Arms Trade Bulletin: January - February 2018

Bringing you the latest global arms trade news and updates from recent months, with a special focus on Africa.


The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is entering its fourth year. For signatories to the ATT, its implementation and translation into national laws often remains a challenging work-in-progress. Others, like Canada, have plans to accede to the ATT.

For a thorough legal and practical analysis of the ATT, we like to remind you of the book “Weapons and International law: The Arms Trade Treaty”, published by Larcier and containing expert contributions by several researchers of the International Peace Information Service (IPIS).

To enhance knowledge of the ATT’s arms transfer control obligations and optional measures amongst key stakeholders, IPIS has also developed an electronic self-learning course. The course contains 13 modules covering key provisions of the ATT, including the scope of the treaty, prohibited transfers, risks and decision making on export, regulations on imports, transit and trans-shipment. They also address regulations on brokering and measures to prevent diversion. They guide the user through the national reporting and control systems, the enforcement of the treaty and international cooperation. The modules cite overlapping obligations of other treaties and the relevance of other international standards for the implementation of the ATT. The course is available here in English, French and Spanish.

Arms Trade Treaty

Beware: The United Nations Is Taking Aim at Ammo | 4 February 2018 | The Daily Signal

The United Nations will have a busy year in 2018 on the firearms front. That’s not good news for anyone in the U.S. who buys firearms. When it comes to the U.N. and guns, the best form of action is always inaction.

Plan to turn arms treaty into law moves forward | 8 February 2018 | Khmer Times

Authorities yesterday began a two-day workshop on preventing the smuggling of illegal arms and integrating provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty, signed in 2013, into national law. Cambodian government adviser Sieng Lapresse held a workshop entitled “EU Arms Trade Treaty Outreach Project” with about 30 officials from European Union countries and relevant ministries at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh yesterday.

Freeland’s proposal to join Arms Trade Treaty called inadequate | 8 February 2018 | CBC News

Changes to Canada’s arms export policy to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of human rights abusers won’t mean an end to a controversial contract with Saudi Arabia, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday.

Wassenaar Arrangement 

Wassenaar Export Controls on Surveillance Tools: New Exemptions for Vulnerability Research | 5 January 2018 | Lawfare

The United States successfully negotiated research-use exceptions to export controls on surveillance tools at the December 2017 meeting of the Wassenaar Arrangement, a club of advanced economies that coordinates export controls. These export controls—requirements that organizations selling or sending technologies with potential military applications abroad obtain a license from the Commerce Department—affect key swaths of the cybersecurity industry. Although countries implement export controls at the national level, the United States and 40 other countries have agreed to coordinate their controlled items at the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international framework for creating a voluntary export control regime.


US agrees Super Tucano sale to Nigeria | 1 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

The United States has agreed the sale to Nigeria of 12 Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)–Embraer A-29 Super Tucano light-attack turboprops, it was reported on 27 December.

Nigerian Army partners with local vehicle manufacturer | 8 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Nigeria’s Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) announced on 3 January that it had gone into partnership with the Nigerian Army to design and produce armoured fighting vehicles (AFVs).

Russia Looks to the Central African Republic to Beef Up Its Arms Sales to Africa | 10 January 2018 | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

In mid-December, the United Nations granted Russia an exemption to the arms embargo on the Central African Republic, after a petition from Moscow to supply the country’s embattled military with light arms and ammunition, according to reporting by the AFP.

Nigeria completes Super Mushshak deliveries | 14 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has received a further five Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) Kamra Super Mushshak basic trainer aircraft to add to the five delivered in mid-2017.

Algeria confirms Chinese MRL acquisition | 16 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Algeria National People’s Army’s (ANP’s) acquisition of Norinco SR5 multiple rocket launchers (MRLs) was confirmed on 13 January when the Ministry of National Defence released imagery showing the systems being used during a live fire exercise in the 4th Military Region.

Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution blames Benue, Taraba, other killings on proliferation of arms, inadequate security | 16 January 2018 | The Eagle Online

The Director-General, Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Prof. Oshita Oshita, has blamed the Benue, Taraba and other killings on the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country. Oshita stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at a news conference on the violent conflicts in Benue, Taraba and other parts of the country.

Police investigate report of aircraft loaded with firearms in Taraba | 21 January 2018 | The Nation

The Taraba State Police Command on Sunday said it was gathering intelligence on reports that a helicopter suspected to be loaded with firearms and ammunition landed in Jubu village, Wukari local government area of the State on Saturday night.

350m illegal arms threaten 2019 elections | 24 January 2018 | New Telegraph (Nigeria)

The Federal Government has raised concerns over smuggling of small arms and light weapons, saying the trend must be checked before the 2019 elections. This came as the government also raised the alarm over porous borders, which, it said, contributed to the proliferation of illegal weapons. The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd), made the assertions at a stakeholders’ meeting called to address the national crisis.

L’Algérie est le premier importateur d’armes allemandes en 2017 | 24 January 2018 | Algérie patriotique

L’Algérie est-elle en train de se détourner progressivement de ses fournisseurs traditionnels en armes ? Selon le site de la radio allemande Deutsche Welle (DW), l’Algérie arrive en tête des importateurs d’armes allemandes en 2017.

Arrivée d’une première livraison d’armes russes à Bangui | 28 January 2018 | Jeune Afrique

Une première cargaison d’armes russes, destinées à l’équipement des forces armées centrafricaines, est arrivée dans la nuit de vendredi à samedi à Bangui, a appris l’AFP de sources onusiennes concordantes.

