Menu

Arms Trade Bulletin: March-April 2018

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

top

This briefing on arms trade demonstrates once again how arms or military technology and equipment are exported from European countries to countries where, arguably, they can contribute to serious human rights violations or violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

Some of these transfers are challenged by civil society. On 12 April the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) was at the Court of Appeal requesting permission to appeal against a judgement made last year concerning export licenses issued by the United Kingdom for export to Saudi Arabia. CAAT argues that the UK government should have denied export licences for Saudi Arabia because there is a clear risk that the military technology or equipment to be exported might be contribute to serious violations of IHL. The legal battle revolves around defining “clear risk” and “serious violations of IHL”. CAAT argues that in light of the extensive open evidence from apparently authoritative sources indicating a pattern of violations of IHL by Saudi Arabia, rationality (i.e. logic) requires the Secretary of State either to accept that there is a pattern of such violations; or to have, and give, reasons for concluding that, notwithstanding the open evidence, no such pattern of violations can be established. The Government argues that the assessment should be based upon reliable evidence. Meanwhile Labour claimed that the UK government has concealed the true extent of its support for the Saudi bombing of Yemen by using the “open licence” system. Open licences allow for multiple consignments of arms to be sent to the same destination without public scrutiny or parliamentary oversight. The UK government is currently negotiating a multi-billion pounds deal with Saudi Arabia to purchase Typhoon fighter jets.

In France, Amnesty International and Action des Chrétiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT) have commissioned a report by a French law firm to evaluate French exports to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to the report, the French exports are characterised by a lack of transparency, and there is a high risk that certain French arms transfers are illegal and contrary to France’s international commitments.

In Italy four non-governmental organizations have filed a criminal complaint against RWM Italia S.p.A., a subsidiary of the German Arms Manufacturer Rheinmetall AG, and the Italian State for crimes committed in Yemen. They call for an investigation into the criminal liability of the Italian authorities and RWM’s directors in relation to a particular bombing incident in Yemen. Both the UK and Italy are parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). To learn more about their legal obligations under the ATT readers might be interested in the book “Weapons and International Law: the Arms Trade Treaty” (Larcier, 2015), written with the support of IPIS.

Another favourite European export region is North America. It is been said that one out of every four firearms in the United States is of European origin. In 2016, European-origin guns accounted for four million of an estimated 16 million US civilian gun market. More then a dozen European countries export firearms to the United States. The biggest being Austria, Croatia, Germany and Italy. The Croatian company HS exports 97% of its production to the United States. In 2016 it more than doubled its export to the United States, from 102 million euro to 224 million euro. The Washington-based gun control group Violence Policy Center notes the hypocrisy of European governments which allow the export of firearms to the United States but domestically have passed restrictive gun laws to protect their citizens.

A recent study by the Flemish Peace Institute, Triggering Terror, funded by the European Commission looks into how terrorists in Europe acquire their guns. In various chapters the finger is pointed at the Balkans as an important source of illicit weapons. At least one chapter rightly notes that “In 2015 Europol publicly stated for the first time that firearms originating from the conflicts in Libya, Syria and Mali were available on the European black market, and that these countries may emerge as major sources of illegal firearms trafficked to the EU”. Forgetting to add that Europe exported these weapons, either covertly (Italy supplied weapons and ammunition, confiscated two decades earlier during the Yugoslav civil war, to Libyan rebels), or legitimately but diverted by the buyer (Croatia for instance sold weapons to the United States and Saudi Arabia, which were then diverted to Syria).

More news on arms trade from Europe and other regions in the sections below.

Arms Trade Treaty

Federal Liberals strengthen arms exports bill but experts say big loopholes remain | 1 March 2018 | National Post

After months of delay, Liberals have tweaked a bill setting out new arms export rules but left loopholes open that some experts say defeat the the legislation’s purpose. The bill that facilitates Canada’s accession to the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty passed committee stage in the House of Commons Thursday after Liberals took nearly four months to draft changes.

