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Turkish authorities cannot find Dutch nuclear proliferator

In October 2003 the German-registered ship BBC China was boarded and searched in the Italian port of Taranto in a joint US–UK–Germany–Italy operation. Investigators seized five containers bound for Libya that held components for uranium enrichment equipment. The containers bore the logo of Scomi Precision Engineering, a Malaysian company contracted by the network of Abdul Qadeer... read more >

Arms fairs and the footprint of EADS

Arms fairs are the oil that keeps the arms trade machine running. International exhibitions are the ideal show for anything the military needs, as well as anything it did not know it needed but which has been developed and thus is desirable. Arms fairs are the playgrounds where big business needs to persuade military delegations of the 'need' to buy their innovative killing machines. All... read more >

EADS sells big to Indonesian Air Force

“A possible embargo has always been a reason for the TNI [Indonesian armed forces] to feel worried when it wants to procure weapons from overseas”, Indonesian commander–in-chief Agus Suhartono said in January. Indonesia had to deal with European and American arms embargo's for a many years, as a consequence of massive human rights violations in East Timor, Papua and Aceh.... read more >

Arms deal with Thailand a novelty in reporting

Last week the Dutch government introduced a novelty in its reporting system on arms exports. It sent a letter to Parliament, notifying an export licence recently granted for fire control equipment with destination Thailand. Under the new system the government will inform Parliament within two weeks of any export licence granted worth two million euro or more, for all destinations apart from EU/... read more >

Dutch arms exports to China, Turkmenistan and Egypt

The Dutch government is quite transparent in detailing its arms exports – at least, ex post. Licence details are published on the government's website. Although transparency in itself does not limit exports – the Netherlands is still a solid top-10 arms exporter – it  gives the opportunity to scrutinize the implementation of export policies. And although the Dutch... read more >

Frontex eyes drones to further war on immigration

Last September the European Parliament granted EU border control agency Frontex the right to purchase its own equipment, such as navy ships and helicopters. Up till then Frontex was depending on EU member states defence and police forces for its equipment. The decision of the European Parliament opened up new profit opportunities for the arms industry. While no orders so far have become public... read more >

New Dutch arms control legislation leaves transport sector untouched

A Dutch-flagged ship carrying US supplied weapons and explosives is feared to be on its way to Egypt, Amnesty International reported this week. While US authorities admit that the Dutch vessel is carrying US military cargo, they refuse to confirm the final destination or recipient of the weapons, citing security reasons. The US Navy however denies that the weapons will be offloaded in any... read more >

Taiwan's latest submarine plans: Dutch design?

Ever since George W. Bush in 2001 proposed to assist Taiwan in getting diesel electric submarines, the question of 'how and with whom' has puzzled analysts. As the US itself does not possess the relevant technology anymore (all their subs are nuclear powered) any assistance should come from abroad. In his book 'Joep!' Philip de Witt Wijnen describes how Dutch businessman Joep van... read more >

Garage sale for new drones

In a paper with the hilarious title "How to stop the demilitarisation of Europe" former European Defence Agency chief Nick Witney expresses his worries about the cuts in the  defence budgets of EU member states. Quoting outgoing US Defence Secretary Robert Gates, he warns for the “very real possibility of collective military irrelevance” of NATO, when Europeans continue... read more >

Dutch Defence minister has 'no morals' in tank deal with Indonesia

This week an Indonesian delegation, led by Army chief of staff general Edhie Widowo, is visiting the Netherlands to have a closer look at Dutch Leopard tanks, for sale since last year's austerity measures. When we first discussed the potential deal in November just a few details had emerged. Two months later the whole affair has become a major controversy, in both Indonesia and the... read more >

Ammunition for Syria no problem for Cyprus

Over the past weeks two cases of suspicious arms transit attracted international media attention. The first was the accidental catch in Finland of 69 Patriot missiles on board of the British-registered Thor Liberty in late December 2011. According to the bill of lading the ship was on its way to Shanghai, China from the German port of Emden. Heavy storms had forced it to stop in Kotka, Finland,... read more >

No lessons learned?

2011 obviously was a remarkable year, with the Arab Spring dominating world politics. Honouring those who went on the streets and sometimes risked their lives to speak out against their undemocratic, repressive and corrupt leaders, Time magazine made 'The Protester' person of the year. The protests in the Middle East and North Africa and especially their brutal suppression also hit back... read more >

State must increase support of strategic exports - says employers' association

Two days before a parliamentary debate on the Dutch arms export policy, FME employers' association president Ineke Dezentjé has a large interview in NRC daily newspaper  to complain about the difficult export situation of the Dutch (technological) industry. Dezentjé used to be Member of Parliament of liberal party VVD which preaches free market for every sector of the Dutch... read more >

Arms industry into climate change

While the outlooks for the Durban Climate Change Conference (Conference of Parties) are not hopeful, some see possibilities in the failing fight against climate change. The defence industry "could be one of the few beneficiaries from ecological catastrophes", according to journalist David Cronin, by "turning an environmental question into a security issue", "with global... read more >

Indonesia aiming for Leopard tanks

The Indonesian army has received a major budget boost to modernise its weaponry. As part of the programme the army has already agreed on the purchase of 100 Leopard 2 A6 tanks for which $280 million is available, according to Indonesian media sources. The Indonesian army is specifically looking at Europe where surplus equipment has become available in large quantities and relatively cheap. Many... read more >

Keep buying!

According to an internal document obtained by Reuters last month, Germany is planning to reduce its fighter jet and helicopter orders from the European aerospace company EADS. German defence minister Maiziere wants to cut 37 of 140 Eurofighter aircraft, to reduce an order for Puma armoured vehicles to 350 from 410 and halve an order for Tiger combat helicopters to 40. De Maiziere also wants to... read more >

Arms embargoes and business as usual - Libya and Indonesia

Now that NATO finished its air campaign in Libya, it will be a matter of weeks, maybe a few months, before we will hear the first calls for an end to the Libya arms embargo. With many military installations bombed to pieces and arsenals looted, the Libyans have many armament gaps to fill. There is a lucrative market waiting out there. Back in 2004, just after Kadhafi had declared to give up... read more >

Four corvettes for Vietnam

Vietnam is close to ordering four Sigma-class corvettes from Netherlands based Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS). Late September Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung confirmed the news during a visit to the shipyard. According to a DSNS director the contract was "just a matter of financing details". He likely meant arranging export credit insurances from the Dutch government... read more >