Nigeria institutes committee on small arms, light weapons | 30 January 2018 | The Guardian (Nigeria)

The Federal Government has set up a committee to transform the powers of Presidential Committee on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PRESCOM) to the prescribed National Commission (NATCOM).

U.S. Imposes Embargo on Arms to South Sudan | 2 February 2018 | The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan Friday, in a sign of Washington’s mounting frustration with continued violence in the country. The move is more symbolic than practical, as the U.S. government doesn’t sell arms or provide defense services to South Sudan, and there is virtually no military trade between the two countries.

South Sudan Arms Embargo ‘Weakens’ Salva Kiir | 2 February 2018 | Atlantic Council

The US arms embargo on South Sudan not only sends a strong signal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, but ultimately “weakens his ability to hold on to power by force,” according to the Atlantic Council’s J. Peter Pham.

Tribunal hears Zuma era corruption, rooted in apartheid and 1999 arms deals | 4 February 2018 | Fin24

South Africa: Evidence of Apartheid Crimes Demand Justice | 4 February 2018 | AllAfrica

A five-day tribunal focusing on South African’s economic crimes has heard how the sins of previous transgressors still haunt South Africa today. The People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime is trying to join the dots between apartheid era corruption involving sanctions busting selling of weapons, the 1999 arms deal and present day corruption, commonly known as state capture.

People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime: Former French presidents Sarkozy and Chirac implicated in evidence | 4 February 2018 | Daily Maverick

It was a bruising day for many significant reputations at the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crime in Johannesburg on Monday. Lawyer Ajay Sooklal, formerly known as Witness X, took to the stand and implicated two former French Presidents, President Jacob Zuma and a range of notable politicians in the infamous Arms Deal. But he didn’t get off that lightly himself, either. Which raises a couple of uncomfortable questions.

French presidents ‘tried to torpedo SA arms deal probe’ | 6 February 2018 | The Mail & Guardian

After delivering testimony on Monday that implicated two former French presidents and South African leaders in the arms deal, attorney Ajay Sooklal chose to withdraw from the People’s Tribunal on Economic Crimes after being questioned by former justice Zak Yacoob on his moral judgments.

40 000 fusils et plus de 37 tonnes d’explosifs discrètement introduits au Mali | 6 February 2018 | La Dépêche | MaliActu

lors que le Mali traverse une crise sécuritaire sans précédent, un opérateur économique continue d’introduire discrètement sur le territoire malien près de 40 000 fusils et des tonnes d’explosifs sous le regard indifférent des plus hautes autorités. Que se passe t il donc ?

Firearms control legislation under constitutional scrutiny | 7 February 2018 | TimesLive (South Africa)

The minister of police on Wednesday asked the Constitutional Court not to confirm that two sections in the Firearms Control Act were unconstitutional. The sections‚ if declared unconstitutional‚ will disrupt the police’s goal of regulating firearm ownership by requiring that each firearm owner has a licence that expires after a certain period.

Finnish man hawking Patria arms found dead in Uganda hotel room | 12 February 2018 | YLE

Patria CEO: “Mistake” to contract middleman in Uganda incident | 14 February 2018 | YLE

Minister demands explanation from state-owned arms firm over Uganda death | 14 February 2018 | YLE

ISO boss speaks out on hotel deaths | 11 February 2018 | Daily Monitor

Police in Uganda are investigating the death of a 40-year-old Finnish businessman found in his hotel room. Police are operating on the premise that he died of natural causes, but are not ruling out foul play.

Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Addition of South Sudan | 14 February 2018 | State Department | Federal Register

The Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to include reference to South Sudan in its regulations on prohibited exports, imports, and sales to and from certain countries, and to update defense trade policy toward South Sudan by applying a policy of denial on the export of defense articles and defense services to South Sudan, except as otherwise provided. This amendment reflects a policy determination made by the Secretary of State.

Logistical challenges fueling insecurity at Ghana’s borders | 19 February 2018 | Citi FM Online

A solid border infrastructure in an unstable sub-region is critical not only to check criminals from entering the country, but also to check economic migrants attracted by Ghana’s stability and economic growth.

Civil defence budgets N5bn for nuclear weapon equipment, others | 20 February 2018 | The Daily Trust (Nigeria)

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has proposed to spend N5 billion on the procurement of anti-terrorism, chemical, bio-radiation and nuclear weapon equipment and other new projects. Breakdown of the budget by Daily Trust reveals that N254.2m was proposed for the procurement of nuclear weapon equipment, as well as N196.6m for the purchase of two BMW 900 RT, 374 Sinoki motorcycles, 200 bikes and 30 rider kits.

Arms from Libya, Yemen, others fueling crime in Nigeria | 21 February 2018 | The Nation

Proliferation of firearms being smuggled in from Libya, Yemen, Mali, Niger and Chad and increasing use of illegal drugs are responsible for the worsening crime situation in Nigeria, Minister of Interior, Lieutenant General, Abdulraman Dambazau (rtd) has said.

N13b arms cash: EFCC grills ex-Army Chief Ihejirika | 22 February 2018 | The Nation

Arms Procurement Scandal: Why Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Is After Former Chief of Army Staff Ihejirika | 22 February 2018 | Sahara Reporters

Alleged N13b arms cash: Ihejirika to face another EFCC panel in Lagos | 23 February 2018 | The Nation

For about nine hours, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) detectives yesterday quizzed a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, over alleged N13 billion arms cash traced to him and his relations.