Africa

DRC: qui fournit les armes de la répression? | 1 March 2018 | RFI

Après la répression des marches des laïcs chrétiens, des ONG ont interpellé l’Union européenne et la France. Elles s’interrogent sur la nature de leur coopération avec les forces de sécurité congolaises. Les Européens ont-ils un lien direct ou indirect avec cette répression ? Mercredi 28 février, l’UE et la France ont répondu. L’UE dit conserver un programme d’appui à l’armée, mais essentiellement dans le domaine de gestion et administration. Bruxelles est claire : elle ne fournit aucun soutien en armes. La France, elle, n’accorde plus d’autorisation d’exportations d’armes depuis novembre. Une coopération militaire réorientée sur la formation, pas sur l’opérationnel. Aucun coopérant français n’aurait de lien avec le maintien de l’ordre. Alors qui fournit les armes nécessaires à la répression des manifestations ?

Need a North Korean Missile? Call the Cairo Embassy | 3 March 2018 | NYT

On an island in the Suez Canal, a towering AK-47 rifle, its muzzle and bayonet pointed skyward, symbolizes one of Egypt’s most enduring alliances. Decades ago, North Korea presented it to Egypt to commemorate the 1973 war against Israel, when North Korean pilots fought and died on the Egyptian side.

Enquête sur une PME française qui aide l’armée égyptienne à charger ses revolvers | 06 March 2018 | Orient XXI

L’entreprise française Manurhin est le leader mondial des machines-outils fabriquant des cartouches. Depuis les années 1950, elle commerce avec l’Égypte. Une collaboration qui se poursuit presque sans accrocs avec le régime militaire d’Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi, malgré le massacre d’au moins 800 civils en août 2013 par les forces de l’ordre. Une enquête d’Omar Sultan, avec Paul-Anton Krüger du Süddeutsche Zeitung pour la partie allemande.

US donates fast boats to Kenya | 06 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The United States delivered the final six of 10 Metal Shark fast vessels to the Kenya Navy in an event held in Mombasa on 27 February.

AFRICOM commander concerned by Chinese influence in Djibouti | 07 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The US military’s operations in Africa could be seriously impacted if China gained control over Djibouti’s port, General Thomas Waldhauser, the head of Africa Command (AFRICOM), told the House Armed Services Committee on 6 March.

Customs confirm seizure of “dangerous military items” in Abuja | 10 March 2018 | Tribune online

THE Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has confirmed that its operatives intercepted restricted security gadgets that did not have End User Certificate from the National Security Adviser (NSA) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

India offers Mauritius more credit for procurement | 12 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

India has offered another line of credit to Mauritius in support of defence procurement. The new offer – announced during Indian president Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the Indian Ocean island nation on 12 March – amounts to USD100 million and follows New Delhi’s provision of USD46 million to Mauritius in 2014.

Russian Iskander-E ballistic missiles delivered to Algeria | 12 March 2018 | Army Recognition

In 2017, without the subject being noticed as it deserved, Russia delivered Iskander-E ballistic missiles to the Algerian army. The Iskander-E is the export version of the Iskander-M, whose range has been reduced from 500 to 280km.

Nigeria accounts for about 70% of the illegal small arms in West Africa | 13 March 2018 | PR Nigeria

There are indications that West Africa is conveniently situated for drug and illegal weapons’ trade between South America and Europe, and Nigeria accounts for about 70% of the illegal small arms in the sub-region.

France’s Thales to face charges in Zuma corruption case | 17 March 2018 | RFI

Jacob Zuma is to face corruption charges over a four-billion-euro arms deal. And French company Thales could find itself in the dock with the former South African president.

UAE to train Somaliland forces and build a military base | 18 March 2018 | Army Recognition

As part of a deal to establish a military base in the semi-autonomous region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will train Somaliland security forces, Somaliland’s president said on 15 February.

