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Not management, not shareholders but employees pay for Airbus underperformance

Airbus is a European civil-military aeronautic company based in France, Germany and Spain. It is 26 per cent state-owned (see figure, click to enlarge). For financial and organisational reasons it has its official headquarters in tax haven the Netherlands (see table). Airbus is the worlds largest builder of civil air liners, but produces also helicopters, fighter jets, drones, cybertechnology and... read more >

Turkish defence industry not a miracle

Turkish foreign and military policy becomes rapidly more assertive and autonomous. It can be seen in the Syria policy from the invasion to the current armed stand-off, in trafficking weapons to Libyan allies, in obstructing EU collaboration with NATO and in President Erdogan concluding agreements on defence industrial cooperation with other countries, from Malaysia to Senegal and Ukraine, on a... read more >

The Panel of Experts on arms exports to Libya

With all eyes on Iran, developments in other parts of the conflict-torn region are ongoing almost outside the eyes of the public. Troops of Commander Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA, supported by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt) declared a final and decisive battle to take Tripoli last month. Fighting and shelling between the two sides of the conflict has been raging there... read more >

Damen to help Nigerian military to transport troops and weapons in Delta

In a video clip the use of the Landing Ship Transport 120 can be watched; ramps unfold and weapon systems are boarded. The ship is developed by the Dutch conglomerate of ship wharfs Damen. Tanks (up to 70 tons), vessels and armoured vehicles can be brought aboard in several ways at different spots of the ship. Construction of a slightly smaller type of the class, the LST 100, for the Nigerian... read more >

Brexit; arms production and sales part II - EU/UK arms trade

Brexit; arms production and sales part II - EU/UK arms trade After Brexit, the UK Government aims continuation of existing policies on arms exports. Which means maintaining broadly the same policy as the EU on export control and sanctions legislation. "This included preparing for a no-deal scenario by transposing EU export control legislation into UK law through the EU (Withdrawal) Act, and... read more >

Brexit, arms production and export. Part I – UK - EU production relations

Brexit, arms production and export. Part I – UK - EU production relations The desperate call for ordurrrrrr is what comes to mind when speaking about Brexit, almost as if it is a Shakespearean tragedy instead of a reality affecting the economic and social life in the UK, the EU and the wider world. What effect Brexit may have on the future of arms sales and defence production in Europe,... read more >

Components for War

While war is knocking at European doors Brussels is not even able to decide on a common arms embargo on Turkey. Once upon a time, the European Union was considered an example that another security policy was possible. A security that was based on the power of negotiation instead of military force. With two EU initiatives to support the defence industry, nowadays Europe is quickly loosing its... read more >

India a major customer for EU weaponry

India a major customer for EU weaponry Already for decades, India is a major client for the EU arms industry. According to the latest offical EU figures available, it is the second most important destination for European Member States' export of weapons and military technology in 2017. Licenses valued the enormous amount of 12 billion were issued. Herewith India followed only Saudi Arabia... read more >

Economic and power relations at the cost of human suffering

Arms exports to the Saudi led coalition Since the peace agreement of half a year ago the situation in Yemen has only worsened: new frontlines, more people homeless and not enough supplies to help those in need. With the recent surge of the conflict in Aden the war has become even more complex. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has withdrawn its troops but first it established a network of... read more >

Unmanned underwater weaponry

While in 2006 two thirds of the military budget in EU countries went to personnel, in 2017 this was less than half. Weapons are outdated more quickly and replaced at a faster rate, often because of new technology. Cyberspace is added to the traditional military domains of land, air, sea and space. New kinds of communication technology enables commanders to sent and receive massive amounts of... read more >

F-35: crowbar to break Chinese border defences

F-35: crowbar to break Chinese border defences There are 3 different types of the F-35: the A, B and C variants. Most countries buy the F-35A, the lastest generation of a conventional fighter aircraft. The F-35B type has the capability for short take off and vertical landing (STOVL), which makes it a ideal type for short-field bases, small aircraft carriers and large amphibious ships. The C type... read more >

Ammunition for war

Large quantities of ammunition are passing through the Netherlands in 2018-2019. Remarkable is the massive transport of 9 mm small arms ammunition from the Czech Republic through the harbour of Rotterdam en route to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the major parties involved in the Yemen war. When the UN introduced its trade register on conventional arms in 1991, one of the advantages was... read more >

When boatbuilders sell to bandits

Corruption in arms trade is endemic. But the corruption surrounding the export of Dutch gunboats to Nigeria is next level. The Nigerian Premium Times published a series of articles on how Nigerian and Israeli businessmen and high ranking officers enriched themselves by weapon deals. In an article under the heading 'When generals turn bandits' one of them called it “a particular... read more >

How strong is the German 'nein'?

How strong is the German 'nein'? The German government has extended its policy to not grant export permissions for military products for countries participating in the Yemen war to the end of March. Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to relax the strict rules and said they could be reconsidered. The Social Democrats of the SPD however, also part of the German government, and forced by the... read more >

Military industrial axis of the European Union

Military industrial axis of the European Union On January 22, 2019 Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron signed the Treaty of Aachen (Aachener Vertrag/Traité d'Aix-la-Chapelle). Article 4 deals with internal and external security and defence cooperation, including military industrial issues. Berlin and Paris will intensify common defence programs to promote and consolidate the European... read more >

Part 2: Dutch naval yard at the Black Sea

Recently the Romanian government canceled the acquisition of corvettes, probably due to irregularities (see part 1). This is a setback for Damen – a major global conglomerate of ship wharfs and one of the biggest Dutch arms exporters – started to build a Romanian position already in the nineties, with the acquisition of the Galati ship wharf (near Moldavia in the Northeast). It made... read more >

Part 1: Political scandel with Dutch yard at Black Sea

Romania is one of the few NATO countries that has raised its military budget up to 2 per cent of its GDP. The country is now upgrading its armed forces and one of the projects it embarks on is modernisation of the naval forces. The project however is not going as planned. Mid January the Romanian Ministry of Defence suspended the selection process for a €1.8 billion naval corvette program,... read more >

Fighter jet programs in Europe

An often heard complaint about the European defence industry is that it is divided and that every country has its own production facilities. An infographic by the European Commission on the lack of Integration in Defence clarified this for land and air systems. The figure shows that the United States has eleven types of fighter aircraft for 2,279 fighters. In the European Union, there are... read more >