The ‘Merchants of Death’ Survive and Prosper | 2 January 2018 | Bainbridge Island Review

During the mid-1930s, a best-selling exposé of the international arms trade, combined with a U.S. Congressional investigation of munitions-makers led by Senator Gerald Nye, had a major impact on American public opinion. Convinced that military contractors were stirring up weapons sales and war for their own profit, many people grew critical of these “merchants of death.”

The Rise of Untraceable ‘Ghost Guns’ | 4 January 2018 | The Wall Street Journal

Axel Galvez had a deal: $7,500 for five untraceable semiautomatic rifles. And he had a buyer: a felon who planned to ship them overseas. Now, he just needed weapons that would be invisible to regulators. To avoid background checks, Mr. Galvez bought rifle parts, then assembled the five guns at the Los Angeles machine shop where he worked. He offered to build his buyer 100 more for $130,000.

Guns sold by police end up with drug dealers and in gang houses | 8 January 2018 | Associated Press | Honolulu Star Advertiser

A yearlong Associated Press analysis found more than a dozen firearms sold by law enforcement agencies in Washington since 2010 later became evidence in new criminal investigations. Identifying guns sold by law enforcement and matching them to new crimes required extensive research and dozens of public records requests to individual agencies. Using those records, the AP created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, so the AP collected crime-gun databases from individual agencies and compared them with the sold-gun database to find guns with matching make, model, caliber and serial numbers.

Trump to call on Pentagon, diplomats to play bigger arms sales role | 8 January 2018 | Reuters

The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new “Buy American” plan that calls for U.S. military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the U.S. weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide, officials said.

Panama receives new helicopters, aircraft | 9 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Panama’s National Naval Air Service has received two Leonardo (AgustaWestland) AW139M helicopters and one Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otter transport aircraft, the country’s Ministry of Public Security announced on 8 January.

U.S. biggest source of illegal foreign guns in Brazil | 11 January 2018 |

The United States is the largest source of guns entering Brazil that end up in the hands of armed bandits and drug traffickers, according to a Brazilian Federal Police report seen by Reuters.

The 10 Companies That Dominate the Global Arms Trade | 12 January 2018 | Visual Capitalist

A look at the world’s top defense companies by arms sales.

Jamaica Defence Force buying new helicopters, training aircraft | 17 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Jamaican Ministry of National Security (MNS) said it is buying three Bell 429 helicopters, one Bell 412EPI helicopter, two Bell 206B-3 helicopters, and four Diamond DA40 CS light aircraft.

There’s ‘no evidence’ Tasers reduce police use of firearms, new study shows | 18 January 2018 | CNBC

There is “no evidence” that the adoption of Tasers reduces police use of firearms, according to a study released this week from the University of Chicago.

Gun Thefts in the U.S. Are Skyrocketing and Investigators Have No Idea Why | 19 January 2018 | Fortune

Stealing from people almost guaranteed to be armed would seem like a dumb idea to most, but not everybody got the memo. Firearm theft from licensed retailers including gun stores is becoming increasingly common, according to data released by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this week.

California firearms manufacturer moving to Wyoming | 23 January 2018 | Associated Press | San Francisco Chronicle

Firearms manufacturer Weatherby Inc. is relocating its manufacturing operations and corporate headquarters from California to Wyoming, marking another catch by Wyoming of a company abandoning a state that isn’t as gun friendly. Weatherby’s move to Sheridan is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs and more than $5 million in annual payroll over the next five years.

Ottawa a suspendu l’exportation de blindés vers Riyad | 23 January 2018 | Le Devoir

Le gouvernement canadien a suspendu toute exportation d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite l’été dernier, dans la foulée des allégations selon lesquelles Riyad aurait utilisé des véhicules canadiens contre ses civils, a appris Le Devoir. La suspension visait aussi les blindés ontariens de General Dynamics Land Systems. Ottawa refuse toutefois de dire si l’interdiction demeure en vigueur.

The CIA’s Shadow War Against North Korean Smuggling | 29 January 2018 | Popular Mechanics

Around the globe, U.S. intelligence agencies are playing an elaborte cat-and-mouse game against a network of smugglers and agents of the North Korean regime. The fight happens in the shadows but the stakes couldn’t be higher. Just last week, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on six North Korean ships, 16 individuals, and nine companies that it said had facilitated Pyongyang’s weapons programs.

Seattle men indicted for exporting firearms to Iraqi military | 1 February 2018 | Bellevue Reporter

Two men were indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle late Wednesday for three federal felonies in connection with their scheme to smuggle dozens of firearms to Turkey and Iraq in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes in a news release.

El débil control en la venta de armas de EU llena de plomo a México y AL | 3 February 2018 | The Huffington Post

La violencia mexicana tiene como apellido arma de fuego. AK-47, AR-15, calibre 45, son términos tan comunes que son parte común de narcocorridos y narcovideos, pero también son responsables de dos terceras partes de los casi 16 mil homicidios ocurridos en México en 2016.

As Congress Feeds the Merchants of Death, the People Must Divest | 7 February 2018 | Dissident Voice

In recent budget negotiations, Senate Democrats agreed to a boost in military spending that exceeded the cap for fiscal 2018 by $70 billion, bringing the total request to an enormous $716 billion. Inevitably, this means more Pentagon contracts will be awarded to private corporations that use endless war to line their pockets. Democrats capitulated to this massive increase without so much as a scuffle. But the move hardly comes as a surprise, given how much money flows from weapons makers to the coffers of congressional campaigns for both parties.