Egypt to acquire Puma UASs | 18 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Egypt is to acquire and field the AeroVironment (AV) RQ-20B Puma II AE tactical unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the US Department of Defense (DoD) disclosed on 16 March.

Israeli arms exports to Africa growing | 19 March 2018 | Defence Web

Israeli arms sales to African countries are growing steadily, with defence exports increasing 70% between 2015 and 2016 to reach $275 million.

US denies military base planned for Ghana | 20 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The United States is not planning to establish a military base in Ghana, its embassy in Accra said on 20 March in response to local media reports that the country’s government submitted a basing agreement to parliament for its approval earlier that day.

USD 200Mn military aid to Ghana | 22 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The U.S. government will spend $200 million in training and supplying equipment for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the U.S. Embassy in Ghana announced on 20 March.

Kenya: ambitious modernization of police forces | 27 March 2018 | Army Recognition

On Monday 26 March, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said that his government will allocate more resources to the police modernization program to give them the ability to neutralize all forms of present and foreseeable threats to the safety and security of Kenyans.

New version of the South African SVI Max armoured vehicle   | 27 March 2018 | Army Recognition

SVI Engineering is well-known for its 4×4 and 6×6 wheeled armoured personnel carriers and luxury armoured cars. The company has designed a new version of its Max vehicle, now benefiting from larger window surfaces.

Nigeria to manufacture Polish assault rifles | 28 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Polish Armaments Group (PGZ) holding company and Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) signed a letter of intent on 26 March covering the production of Beryl M762 assault rifles in Nigeria, the rifle’s manufacturer Fabryka Broni announced.

Ukrainian Businessmen Linked to Russian “Front Man” for Equatorial Guinea’s Ruling Obiang Family | 30 March 2018 | OCCRP

An alleged Russian “front man” for Equatorial Guinea’s kleptocratic ruling Obiang family counts two notable Ukrainian businessmen among his associates: One is a former security official who was once imprisoned for smuggling missiles to Iran; the other is an arms dealer with business interests throughout Ukraine’s civilian airports.

How corrupt police officers abet smuggling of sugar from Somalia | 3 April 2018 | Standard

Security and KRA personnel reportedly look the other way after pocketing bribes from cartels also accused of sneaking in illegal weapons. About 60 lorries, each carrying 500 sacks of sugar, are said to be entering Kenya from a neighbouring country every week.

China, Zimbabwe agree to establish comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation | 4 April 2018 | China Military Online

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between their countries.

Senegal Gendarmerie Ejder Yalcin armored at Independence day military parade | 7 April 2018 | Army Recognition

The Senegalese Gendarmerie showcased its recently purchased military vehicles produced by Nurol Makina, a Turkish defense manufacturer, on its Independence Day. Ejder Yalçin and Ejder Toma armored vehicles will be used to fight terrorism and organized crime.

Govt’s $462M Payment On Helicopters Illegal | 18 April 2018 | AllAfrica | Daily Trust

The Senate has summoned the ministers of finance and defence as well as the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over alleged illegal withdrawal of $462m from the federation account.

Americas

Ukraine – Javelin Missiles and Command Launch Units | 1 March 2018 | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Ukraine of Javelin Missiles and Javelin Command Launch Units (CLUs) for an estimated cost of $47 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

Barbados Defence Force receives equipment from China | 1 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The People’s Republic of China has offered equipment valued $6 Mn to the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) to improve its disaster preparedness and response capabilities. The equipment comprises 4×4 vehicles, a mobile kitchen, a refrigerator van, a tractor and a vessel.

Croatia Is Third Largest Exporter of Firearms to the United States | 6 March 2018 | Total Croatia News

In 2016, more than 11% of firearms imported to the United States came from Croatia, making it the third largest exporter of such weapons to the United States, reports Jutarnji List on March 6, 2018.

