Israel with equipment – including BAE Systems & Raytheon, whose weapons components were used in the attacks in 2014, and Caterpillar, in which HSBC held £99.5m of shares in 2017. https://blog.caat.org.uk/2020/08/13/stop-arming-israel-take-action-against-hsbc-saturday-22-august/

***
Saudi Arabia has completed construction of its first uranium extraction facility, the Wall Street Journal reported on August 4. The facility, located in ... experts believe that this breakthrough will speed up Saudi Arabia’s development of nuclear weapons. https://www.thetrumpet.com/22753-saudi-arabia-expands-its-nuclear-program

***
The US Defense Information Systems Agency awarded a $106 million contract to #Deloitte Consulting to build the Pentagon’s artificial intelligence #AI hub’s AI development platform, the U.S. Department of Defense announced Aug. 12. https://www.c4isrnet.com/artificial-intelligence/2020/08/12/deloitte-wins-106-million-contract-with-the-pentagons-ai-hub/

***
Next hurdle taken on the trim trail to get the JSF production and overhaul running. Pentagon is in the early stages of replacing the troubled Lockheed F-35’s autonomous logistics system with a new, cloud-based network & hopes to get it working end of 2022. https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/aircraft-propulsion/pentagon-rethinks-troubled-f-35-logistics-system

August 13

***
Het éne moment staar je mismoedig uit het raam van Centralis Netherlands B.V. (een Amsterdams trustkantoor), het volgende moment ben je doelwit van boze Russen, dreig je te worden meegesleurd in een draaikolk van oligarchen, het Kremlin, wapenleveranties. https://www.quotenet.nl/zakelijk/a33563493/nederlands-trustkantoortje-meegesleurd-in-russische-miljoenenjacht-op-dollar240-miljoen-aan-bankobligaties/

***
At least one member of Congress, NY Rep. Engel, cautioned that the report on legality of passing Congress in arms export deal with KSA should be treated with skepticism. It features a classified annex that the public can’t read and the official in ... https://www.defensenews.com/congress/2020/08/11/watchdog-report-pompeo-acted-properly-in-saudi-arms-sale/

***
Campaign Against Arms Trade’s Andrew Smith said: “There is not a ‘migrant crisis,’ it is a crisis of war, poverty, inequality and exploitation. https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/anti-arms-trade-campaigners-condemn-government-migration-policies-as-ministers-promise-new-action-to-stop-channel-crossings

***
Congress has secretly blocked US arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years

Four key members of Congress, either individually or collectively, have quietly frozen all major U.S. arms sales to Turkey for nearly two years. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/08/12/congress-has-secretly-blocked-us-arms-sales-to-turkey-for-nearly-two-years/

August 11

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Twenty children have been killed in Yemen since the UK government resumed arms sales to Saudi Arabia just over one month ago. https://theferret.scot/children-killed-yemen-uk-arms-sales-saudi-arabia/

***
Turkey criticizes Germany on enforcing Libya arms embargo

Turkey's top diplomat has said Germany's participation in the EU's "Irini" arms embargo mission means Berlin is no longer "impartial." Turkey says the embargo benefits rebel leader Khalifa Haftar. https://www.dw.com/en/turkey-criticizes-germany-on-enforcing-libya-arms-embargo/a-54470514

Addition: Many Turkish domestic defence products incorporate German technology. The skirmishes for the bühne on the illegal arms exports to Libya (the strongest international measure possible, a UN arms embargo) will not end this.

***
France, Germany & Italy move forward with a plan to apply EU sanctions to those they deem responsible for the in-flow of arms in Libya despite its arms embargo. Increasingly advanced weaponry has continued to stream into Libya, despite a UN arms embargo. https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2020/08/314962/three-eu-states-prepare-sanctions-for-libya-arms-embargo-violations/

***
Although the headline (Should Canada arm Trump’s America?) is grotesque, the article elaborates more in detail how Canadian military and security industry is backing Trumps repression on anti-racist actions. https://www.thecanadafiles.com/canada/scta

August 10

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Turkey will train around a third of the Somali National Army, according to Mehmet Yïlmaz, the Turkish ambassador to the East African country. Yïlmaz told the state-controlled Anadolu Agency that Turkey had pledged to train 5,000 soldiers for the SNA. https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/turkey-to-train-13-of-entire-somali-military-envoy-says/news