United Kingdom arms Honduras to attack their own people… all in the name of Brexit | 8 February 2018 | Mirage News

UK sold spyware to Honduras just before crackdown on election protesters | 8 February 2018 | The Guardian

Explosive data compiled by an anti-arms trade group has revealed that the UK government sold Honduras £300,000 (US$417,500)-worth of surveillance gear, which the Central American country has used against its own people.

U.S. Gun Companies Manufactured A Record 11 Million Firearms In 2016 | 8 February 2018 | The Huffington Post

U.S. gun companies manufactured more than 11 million firearms in 2016, setting a new record in a year of sales driven by fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency. The data, released Thursday by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, sheds light on the gun industry’s rapid expansion in the Obama years, with manufacturing totals more than doubling between 2009 and 2016. And while early indicators show that this trend slid backward slightly in 2017, the industry seems positioned to begin growing again.

Ottawa to toughen scrutiny of arms exports despite findings of Saudi probe | 8 February 2018 | The Globe and Mail

The federal government says it has concluded there is no definitive evidence Canadian-made combat vehicles were used to commit human-rights violations in Saudi Arabia last summer, but nevertheless plans to enshrine in law a “substantial risk” clause it promises will apply tougher scrutiny to future arms exports.

Canadian arms manufacturer hopes to sell assault rifles to Ukraine as country looks to upgrade weaponry | 14 February 2018 | National Post

A Canadian arms manufacturer hopes to re-equip Ukraine’s military with new assault rifles as that country tries to set the stage to join NATO while at the same time battling Russian-backed rebels.

Argentina to acquire RBS 70 NG air defense missile system to protect G-20 meeting | 17 February 2018 | ArmyRecognition

The Argentine Ministry of Defense has announced via a decree its intention to acquire new capacity of air defense, to increase capabilities to defend and control its airspace. In November 2018, Argentina will organize the G-20 meeting and would like to improve protection during the event especially against air threats.

20 Companies Profiting the Most From War | 20 February 2018 | 24/7 Wall Street

The grim reality of civil wars in the Middle East, rising tensions between global powers, the spectre of international terrorism, and the increasing threat of cyberattacks are matters of grave concern for world leaders and citizens alike — and the lifeblood of some companies.

Brazil’s PCC Expands Criminal Activity, Trafficking Arms From Venezuela | 21 February 2018 | Insight Crime

Brazil’s biggest criminal group has reportedly attempted to smuggle high-powered firearms from Venezuela in order to expand its illegal activities, taking advantage of the neighboring country’s economic crisis, lack of oversight on the part of the government and the new dynamics on the border generated by a wave of Venezuelan migrants.

America Is Selling More Arms to the Netherlands, Finland and Kuwait | 21 February 2018 | The National Interest

The U.S. State Department has notified the Congress of several potential new defense sales to the Netherlands, Finland and Kuwait. The potential arms deal range from Boeing AH-64E Apache gunships to fast attack vessels to Mk-41 vertical launch systems.

The American Public Has Power Over The Gun Business | 22 February 2018 | Civil Beat (Honolulu)

As teenagers in Parkland, Florida, dressed for the funerals of their friends – the latest victims of a mass shooting in the U.S. – weary outrage poured forth on social media and in op-eds across the country. Once again, survivors, victims’ families and critics of U.S. gun laws demanded action to address the never-ending cycle of mass shootings and routine violence ravaging American neighborhoods.

The American Gun Glut Is a Problem for the Entire World | 23 February 2018 | New York Magazine

The National Rifle Association likes to call the Colt AR-15 “America’s rifle”: They and the many imitations manufactured since Colt’s patents expired in 1977 are the most popular type of rifle in the U.S., with millions in circulation.


General Dynamics to build M1A2-K main battle tank for Kuwait | 3 January 2018 | ArmyRecognition

On December 19, 2017, the US Department of Defense has announced that American Company General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Michigan, has been awarded a $24,272,649 modification to foreign military sales contract for Kuwait to design, develop, and build a M1A2-K unique main battle tank.

Vietnam interested to purchase Russian BPM-97 4×4 armoured | 5 January 2018 | ArmyRecognition

Vietnam could be interested to purchase and produce the Russian-made BPM-97 Vystrel 4×4 armoured vehicle to replace the old Soviet-made BTR-152 wheeled armoured personnel carrier in service with the Vietnamese army.

Chinese VT4 MBT tank has arrived in Pakistan for trial tests | 8 January 2018 | ArmyRecognition

According a tweet released on the twitter account of the Pakistan Defence Command, January 7, 2017, the Chinese-made VT4 main battle tank (MBT) has arrived in Pakistan for trial tests by the Pakistani Army’s Armoured Corps. In 2017, Pakistan has showed interest to purchase new main battle tank. The Pakistan Army intends to procure hundreds of new MBTs in the coming years.

Aguirre orders probe into alleged sale of firearms to NPA | 9 January 2018 | Rappler

Adding to the list of reinvestigations being conducted by the Duterte government is a probe into an issue dating back from 2014 when firearms were allegedly sold to the communist rebel group, New People’s Army (NPA).