How Brazil’s ‘Lord Of Guns’ Armed Rio’s Drug War With U.S. Weapons | 7 March 2018 | Huffington Post

The guns were cached in swimming pool heating units ― pools and their accessories being the sort of thing you can ship from Miami to Rio de Janeiro without arousing suspicion. The smugglers had gutted the units and filled them back to their original weight with rifles and ammunition.

A third of guns in the US are imported, and foreign firearms makers want a say on gun control | 7 March 2018 | Quartz

American gun manufacturers aren’t the only firms that want gun laws to remain lenient: The US imports about a third of its firearms, most of which are made by companies headquartered in Europe, according to data from Small Arms Analytics.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) – AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II Missiles | 8 March 2018 | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of three hundred (300) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Block II missiles, forty (40) AIM-9X-2 Sidewinder Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs), thirty (30) AIM-9X-2 Block II Tactical guidance units, fifteen (15) AIM-9X-2 CATM guidance units, containers, spares, support equipment and missile support, U.S. Government and contractor technical assistance and other related logistics support, and other associated support equipment and services for an estimated cost of $270.4 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on March 7, 2018.

Foreign Military Sales – Afghanistan | 8 March 2018 | U.S. Department of Defense

Orbital ATK, Fort Worth, Texas, has been awarded an $86,402,055 firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for the Afghanistan Air Force AC-208 armed intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft requirement.

SDI introduces new CHIP 40 mm less lethal round | 8 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Security Devices International Inc. announces the release of its ground-breaking 40mm Collapsible Head Impact Projectile (“CHIP”) round, the US-based company said on March 7, 2018.

Risky Business: The Role of Arms Sales in U.S. Foreign Policy | 13 March 2018 | Cato Institute

U.S. arms sales policy is out of control. Since 2002, the United States has sold more than $197 billion worth of major conventional weapons and related military support to 167 countries. In just his first year in office, President Donald Trump inked arms deals at a record pace, generating hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of potential sales.

First batch of U.S. M109A5 self-propelled howitzers delivered to Brazil | 13 March 2018 | Army Recognition

On March 8, the Brazilian Army received the first four M109A5 self-propelled howitzers. The vehicles arrived at the Port of Paranaguá and were transported to the Regional Maintenance Park of the 5th Military Region, in Curitiba. The vehicles will be checked and assigned to the Self-propelled Campaign Artillery Groups.

European gunmakers flood the US with firearms | 14 March 2018 | Deutsche Welle

While Europeans decry America’s gun obsession, European gunmakers have no qualms about selling firearms that are tightly regulated at home to the US. It comes as no surprise to discover where those guns pop up.

Canada’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia includes ‘heavy assault’ vehicles | 19 March 2018 | CBC

Canada’s multi-billion dollar arms sale to Saudi Arabia includes a substantial number of “heavy assault” armoured vehicles and a maintenance deal that would see the Ontario-based manufacturer embed teams at multiple locations throughout the kingdom.

Oshkosh Defense to supply missile transporters and trucks to Qatar and Kuwait | 20 March 2018 | Army Recognition

On 16 March, the US Department of Defense awarded a contract to Oshkosh Defense for missile transporters and trucks under foreign military sales for Qatar and Kuwait.

Justin Trudeau defends Canada’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia | 21 March 2018 | The Guardian

Justin Trudeau has defended his government’s decision to sign off on the sale of more than 900 armoured vehicles – including dozens described as “heavy assault” and equipped with cannons – to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the deal is in line with Canada’s foreign and defence policies.

US Marine Corps to buy 35,000 of US Army’s MHS new pistol | 21 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The USMC has budgeted the purchase of 35,000 of the U.S. Army’s new Modular Handgun System into its proposed 2019 fiscal year budget. The Army awarded the Swiss manufacturer Sig Sauer a contract worth up to $580 million in January 2017 to supply the 9mm Modular Handgun System as a replacement for the Beretta USA M9 pistol, successor of the Colt .45.