***

In July Serbia acquired 6 Chinese CH-92A attack/reconnaissance drones. Belgrade will also be purchasing Chinese-made FK-3 air defense missile system, export version of the HQ-22 system. This makes Serbia the first European country to deploy Chinese drones. https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1197294.shtml

***
There = NO cap on military expenditure in most EU countries. Alarm bells are tolling to keep ratio for acquisitions growing at the expense of citizens security. The alert has been given. The defense industry is threatened by the coming economic crisis. https://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/l-industrie-de-defense-confrontee-au-defi-de-son-financement-20200809

***
The Swiss referendum on the acquisition of fighter aircraft is an issue to explain in 3rd countries. Most of them organise a majority for these enormous expenditures (also during the pandemic with cost to health care & social security). https://www.letemps.ch/suisse/achat-davions-chasse-un-budget-un-principe-aux-urnes-details

***
Would be a convincing statement if combines with a ban on arms exports to powder keg in the Middle East (and not only be targeted at their enemy in the region): 6 Gulf Arab countries back extending UN arms embargo on Iran. Reasons: Libya, Syria, HR, Yemen. https://www.startribune.com/6-gulf-arab-countries-back-extending-un-arms-embargo-on-iran/572057182/

August 9

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Our sovereignty on defence matters will mean nothing if we are drawn in by EU's siren song.

Writer isn't a Grimm brother, but a general & chair of Veterans for Britain. His title suits a fairy tale better than a view on an interwoven military business. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/08/08/sovereignty-defence-matters-will-meannothing-drawn-eus-siren/

***
In early July, the Dutch Army took delivery of its first new Bushmaster electronic warfare vehicle, paving the way for the possible retirement of existing EW platforms. https://armadainternational.com/2020/08/bushmaster-electronic-warfare-vehicles-for-dutch-army/

***
Huh? S Korea fits Thales fire control & Rheinmetall 120mm guns in its K2 tanks. The 1500-HP engine is korean made but combines with German transmission https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K2_Black_Panther (RENK HSWL 295, https://www.renk-ag.com/en/products-and-service/products/vehicle-transmissions/hswl-295/)

Now ready for export to Turkey. https://www.defenseworld.net/news/27600/S_Korea___s_Locally_made_1500_HP_Tank_Engine_Ready_for_Launch__Eyes_Exports#.Xy-4oSgzbyQ


August 8

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Egypt and Turkey may face U.S. sanctions in the near future for purchasing advanced Russian military hardware. Despite prior warnings, they pushed ahead with their respective acquisitions anyway. Why? https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauliddon/2020/08/05/why-are-egypt-and-turkey-risking-us-sanctions-for-these-russian-weapons-systems/

***
During Libya’s proxy war this year, the skies over the North African country have filled with Turkish and Chinese drones, Russian MiG 29s and Sukhoi 24s and Emirati Mirage 2000s — reportedly — with Turkish F-16s and Egyptian Rafales waiting in the wings. https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-air-power/2020/08/06/libya-is-turning-into-a-battle-lab-for-air-warfare/

***
A former top Saudi intelligence officer & close U.S. intelligence ally has accused Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of targeting him for assassination & taking his children hostage because he has knowledge of damaging secrets about the MBS rise to power. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/former-saudi-intelligence-officer-accuses-crown-prince-of-ordering-his-assassination-in-canada/2020/08/06/04aab9a4-d7e3-11ea-9c3b-dfc394c03988_story.html

***

Airbus SE was hit with a proposed class action Thursday alleging company executives misled investors about corruption probes and a subsequent $4 billion settlement that led to multiple stock drops over a four-year period. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/31/business/airbus-corruption-settlement.html

***
The air force’s CHF6 billion ($6.4 billion) purchase of new fighter jets has been challenged to a referendum by pacifists and left-wing political parties. Voters will decide on the credit package alongside four other issues on September 27. https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/swiss-voters-hold-the-keys-to-new-fighter-jet-fleet/45929844


***
An artificial intelligence algorithm will face off against a human F-16 fighter pilot in an aerial combat simulation in late August, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announced Aug. 7 during the so-called AlphaDogfight Trials. https://www.c4isrnet.com/battlefield-tech/it-networks/2020/08/07/a-human-f-16-pilot-will-fight-against-ai-in-an-upcoming-contest/