Nimda proposes Thai M113 upgrade | 9 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Israeli firm Nimda is bidding to upgrade the Royal Thai Army’s (RTA’s) large fleets of BAE Systems M113 armoured personnel carrier (APCs), the company has confirmed to Jane’s .

Indonesia in pursuit of exports in emerging markets | 10 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Indonesia is pursuing new defence export opportunities in Senegal and Laos as part of its expanding efforts to penetrate emerging international defence markets.

Russia and Vietnam agreement to manufacture Kamaz & UAZ trucks | 11 January 2018 | ArmyRecognition

The Russian Federation and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam have signed an agreement to collaborate on manufacturing of Russian-originated trucks and utility vehicles under license. The deal is expected to benefit from newly eased tax rules introduced by the governments of Russia and Vietnam in an effort to increase the volume of trade between the countries.

Liam Fox should use Turkey visit to promote human rights, not arms sales | 12 January 2018 | Campaign Against Arms Trade

The International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, is travelling to Turkey today for a trade visit. The government says that the visit “will build on the strong foundations laid by the Prime Minister and President Erdoğan in January 2017 when they established the UK-Turkey Trade Working Group.” Fox will meet with President Erdogan and other government ministers including the Defence Minister.

Chinese QW-2 MANPADS missile in service with Turkmenistan army | 12 January 2018 | ArmyRecognition

According a news of January 12, 2018, published by the online military magazine Azeri Defence, Turkmenistan has purchased QW-2 (Syanvey-2) MANPADS Man Portable Air Defense Systems. It is a third generation man-portable shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile (SAM) developed in China by CASIC (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation) for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and export customers.

Kurdish forces in Syria receive surface-to-air missiles from US as part of secret deal | 15 January 2018 | al Masdar News

Kurdish forces have received a shipment of shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile systems (commonly abbreviated as MANPADS) from the United States per a backdoor agreement according to oppositions sources.

South Korean military exports climb 25% | 15 January 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Industry

South Korea’s defence industry achieved exports of USD3.19 billion in 2017, representing a 25% jump over international sales one year earlier, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced on 15 January.

UN report accuses Iran and Saudis over Yemen | 15 January 2018 | CNN

A confidential UN report has concluded that Iran failed to block ballistic missile supplies from being used by Houthi rebels fighting a Saudi-led military coalition in war-torn Yemen.

Germany donates equipment to Jordan | 16 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Germany formally handed over EUR18 million (USD22 million) worth of aircraft and vehicles to the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr announced on 14 January.

Vietnam starts producing Russian anti-matériel rifles | 17 January 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Industry

Vietnam’s military-run Z111 defence factory has started producing the Russian OSV-96 12.7 mm self-loading anti-matériel rifle, according to news reports in the Southeast Asian country. Reports on 16 January said the factory recently demonstrated the rifle to Vietnam’s Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh.

Russia begins delivery of S-400 missile systems to China | 18 January 2018 | Tass

Moscow has begun the delivery of the S-400 Triumf air defense missile systems to China under the 2014 contract, a source close to the Russian system of military cooperation told TASS on Thursday.

Germany stops arms exports to Yemen combatants | 20 January 2018 | Al Jazeera

Germany will stop all arms exports to countries involved in the ongoing war in Yemen, a government spokesperson has announced. The decision, announced on Friday by a spokesperson for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, comes as political parties including Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) continue to hold talks about forming a coalition government following the German federal election last September.

Assault Rifles, Carbine Procurement – Israel could be best source | 20 January 2018 | The Northlines

Media headlines on January 17 read “13 yrs after requst, Army to get 1.6 lakh rifles, carbines”. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Defence Minister, has cleared fast-track procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,850 carbines for Rs 3,547 cr from the global market. According to PTI, tenders will soon be floated while procurement could also bedone on government to government basis.

US assault rifles are being sold on the Telegram messaging app in Syria | 20 January 2018 | CNN

US-supplied weapons originally intended for moderate allies in Syria have ended up for sale on jihadist online forums in the country’s northern al Qaeda heartland.

What Role Do Arms Sales Play in China’s Geopolitical Ambitions? | 23 January 2018 | World Politics Review

China, which in recent years has become the world’s third-largest supplier of arms after the United States and Russia, continues to expand its arms exports thanks largely to its relatively cheap weapons and military equipment. But that has also raised questions about how arms sales fit into China’s geopolitical ambitions, especially in Asia. In an email interview, Sam Roggeveen, a senior fellow at the Lowy Institute in Australia and an expert on the Chinese military, discusses the growth of China’s arms industry and the wider implications for Asia.

Australia unveils plan to become one of world’s top 10 arms exporters | 29 January 2018 | The Guardian

Australia is set to become one of the world’s largest arms exporters under a controversial Turnbull government plan. The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has unveiled a new “defence export strategy” setting out the policy and strategy to make Australia one of the world’s top 10 weapons exporters within the next decade.

Federal Government accused of contributing to global arms race with defence exports push | 29 January 2018 | ABC

Aid groups have criticised the Federal Government’s plan to dramatically ramp up defence exports, accusing the Coalition of contributing to a global arms race.

Australian government underwriting arms exports is ‘baffling’, expert says | 30 January 2018 | The Guardian

The financial aspects of the Turnbull government’s plan to turn Australia into an arms exporting powerhouse are baffling, a leading defence expert says, but the decision to promote defence products overseas is welcome.