Firearms Act to Be Amended to Address Illegal Dealing and Possession | 21 March 2018 | Jamaica Information Service

The Government will be amending the Firearms Act to discourage the possession of and/or dealing in illegal firearms and ammunition.

Saudi Arabia – Royal Saudi Land Forces Ordnance Corps Foreign Military Sales Order (FMSO) II Case | 22 March 2018 | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of a Royal Saudi Land Forces Ordnance Corps Foreign Military Sales Order (FMSO) II Case for an estimated cost of $300 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

State Dept. Approves $670 Million Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia | 22 March 2018 | NYT

Saudi Arabia – TOW 2B (BGM-71F-Series) Missiles | 22 March 2018 | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

The State Department said on Thursday that it had approved the sale of an estimated $670 million in anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia, just hours after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Pentagon leaders to discuss the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

Pennsylvanian man charged with illegally exporting firearm parts to Iraq | 28 March 2018 | New Jersey Herald

A Stroudsburg man and a company he was associated with have been indicted for alleged involvement in a conspiracy to illegally export firearm parts, firearm manufacturing tools, and “defense services,” including items used to manufacture M4 rifles, from the United States to Iraq, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

China has donated military equipment to Uruguay | 29 March 2018 | Army Recognition

According a statement published by the Uruguayan Ministry of Defense, China has donated military equipment to the Uruguayan Ministry of Defense including 4×4 ambulance vehicle. The equipment were delivered during a ceremony on March 23, 2018 under the Free Military Assistance by China to Uruguay framework signed in 2016.

Kalashnikov plant in Venezuela to start production in 2019 | 4 April 2018 | TASS

Venezuelan specialists are expected to launch the full-fledged licensed production of the AK-103 assault rifle and the plant is planned to manufacture about 25,000 assault rifles annually.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – 155mm M109A6 Paladin Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer System | 5 April 2018 | Defense Security Cooperation Agency

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of 155mm M109A5/A6 Medium Self-Propelled Howitzer structures for conversion to M109A6 Paladin Howitzer systems for an estimated cost of $1.31 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

White House releases new U.S. arms sales policy | 19 April 2018 | The Washington Times

Briefing on Updated Conventional Arms Transfer Policy and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Export Policy | 19 April 2018 | State Department

The White House has released its highly-anticipated revamped policy governing how Washington conducts sales of American military hardware to allied nations worldwide.

Asia

US fills PKK armories via Czech Republic | 1 March 2018 | Yeni Safak

Czech Republic biggest supplier of PKK arms | 2 March 2018 | Ahval

The Czech Republic is the biggest supplier of arms to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its offshoots in Syria, Turkey’s Yeni Şafak newspaper said citing a former Turkish army commander. The majority of the weapons that the United States provides to the Kurdish terrorists are sourced from the Czech Republic, which released from custody the co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) Saleh Muslim on Tuesday, despite Turkey’s extradition request, Yeni Şafak said.

Turkish defense and aerospace exports up 16.6 percent | 2 March 2018 | Army Recognition

In January and February 2018, the Turkish defense and aerospace industry increased exports by 16.6 % compared to the same period in 2017. They have exported a total of $222 million in the first two months of 2017, while this figure reached $258.9 million in the same period of this year.

Karnataka police bust illegal arms trade | 3 March 2018 | United News of India

In a major breakthrough over busting illegal country pistols and ammunition trade in Karnataka, the police in Nanjanagud town in this district have arrested three people who were illegally selling pistols sourced from North India.

Turkish BMC Vuran & Amazon armoured now in service with Turkmenistan | 5 March 2018 | Army Recognition

According a video published on February 26, 2018 to the YouTube account of the “Chronicles of Turkmenistan”, Turkish Company BMC has delivered 4×4 armoured vehicle Amazon and Vuran to the Turkeminstan armed forces. The video was recorded during a visit of the Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to a new border post near Serhetabat, which is close to the border with Afghanistan.