August 7

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The Serious Fraud Office Finally Taking Action over a Saudi Arms Deal. Ten years after the allegations were first aired, Steve Shaw reports on corruption charges alleging misconduct in an arms deal between the UK and Saudi Arabia. https://bylinetimes.com/2020/08/07/the-serious-fraud-office-finally-taking-action-over-a-saudi-arms-deal/

***
Taiwan/US talk sale of advanced military drones.

American SeaGuardian would extend the range of the island’s fleet, expanding capacity to peer into mainland China

Deal requires congressional approval. it is not clear if permission would include weaponry. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3096477/taiwan-and-us-talks-sale-advanced-military-drones-sources-say

***
Serbia has tried to patch up relations with Azerbaijan after a spat over Belgrade's sale of arms to Baku's rival Armenia.

The weapons sale was sensitive as a long-running Azerbaijan-Armenia border conflict recently escalated into deadly clashes.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/serbia-mends-fences-azerbaijan-selling-arms-armenia-200807135222135.html

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Belgium's top legal authority has suspended arms export licences for shipments to Saudi Arabia's National Guard after a complaint from human rights groups. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/belgium-suspends-arms-exports-saudi-national-guard-200807132334202.html

August 6

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Niger went on a US-backed military spending spree, for +/- US$1 bn between 2011-19. Almost a 3rd was funnelled into inflated international arms deals – seemingly designed to allow corrupt officials and brokers to siphon off government funds https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/notorious-arms-dealer-hijacked-nigers-budget-and-bought-arms-from-russia

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Retweet @Defensie De afgelopen 5 weken waren meer dan 100 militairen in de Rotterdamse haven en op @VlbEindhoven betrokken bij de verplaatsing van materieel van de Amerikaanse helikopterbrigade @3rdCAB. Deze Host Nation Support is vandaag afgerond. https://www.defensie.nl/actueel/nieuws/2020/08/06/verplaatsing-amerikaanse-helikoptereenheid-door-nederland-afgerond

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For months there was opposition against sale of French high tech jamming and night vision firm Photonis (https://www.photonisdefense.com/) by politicians, the intelligence community, the DoD. Now it is decided the firm will be sold to US Teledyne under conditions. https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/air-defense/defense-lelysee-ouvre-la-porte-a-une-cession-de-photonis-1228723

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Between 2015-19, the 6 Gulf states bought more than 1/5 of arms sold globally, with Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar ranking as the world’s 1st, 8th, and 10th largest arms importers. Saudi Arabia alone purchased 1/4 of total US arms exports during that period. http://internationalviewpoint.org/spip.php?article6758

August 5

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Angelo Panebianco argues in the Corriere della Sera that common European defence optimism will be shortlived because of the enormous divides in the EU (see Libya policies e.g.) the European Defence Fund #EDF does not change that. https://www.italypost.it/uneuropa-ispiri-emozioni/

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The Libyan National Army of Haftar has called on the US to support an initiative to control the country's border points to prevent the arms trade that is fueling the armed conflict, & in particular that destined for its great rival, the Tripoli Government. https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-haftar-pide-ayuda-estados-unidos-controlar-fronteras-libia-contra-trafico-armas-20200802235551.html

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Question by MEP @Konecna_K: Does the Commission consider that the countries who trade in weapons with Saudi Arabia are complicit in the human rights abuses taking place in Yemen as part of Saudi’s illegal military intervention?https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-003165_EN.pdf

Non-answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell that the decision whether to authorise or deny an export or transit remains at national discretion of Member States and its institutions. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-9-2020-003165-ASW_EN.pdf

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Why the The Hague will buy its new mine hunters in France at the Naval Group (it was Belgian responsibility in bi-national project, Dutch have same position in respect to new frigates) & how this is turned in argument to buy the planned submarines at home. https://www.ftm.nl/artikelen/miljardenorder-mijnenjagers-naval-group

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Dutch civil/military Damen will cut 1,000 jobs, most in Romania. (Seems choosing the Naval Group for its new corvettes back fires.)