Opposition grows to government push to profit from death | 30 January 2018 | Green Left Weekly

The Prime Minister’s January 29 announcement that Australia is destined to become a bigger arms dealer has provoked widespread dissent from aid organisations and anti-war networks. The Defence Export Strategy aims to lift Australia to become one of the top 10 defence industry exporting countries within a decade. Save the Children, World Vision, the Australian Council for International Development and the Greens have all condemned the move to export death and profit from bloodshed.

Arms procurement officials referred to prosecution for corruption in production of Cheongung missile | 1 February 2018 | Yonhap News Agency

The Board of Audit and Inspection said Thursday it has referred three former and incumbent officials of the state arms procurement agency for alleged corruption in the course of awarding contracts to produce the Cheongung medium-range surface-to-air missile.

Stop the bipartisan push to profit from death | 2 February 2018 | Green Left Weekly

The Prime Minister’s January 29 announcement that Australia is destined to become a bigger arms dealer has provoked widespread dissent from aid organisations and anti-war networks.

UK’s Saudi arms sales violate humanitarian law, campaigners say | 2 February 2018 | The Guardian | CommonSpace

CAMPAIGN AGAINST ARMS TRADE (CAAT) will hold a protest outside the Saudi Arabian embassy in London on 3 February in opposition to the UK Government’s continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia which are being used in its war against Yemen. The UK has sold over £4.7bn worth of weapons to the Saudi Arabian regime since the war started in March 2015. The UN has described the conflict as a humanitarian crisis and that Saudi Arabia breached international law with airstrikes in Yemen.

Trial of terrorist in Jakarta sheds light on arms trail from southern Philippines to Indonesia | 2 February 2018 | The Straits Times

The ongoing trial of terrorist Suryadi Mas’ud has revealed how Indonesian militants linked up with fellow networks in Marawi, southern Philippines, to procure M-16 assault rifles and handguns. It has even shown how they set up a temporary paramilitary drill to train Indonesian militants to use the weapons.

MBDA To Show New Munitions in Singapore | 3 February 2018 | AIN Online

European munitions maker MBDA is seeing promising potential in Asia-Pacific in the areas of air-delivered munitions and will be showcasing a number of new weapons for the first time in the region after successful live tests in the last two years.

China is building up its military and European arms dealers could start cashing in | 7 February 2018 | South China Morning Post | Business Insider

As Asia is arming, Europe is selling equipment to states in the Indo-Pacific while maintaining strict restrictions on transfers of military technology to China. It looks like taking sides, but it is more complicated than that. European exporters seek commercial opportunities and operate in a set of political constraints, but no clear strategic vision guides Europe’s approach to arms sales and controls over critical technologies.

Defence ministry clears mega purchase of weapons for armed forces | 13 February 2018 | Times of India

The defence ministry on Tuesday gave initial approvals to several acquisition proposals, including the one for 7.4 lakh new assault rifles and 16,500 light machine guns, collectively worth an estimated Rs 15,935 crore to bolster firepower of infantry soldiers a few days after the terror attack on the Sunjuwan+ Army camp in Jammu.

Armament R&D Establishment working on new assault rifle | 14 February 2018 | The Hindu Business Line

Even as the Defence Acquisition Council cleared the global procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines for the Army on a fast-track basis for ₹3,547 crore last month, trials of an assault rifle being developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are to simultaneously continue unabated.

Israel’s Deepening Involvement with Syria’s Rebels | 14 February 2018 | Elizabeth Tsurkov | War on the Rocks

As it becomes clear that Bashar al-Assad has stabilized his rule over the ruins of Syria, outside powers are stepping up their intervention in the country in an effort to shape an outcome that will secure their interests. Israel, which has remained relatively less involved than other actors, is now faced with regional rivals – Iran and its proxies – that have never been more powerful and emboldened. Israel is left to defend its interests with targeted airstrikes and by supporting ragtag rebel militias in southern Syria whose interests partially align with those of the Jewish state.

To Push Iran Back, Israel Ramps Up Support for Syrian Rebels, ‘Arming 7 Different Groups’ | 21 February 2018 | Haaretz

The recent tensions along the Israeli-Syrian border have been mainly aerial. But due to developments in the Syrian civil war, real changes are also taking place on the ground in the Golan Heights.

Weapons brokering legislation changes recommended | 22 February 2018 | New Zealand Law Society | Scoop

The New Zealand Law Society says some changes are needed to the Brokering (Weapons and Related Items) Controls Bill to improve the regulation of weapons brokering, consistent with New Zealand’s international treaty obligations.

Turkey’s Syria Operation Showcases Domestic Weapons Industry | 22 February 2018 | Voice of America

Turkey’s ongoing military offensive against a Kurdish militia in Syria’s Afrin enclave is showcasing the growing prowess of the Turkish armaments industry. In recent years, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to dramatically reduce his country’s dependency on imported arms.


Norway halts weapons, ammunition exports to UAE | 4 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced on 3 January that it had suspended export licences for weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Javelin ATGMs approved for Ukraine | 5 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

A longstanding request by the Ukrainian government to receive US-made anti-armour weapons is now progressing, US government officials stated on 22 December.

Bosnia to benefit from Pakistan’s defence production industry | 9 January 2018 | The Nation (Pakistan)

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain has stressed the need to identify the areas of cooperation and joint ventures between Pakistan and Bosnia Herzegovina, reported Radio Pakistan .

