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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 The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has withdrawn its troops but first it established a network of...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 Weapons are outdated more quickly and replaced at a faster rate, often because of new technology.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 >

Dutch transit of Czech ammo to Guatemala

Dutch transit of Czech ammo to Guatemala; a country sliding “towards becoming a dictatorial state” In the largest harbour outside Asia, that of Rotterdam, remarkable things happen. Sometimes questions must be asked, like in the case of a large shipment of bullets to Guatemala, a country with a horrible past which is still a chilling part of the present. Guatemala was the stage of a... read more >

Crazy catalyst for European defence spending

“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!” Tweet Donald Trump 3 Dec 2018 This Trump Tweet was sent in the heat of the debate on enlarging the US defense budgets.... read more >

Coocking the budget: the drive for higher defence expenditures

The presumed need for higher military budgets is a major argument on which defence industries flourish. Why are alarm bells on the military budgets tolled so loud? It is hard to miss that the West is the dominant party in military expenditure. It spends more than the rest of the world together. The expenditures of Russia collapsed after the Cold War. Because the category 'Rest of the world... read more >

Reapers, Dutch air force and Fokker

The Dutch air force is in the process of acquiring four General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drones with ground stations at a cost of € 187 million. Anticipated deployment includes gathering intelligence during interventions/humanitarian operations and the support of civilian authorities. Dutch GKN Fokker is rewarded for the Dutch acquisition with participation in the production of the Reapers.... read more >

Netherland is Pakistan's 3rd source of arms

Dutch arms exports in 2017 are projected as dots on a map published online by Stop Wapenhandel (Stop Arms Trade) from the Netherlands. Eye catching for Asia is the big dot covering Pakistan. Karachi was a major client for Dutch arms in 2017. Which is peculiar for several reasons: First because the Dutch have overall a restrictive arms export policy. And second because the South Asian country is... read more >

Fokker alive and kicking; components for Yemen

Late august 2018 military helicopter company NHIndustries concluded a deal with Qatar to sell 28 helicopters. The France-based company is jointly owned by Airbus, Leonardo Helicopters and Fokker Aerostructures. Fokker produces the landing gear for the NH-90 helicopters. The deal with Qatar is only a tip of the iceberg of the involvement of the Fokker company in the Middle East. Fokker delivers... read more >

Hidden parts in Dutch arms export

During a visit of the Dutch prime minister to Washington, the Netherlands and the United States reinforced their ties on military affairs on issues like cooperation on operations, equipment and acquisitions. The US is already the biggest customer of the Dutch arms industry, followed by EU/NATO+ and Germany. Cooperation agreements play a large role in this trade connection. Great global powers... read more >