The naval wharf in Flushing may take some of the 173 Dutch jobs cut, because the order book is filled with naval orders. https://www.ad.nl/rivierenland/dreigende-ontslagen-bij-damen-shipyards-scheepsbouwer-schrapt-ruim-1000-banen~a0ba01c7/

Addition: In English focused on one of the Damen wharfs loosing 50-60 (of probably 170 jobs cut) in Burgum (Friesland). The engineering department, which currently has more than fifty employees, is either sold or transferred. https://www.mbs.news/en/2020/08/damen-shipyards-is-now-withdrawing-completely-from-burgum-and-that-affects-dozens-of-jobs.html vv

See also Dutch shipyards operator Damen to lay off 870 at its Romanian sites. Intellnews 6-8-20 mentions as reason offshore oil prices, covid-19 caused decrease of demand and failure to get Romanian corvette – despite huge investment take over Romanian Daewoo wharf - order.

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Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus has no complaints on military orders. "It has been long ago we had so much activity on national [military] contracts. We appreciate the cooperation reinforcing European defense on each of these programs." https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-finance/industrie/aeronautique-defense/airbus-a-l-affut-dans-la-defense-pour-etre-moins-dependant-du-civil-854124.html


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French to exercise Saudi military in operating the weapons, already used in Yemen. Used is a brand new training center in Meuse build with French taxpayer money, and in violation of international treaties. Investigation @LebelAudrey, Le Chronique. [French] https://www.amnesty.fr/controle-des-armes/actualites/revelations-en-france-un-centre-de-formation-pour-des-soldats-saoudiens

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Extinction Rebellion Cambridge (XRC) and Extinction Rebellion Youth Cambridge (XRYC) have promised a “fresh wave of action” against the University and it’s non-divested colleges and demand full divestment from fossil fuel companies and the arms trade. https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/19672

August 4

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Firearms exports from Austria to Brazil have surged by more than 377% in the first half of this year as gun ownership increases under the South American country’s rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/31/brazil-guns-glock-firearms-exports-data

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Retweet @FrankSlijper Buy now, pay later: US developing new options for arms customers to ensure they don’t drop planned procurements because of the impacts of COVID 19. https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2020/08/04/to-keep-weapon-sales-in-place-us-offers-new-options-for-payment/

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Military equipment supplier accused of fraudulently misrepresenting its size in order to benefit from privileges associated with being a small business received a Paycheck Protection Program small business loan worth at least $2 million records show. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/03/defense-contractor-with-billions-sales-got-millions-pandemic-loans-intended-small-businesses/

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No conditions attached: The Hungarian army has taken delivery of four used Leopard-2 tanks to begin training on the weapons as manufacturer Kraus-Maffei Wegmann works on the country's order of 44 new tanks. https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/07/30/hungary-gets-first-batch-of-german-leopard-2-tanks/

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Saturday Elbit Systems UK was visited by activists from new direct action group Palestine Action. Elbit’s London HQ is on the 6th floor of an office building at 77 Kingsway, London. Several campaigners entered the building hoping to stage an occupation. https://realmedia.press/palestine-action/

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The US State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Philippines of scout, assault, and light support boats with armaments and related equipment for an estimated cost of $126 million, US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said. https://www.dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/philippines-scout-assault-and-light-support-boats-armaments-and-accessories

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Turkey has deployed its combat helicopters to Azerbaijan for a live-fire exercise. A group of servicemen and the aircraft of the Turkish Armed Forces arrived in Nakhchivan to participate in a Azerbaijani-Turkish exercise. https://mod.gov.az/az/news/telimde-istirak-edecek-turkiye-silahli-quvvelerinin-sexsi-heyetinin-tenteneli-qarsilanma-merasimi-kecirilib-31634.html

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BAE Systems completes $1.9 billion acquisition of Raytheon’s military GPS business. The business boasts more than 1.5 million GPS devices installed on more than 280 weapons systems. https://www.c4isrnet.com/industry/2020/07/31/bae-systems-completes-19-billion-acquisition-of-raytheons-military-gps-business/

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Detailed evaluation of French arms export reporting in English: Arms sales and transparency: France's ommissions, what we're not told, what must change II https://amnestyfr.cdn.prismic.io/amnestyfr/757c24ea-27f2-44aa-9e9e-1681b60a516b_Arms_sales_transparency_France_s_omissions.pdf

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Lt. Gen. Charles Hooper took over the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency #DCAS in 2017 coinciding with a push by the Trump administration to increase weapon sales as an economic driver. 3 years later Defense News has an exclusive exit interview. https://www.defensenews.com/interviews/2020/08/03/us-weapon-sales-boss-talks-china-arms-exports-and-his-agencys-future/

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Wang Jung-hong, Korean arms procurement chief lauds ‘hidden’ defense tech champions. Former state auditor becomes troubleshooter for defense firms. He said Korea’s defense industry makes strides toward becoming an emerging player in the global arms market. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20200804000729

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A plea for an technology driven arms race, which will dwarf this of the eighties:

Can China’s Military Win the Tech War?