Serbia reports another good year for defence exports | 9 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

During 2017 the Serbian defence industry secured new export orders worth about USD475 million while at the same time finalising export agreements worth about USD390 million, the Serbian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced at its annual press conference in Belgrade on 29 December.

PGZ reveals surge in exports | 10 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Poland’s Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa (PGZ) announced its 2017 earnings on 9 January and outlined its projections for future growth, as exports surge.

How the U.S. and EU Can Help Ukraine | 12 January 2018 | National Review

In the final weeks of 2017, the White House approved transfers of sniper rifles and Javelin anti-tank systems to Ukraine, two deals constituting the largest sale of lethal military hardware to the country since 2014. This move represents the most dramatic shift in U.S. policy since Russia annexed Crimea and began backing a separatist insurgency in the provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk, but these actions in isolation will do little to support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty. Bolder action on the part of the U.S. and its allies in NATO and the EU is needed if there is to be any chance to resolve the frozen conflict in Ukraine’s east and deter Moscow from further irredentist aggression in the region.

Russia developing next-generation heavy flame-thrower | 12 January 2018 | Tass

Russia’s Splav Research and Production Association has started developing a prototype of the next-generation wheeled-chassis heavy flame-throwing system dubbed Tosochka, CEO of Techmash Holding Company Vladimir Lepin said on Friday.

Britain increases arms exports to world’s most repressive regimes by nearly a third since Brexit vote | 14 January 2018 | iNews

Britain has dramatically increased the value of weaponry and defence equipment it sells to the world’s most repressive regimes since vows by senior ministers to expand arms exports after the Brexit vote. Figures seen by i show that the Government cleared export licences worth £2.9bn in the 12 months after June 2016 to 35 countries considered “not free” by Freedom House, a respected international think-tank. The figure represents a 28 per cent increase on the 12 months before the Brexit vote.

Romania orders Piranha 5s from GDELS | 15 January 2018 | Jane’s Defence Weekly

Romania’s Ministry of National Defence (MND) signed a contract for 227 Piranha 5 8×8 vehicles with General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS), both the ministry and company have announced.

British court sentences five protesters for demonstrating against arms trade | 17 January 2018 | Middle East Monitor

A British court has sentenced five protesters arrested in the summer of 2017 for demonstrating against a world leading arms expo and rejected the claim that they were exercising their right to freedom of speech and assembly.

Ukraine’s army prepares to get Javelins within 6 months, General Staff chief says | 17 January 2018 | Kyiv Post

Ukrainian Armed Forces have initiated preliminary steps towards putting Javelin anti-tank missiles into service, General Viktor Muzhenko, chief of the General Staff, asserted on Jan. 17 during a NATO military committee meeting in Brussels.

Der Exportstopp gilt unverzüglich | 19 January 2018 | TAZ

Als erstes Ergebnis der Sondierungsgespräche zwischen CDU und SPD hat die Bundesregierung schon jetzt ihre Rüstungsexportpolitik verschärft. „Die Bundesregierung wird ab sofort keine Ausfuhren an Länder genehmigen, solange diese am Jemen-Krieg beteiligt sind“, hatten die Parteien in ihrem Sondierungspapier vereinbart.

“Les armes wallonnes ne sont plus destinées à des opérations hors d’Arabie saoudite” | 19 January 2018 | 7sur7

Depuis 2017, la Région wallonne n’accorde plus de licences d’exportations d’armes vers l’Arabie saoudite destinées à mener des opérations militaires en dehors de ce pays, mais uniquement aux Gardes royale et nationale, a indiqué le ministre-président Willy Borsus dans une réponse à une question écrite.

Deutsche Rüstungsexporte deutlich gestiegen | 24 January 2018 | Kurier

Kritik an Rüstungsexporten | 24 January 2018 | Tagesschau

Mit Waffen „made in Germany“ | 24 January 2018 | Die Presse

Die Regierung der Großen Koalition hat in Deutschland in den vergangenen vier Jahren deutlich mehr Rüstungsexporte genehmigt als die Vorgängerregierung von Christdemokraten und Liberalen. Der Gesamtwert der Lieferungen lag von 2014 bis 2017 bei 24,9 Milliarden Euro und damit um 21 Prozent höher als in den Jahren der schwarz-gelben Koalition von 2010 bis 2013.

Bundesregierung genehmigte bereits im Oktober weitere Panzer-Aufrüstung | 26 January 2018 | Der Spiegel

In der Debatte um Rüstungsdeals mit der Türkei taucht ein brisantes Detail auf: Nach SPIEGEL-Informationen genehmigte die Bundesregierung bereits im Oktober 2017 die Modernisierung von türkischen Panzern aus US-Herstellung.

Four weapons manufacturers submit offers in Estonian firearms procurement | 31 January 2018 | ERR

Four weapons manufacturers have filed offers in the €75 million procurement tender for a contract to supply automatic firearms to the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF), the Ministry of Justice and the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA).

Regierung genehmigte bis zuletzt Waffenexporte in die Türkei | 2 February 2018 | Spiegel Online

Die Bundesregierung bewilligte noch bis in den vergangenen Monat umfangreiche Rüstungsexporte in die Türkei. Das geht aus der Antwort des Bundeswirtschaftsministeriums an den Linken-Abgeordneten Stefan Liebich hervor, die dem SPIEGEL vorliegt.

