Italy collaborating on nextgen fighter

The Italian defence ministry has contracted with four of the country’s defence firms for development along with Britain and Japan of next-generation fighter. An evolution of the British-led Tempest initiative, the Global Combat Air Program, has targetted 2035 to begin production. [node:read-more:link]

Bigger defence budget for Poland

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki today unveiled plans to increase his country’s defence budget this year to four per cent of GDP from the current level of nearly 2.5 per cent. “The war in Ukraine makes us arm ourselves even faster,” he said. “That is why this year we will make an unprecedented effort” he said, adding that the increase “might mean that this will be the highest percentage . . . among all NATO countries.” [node:read-more:link]

Germany re-kits its troops

An accelerated procurement process in German is designed to equip “each and every” soldier personnel equipment such as protective gear, night vision goggles, and rucksacks inside the next three years. It could have taken nearly double that time under normal circumstances but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine added real-world urgency to the task. [node:read-more:link]

Hungary to meet NATO goal early?

Recent joint ventures with foreign defence manufacturers evidently will enable Hungary to boost military expenditure to NATO’s target of two per cent of gross domestic product a year earlier than expected. The deals with the state-owned N7 Holding company are part of a large-scale effort to procure new weapons and production facilities. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. military exports booming

The rush by European allies to shore up Ukrainian defences, thereby depleting their own materiel, contributed significantly to a 49 per cent jump in U.S. military sales to foreign governments last year. The State Department says the total value was US$51.9 billion, excluding direct commercial sales which rose by a similar percentage to $153.7 billion. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 sales affect L-M’s bottom line

Nearly six weeks after halting deliveries of new F-35 fighters, Lockheed Martin CEO Jim Taiclet says the company is awaiting results of an investigation of a December 15 mishap before resuming acceptance flights and deliveries. While the pause was a factor in an F-35 sales decline at loss of some US$310 million, the company’s aeronautics division had nearly US$27 billion in net sales in 2022, up $239 million from 2021. [node:read-more:link]

France considers maritime patrol aircraft

Nearly six years after announcing a joint maritime patrol aircraft project with Germany, France is looking at domestic options after Germany bought some Boeing P-8 Poseidons from the U.S. Navy as an interim solution. It has awarded 18-month contracts to Airbus Defence & Space and Dassault Aviation to examine potential replacements for its current decades-old MPA fleet. [node:read-more:link]

Turkish drone maker spreads its wings

The Turkish drone manufacturer, Baykar, has announced another export sale, increasing its international market to more than two dozen countries. Its latest deal is a US$370-million contract to provide Kuwait with armed Bayraktar TB2s. [node:read-more:link]

Macron seeks huge defence boost

Seven months after launching a new “war economy”, French Emmanuel Macron has unveiled a 2024-2030 plan to spend €400-billion on defence priorities which, if enacted, would reflect a 35 per cent increase over the current 2019-2025 plan. He said the increase would enable France to “transform” services so as to more quickly respond to global threats to its territories. [node:read-more:link]

Australian firms buy Barrett Firearms

Tennessee-based Barrett Firearms, a family-owned company whose weapons have become almost synonymous with sniper systems, has been purchased by privately-owned NIOA Group of Australia, which began as a firearms business and has since been built up as an agglomeration of interests. Barrett will operate as a unique brand within NIOA. [node:read-more:link]

Turkey’s F-16 order problematic

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu met with U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken in Washington January 18 to secure a $20 billion arms sale that includes 40 new Lockheed Martin Block F-16 fighters as well as upgrades to its current F-16 fleet. [node:read-more:link]

More Canadian vehicles for Ukraine

After meeting today in Kyiv with her Ukrainian counterpart, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced that Canada is sending 200 Roshel Senator emergency response vehicles to Ukraine. They are being purchased for $90 million from their Toronto-area manufacturer which had shipped eight to Ukraine last year. [node:read-more:link]

Australia replacing controversial helos

After years of political controversy and long-running and costly operational issues, the Australian government confirmed today that it will replace its multi-role Airbus Taipan helicopters with 40 Lockheed Martin Black Hawks at a cost of someUS$2 billion. The decision was taken even though Australia is still in the middle of a comprehensive defence policy review but officials suggested the situation was urgent. [node:read-more:link]

Estonia learning from Ukraine’s experience

Estonia is increasing its fleet of South Korean howitzers to 36 with a new order for 12 at a cost of some €36 million. “Ukraine clearly shows how important indirect fire weapons are,” Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said January 17. “We have made quick decisions to equip both infantry brigades with additional K9 Thunder mobile howitzers and bring Estonia’s indirect fire capability to a completely new level.” [node:read-more:link]

More action, less talk: CADSI

Christyn Cianfarani, executive director of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries said that if the private sector is to provide materiel to the Canadian military on a “war footing” basis, as suggested by the Chief of the Defence Staff, it needs to get its act together. She said that unlike its allies, Canada has relied on “vague pleas” and that “defence companies can and would step up if they knew exactly what, and how much” Canada wants to buy. [node:read-more:link]


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