How the United States Should—and Should Not—Counter Beijing’s Civil-Military Fusion.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-07-29/can-chinas-military-win-tech-war

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A relaxation of US restrictions on drone exports offers an opportunity for the US to use drones to influence other countries & regions. If they've access to US military drones, the balance of forces may fail, thus worsening the regional security situation. https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-07-29/Why-has-the-U-S-eased-restrictions-on-the-export-of-drones--Sv9JYM5wM8/index.html

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Report on large underwater drones. "Large unmanned submerged Vehicles #LUSVs are to feature both built-in capabilities and an ability to accept modular payloads, and are to use existing Navy sensors and weapon launchers." https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/7009393/Navy-Large-Unmanned-Surface-and-Undersea.pdf

























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Arms trade to Azerbaijan is fatal as the country uses weapons against Armenian civilian infrastructure, Armenian FA Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has told The Jerusalem Post. Below is the full transcript published on the Foreign Ministry’s official website. https://hyetert.org/2020/07/29/armenian-fm-to-the-jerusalem-post-arms-trade-to-azerbaijan-is-fatal/

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Greece denies widely reported fake news that it is buying drones from Turkey https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/07/31/greece-denies-fake-news-that-it-is-buying-drones-from-turkey/

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IST Research announced it has been awarded a five-year, $66 million contract from the General Services Administration. Various Government customers will use the company’s pulse tech beginning with SOCAFRICA. https://www.globenewswire.com/fr/news-release/2020/07/23/2066650/0/en/IST-Research-Awarded-Five-year-66-Million-GSA-Contract.html More elaborate: https://www.fedscoop.com/socafrica-disinformation-ist-research/

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GKN Aerospace Sweden announced that it will partner with industries in Italy & UK in studies on future fighter engine technology. It's part of a wider firming-up of Sweden’s MOU with the UK on the Future Combat Air System #FCAS program, signed July 2019. https://www.gknaerospace.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2020/gkn-aerospace-sweden-joins-feasibility-studies-of-the-future-fighter-jet-engine/

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Turkish Navy’s 1st dedicated intelligence-gathering ship, the Ufuk, has started sea trials. The new ship was designed by STM (Savuma Teknolojileri ve Mühendislik Ticaret) and built at Istanbul Shipyard under a contract awarded in 2017. https://armynow.net/intelligence-ship-trials-turkey-aselsan/

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Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB-4) kicked off its first deployment today, leaving Virginia for an extended deployment primarily to US Africa Command. #AFRICOM https://news.usni.org/2020/07/27/expeditionary-seabase-uss-hershel-woody-williams-deploys-for-africom

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Israel’s presence in Libya has escaped most publicitiy, but media reports revealed that Tel Aviv secretly supports eastern Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar against the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/haftar-and-israel-from-animosity-to-alliance-3535532

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Rubber bullets and tear gas among British exports to US security forces: UK government gives green light to more tear gas sales to US police despite UN warning over violence

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/black-lives-matter-police-riot-gear-uk-protests-tear-gas-rubber-bullets-a9642166.html

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Trump administration’s proposal to end the practice of notifying Congress in advance of major arms sales is a departure from long-standing norms and a means of decreasing control on controversial sales, such as those to help the Saudi war in Yemen. https://www.lawfareblog.com/should-congress-play-role-arms-sales

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Battered by protracted Western sanctions, Russia has intensified efforts to sell arms to Southeast Asia, looking to lift its economy and diversify diplomatic relations in an increasingly polarized world. https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Russia-locks-onto-Southeast-Asia-to-boost-arms-sales

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Guess why not? Germany reaffirms that its decision to limit arms export to Turkey does not apply to naval weapons, German FA minister Heiko Maas said July 27. Berlin is one of the world’s main exporters of armaments and also a top exporter to Ankara. https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/limit-on-arms-export-to-turkey-excludes-maritime-equipment-german-fm-says

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Battling the true enemy; A comparative analysis of government spending on health and military in the context of a health crisis. A report by María Pía Devoto and Alejandra Otamendi. http://sehlac.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Battling-the-true-enemy.pdf