Rüstungskonzerne sollen leichter exportieren dürfen | 2 February 2018 | SRF

Die Schweizer Rüstungsindustrie beklagt sich: Die Rüstungsexporte gingen zurück, Schweizer Rüstungsfirmen seien im Nachteil gegenüber der europäischen Konkurrenz. Denn in der Schweiz sei die Bewilligungspraxis bei Ausfuhren vergleichsweise restriktiv. Arbeitsplätze seien in Gefahr.

Rüstungsfirmen exportieren unkontrolliert Know-How | 5 February 2018 | Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung

Weitgehend unkontrolliert dürfen deutsche Rüstungsfirmen im Ausland ihr Wissen zum Waffenbau weitergeben. Eine Regelungslücke, sagen Kritiker wie die Linken-Abgeordnete Sevim Dagdelen.

British court acquits campaigners against arms trade | 7 February 2018 | Middle East Monitor

A British court today threw out charges against campaigners protesting against a London arms fair. In the fourth in a series of trials at Stratford Magistrates Court involving demonstrations against Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in London last year, the judge threw out the charges, describing the protestors’ actions as “reasonable”.

Germany Closes Probe Into Balkan Arms Transfers to Syria | 8 February 2018 | Balkan Insight

A preliminary investigation has been closed into revelations that Syria-bound weapons, bought by the US from the Balkans, passed through Germany. The findings were published in September by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Regierung erwägt keinen Stopp von Rüstungsexporten an Türkei | 8 February 2018 | Osnabrücker Zeitung

Deutschland ist normalerweise großzügig, wenn es um die Unterstützung und Ausrüstung von befreundeten Nato-Staaten geht. Doch bei der Türkei, die deutsche Panzer gegen die Kurdenmiliz in Syrien einsetzt, steht dahinter ein Fragezeichen. Dennoch will die Bundesregierung die Rüstungsexporte in die Türkei vorerst nicht stoppen.

Mirages 2000, chars Leclerc, canons Caesar : la France et ses entreprises, fournisseurs officiels de la guerre au Yémen | 8 February 2018 | Investig’Action

Depuis mars 2015, une coalition d’États arabes emmenés par l’Arabie Saoudite conduit une campagne militaire particulièrement meurtrière au Yémen. Les combats s’enlisent, marqués par de potentiels crimes de guerre et par une catastrophe humanitaire sans précédent. Tandis que plusieurs États ont décidé d’arrêter de fournir des armes aux belligérants, la France, « patrie des droits de l’homme » semble indifférente à la controverse, se réjouit même de ses ventes d’armes « record » et de leurs performances en matière de destruction.

Parly tente de justifier les ventes d’armes à l’Arabie | 9 February 2018 | Reuters

La France, l‘un des premiers exportateurs d‘armements en Arabie saoudite, encadre strictement ses ventes mais n‘est pas maîtresse de l‘usage d‘armes qui “n‘étaient pas censées être utilisées”, a déclaré vendredi Florence Parly à propos du conflit au Yémen.

New Russian armored & military equipment for Azerbaijan armed forces | 12 February 2018 | ArmyRecognition

The army of Azerbaijan has recently received a large batch of new military equipment from Russia, in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation. According a statement from the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan of February 8, 2018, the new Russian military equipment and combat vehicles were used during training exercises.

Belarusian arms exports grow with new rockets and missiles planned | 13 February 2018 | Belarus Digest

Belarus arms exports grow. Viability at stake | 14 February 2018 | ArmyRecognition

On 31 January, Belarus’s state military-industrial committee reported that the export of Belarusian arms in 2017 exceeded the previous year by 15%, reaching more than $1bn sales. Growth occurred despite problems in accessing Russian military orders, an unclear situation about cooperation with Ukraine and the reported disruption of a deal with Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Belarusian officials announced plans to produce new missiles and combat drones.

Le probable assouplissement des exportations d’armes inquiète les ONG | 14 February 2018 | RTS

La réglementation helvétique pour les exportations d’armes devrait bénéficier d’un assouplissement, avec la bénédiction du Département fédéral des affaires étrangères et de son ministre Ignazio Cassis, au grand dam des ONG.

Ukraine introduces e-licensing in state export control system with US financial support | 15 February 2018 | Kyiv Post

The State Export Control Service of Ukraine in cooperation with the U.S. government under the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program has ensured the introduction of e-licensing in the state export control system.

Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you? | 16 February 2018 | The Register

Great Britain, which is buying the US-made F-35 fighter jet, is urging European neighbour Belgium not to buy the US-made F-35 fighter jet. Instead the British government is lobbying Belgium to buy 34 British-built Eurofighter Typhoons.

The UK government boasted about £14.5bn of deals with a country that just jailed three journalists for life | 17 February 2018 | The Canary

The Conservative government boasted about having a £14.5bn trade relationship with a country that has just jailed three journalists for life.

Rosoboronexport expands international military-technical cooperation | 22 February 2018 | ArmyRecognition

Alexander Mikheev, Director General of JSC Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation), attended an extended meeting of the Bureau of the Russian Engineering Union and the Bureau of the League of Assistance to Defense Industry Enterprises. The meeting was devoted to summarizing the Union’s activities in 2017 and discussing the immediate challenges.

Europe’s flourishing gunmakers | 24 February 2018 | The Economist

It was a blunder by Heckler & Koch, a big German gunmaker. On February 15th the firm apologised for a “mistake” after its American subsidiary posted a Valentine’s image showing a handgun surrounded by ammunition arranged in the shape of a heart. The image went out to social media shortly after a deadly school shooting in Florida.