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Frontex awards €84.5 million in aerial surveillance contracts

At the beginning of August the EU published two new contract award notices for aerial surveillance services for Frontex, worth €84.5 million. Some of the companies that were contracted have already been performing surveillance flights in the Mediterranean and elsewhere for Frontex for years now. With this they contribute to the system of increasingly militarised borders, which results in... read more >

The business of sovereignty: French arms export policy book review

The French arms export policy is part of the ambition to create a military sovereign France that can produce its own high-quality weapons. In order to keep independent production affordable, exports are needed to ensure economics of scale and spread the enormous development and research costs over more units. To this aim, the French government follows a policy in which arms export promotion is... read more >

Dutch maritime support for oil industry in Niger Delta

Nigeria is a major African military power. Its military is often accused of human rights violations, like recently for using helicopters against civilians. Despite these continuing accusation, Italian Leonardo (partnered with Israeli Elbit) will deliver 6 M346FA jets to Nigeria in 2021. Nigeria's navy often escapes the scrutiny while oil extraction, pollution and protests happen in and around... read more >

Race to the bottom on arms export control

In their aspirations towards a European arms industry, Germany and France want to cooperate more in arms production and invent new rules. As a consequence, the humanitarian position of Germany is on a slippery slope. And so are the arms export policies of other European countries. Late 2019, the European Round Table, a lobby association that includes the leaders of large European defence... read more >

Rheinmetall: The German-Dutch connection, financial constructions and components

Rheinmetall is a German producer of civil and military products. Recently its G3 machine riffles were located on patrol vessels of the Myanmar armed forces. It is just one of the examples of were the arms by the Düsseldorf-based transnational are used by armed forces severely violating human rights. The corporation has military businesses on all continents: in Asia (China, Singapore), South... read more >

TNO profits from lobbying for EU military funding

This year the European Defence Fund (EDF) will take off, handing out €8 billion in funding for military research and development of new arms and military technologies during the EU budget cycle 2021-2027. Under two preparatory programmes the EU already gave €590 million in funding for research and development in the years 2017-2020. Research institute TNO has been the main Dutch... read more >

Dutch military naval technology to Ankara, ends in Karachi

Dutch military naval technology to Ankara, ends in Karachi The Dutch government has issued a permit for the sale of military technology for corvettes to the Istanbul Naval Shipyard* with final destination Pakistan. The deal is worth € 46.7 million, which is 5% of average Dutch annual arms exports over the past decade. The Thales technology includes advanced Smart-S radar (optimised for... read more >

Frontex awards €50 million in border surveillance drone contracts to Airbus, IAI and Elbit

Last week border guard agency Frontex announced it had awarded new contracts for drone surveillance services in the Mediterranean to arms companies Airbus, with subcontractor Israeli Aerospace Industries (IAI), and Elbit. Frontex will pay up to €50 million under framework contracts to provide “maritime aerial surveillance services with Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems for long... read more >

Military vessels and naval production in the Eastern Mediterranean

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,... read more >

Mega Egyptian order for Dutch branch of French Thales

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... read more >

Major Dutch arms export to Egypt

In July the Dutch government informed the Parliament that it gave permission to export naval command, control, communication (C3) and military radar to Egypt. Value: € 114.038.400. This is a very large arms deal for the Netherlands (approximately 10% of annual total). According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the equipment is to be installed at a naval frigate to be used for patrol tasks... read more >

Arms watch or arms control

Annual reports on arms exports (see list) are published by almost all EU governments, but mostly not very timely. Reporting on arms exports is a mandatory part of EU transparency policy. Amazingly the reports concerning international trade are often published in national languages only. They also have different formats, sometimes caused by unwillingness to provide information, sometimes because... read more >

We need security, not more military

The defence industry is busy to sell its message that investing into armaments is a way out of the sour economic times and international developments laying ahead. It does so on national, as well as European levels. But is that what Europe, the world needs? Big spenders In April 2020 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute published its figures on military expenditures on 2019 for... read more >

Hypersonic weapons: fast and dangerous

Since the Gulf War of 1990-1991, a wide array of new military technology has been developed. This includes new risky techniques like machine learning to enhance nuclear C3 systems, with the huge danger of the US or its competitors inadvertently accelerate crisis instability. It includes adaptions to brains to make them more useful for military operations. It can also bring change to what seems to... read more >

Imports and exports both part of military policy

Arms trade has two sides; the export by one is the import by the other. Arms export is controlled in most countries but import is not. Although it may have large and long term consequences for security and human rights. Not in the country importing, but in the country of export. Turkish import Since Ankara started the invasion of northern Syria in October 2019 arms exports to Turkey are... read more >

The future is now

In the coming months decisions will be taken with long term consequences for military expenditure and arms production. The arms industry has been shifting parts of its production from swords to ploughshares recently to help producing the medical equipment needed to fight the corona virus. This was widely reported by the industry, press and by governments. But not all swords went to the forgery.... read more >

The security paradigm is changing

Early March, production lines in Italy and Japan for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter closed because of corona. The virus affects even the world's largest military program ever. Military power has its limits when facing a pandemic. Troops are brought home from foreign deployments such as Iraq and US military exercises like Defender 2020 are scaled down if not fully stopped. All of the approx. 5,... read more >

(resend) New Dutch submarines; how about proliferation?

(corrected version) The Netherlands is in the midst of a multi billion euro acquisition of new conventional submarines to replace its current class. Recently the acquisition process was scrutinised by a large amount of questions (267) by members of the parliament to the government. The acquisition has a defence-industrial component and will impact future European arms exports as well as the... read more >