Move to sack Tongan police chief lays bare ‘prohibited’ guns imports | 6 March 2018 | Asia Pacific Report

A cabinet submission by the Police Minister to dismiss Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell has revealed concerns over an importation of prohibited weapons and large amounts of ammunition by Armed Forces and police after the King dissolved Parliament last year.

Russia and Qatar boost military cooperation | 6 March 2018 | Army Recognition

On January 25, Qatar’s Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah told TASS that Doha had reached an advanced stage of negotiations with Moscow over the purchase of S-400 air defense missiles. Qatar had already been qualified by Russia as an important partner for military markets. Moscow and Doha are to become closely linked in that field.

Is Southeast Asia locked in arms race? | 6 March 2018 | Myanmar Times

While countries in many parts of the world are reducing their military spending, Southeast Asian countries are bucking the trend. Total defence spending of ASEAN states doubled over the past 15 years in absolute terms, with countries like Indonesia and Thailand witnessing military expenditure growth rates of 10 percent on a year-by-year basis.

Indonesia inaugurates explosives plant | 8 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

State-owned Indonesian company PT Dahana – a specialist in military explosives – inaugurated a new production facility in Subang, West Java, on 7 March.

Qatar launches new defence body | 8 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Industry

The Qatari Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 7 March that it had launched Barzan Holdings, a new company that will help the country manage defence sector research and development (R&D) programmes and investments, as well as strategic procurements.

South Korea targets US$5 billion in weapons export by 2022 | 9 March 2018 | Army Recognition

South Korea aims to increase its arms exports to US$5 billion in the next five years by fostering smaller firms’ trade and diversifying markets, a government agency said Friday.

France to provide $17 million of military aid to Lebanon including missiles | 10 March 2018 | Army Recognition

France will provide $17 million of military aid to army of Lebanon that could include 100 HOT anti-tank missiles, a simulator, training equipment and large quantities of spare parts and tools. These last months, Lebanon has received lot of military equipment from United States and Lebanon.

Amid Protests, Saudi Crown Prince Moves to Finalize Massive Arms Deal With Britain | 11 March 2018 | Haaretz

Britain and Saudi Arabia took a step closer to a multi-billion- pound arms deal on Friday, touching on the most inflammatory element of their relationship at the end of an official visit to London that has mixed warm diplomacy with angry street protests.

Malaysian Army trials Ingwe missile | 11 March 2018 | Jane’s International Defence Review

The Malaysian Army conducted firing trials of the Denel Dynamics ZT35 Ingwe anti-tank missile system from the anti-tank guided weapon (ATGW) variant of its 8×8 Deftech AV8 Gempita armoured fighting vehicle on 8 March, the service disclosed via the social media account of its official Berita Tentera Darat Malaysia (BTDM) news portal.

Barzan Holdings signs first collaborative agreement | 12 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Qatar’s Barzan Holdings has signed its first public joint venture agreement, with Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta announcing on 12 March that it will be opening a new manufacturing facility in the Gulf state with the company.

Barzan Holdings presents Al Zubarah Qatari VBCI Nexter 8×8 armored | 12 March 2018 | Army Recognition

At DIMDEX 2018, the International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in Qatar, the French Company Nexter Systems in collaboration with the local Company Barzan Holdings presents a new version of its VBCI 2 8×8 IFV armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle under the name of Al Zubarah. The Company Barzan Holdings has been recently created by the Qatari Ministry of Defense to enhance military capabilities and investment in the defense industry.

Elbit Systems closes in on IMI | 12 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The Israeli government is to finalise the long-running privatisation of Israel Military Industry (IMI) Systems by reportedly selling the defence contractor to Elbit Systems for ILS1.8 billion (USD522 million).

China’s weapons contracts with Russia worth about $7 bln | 12 March 2018 | TASS

According to Presidential Aide for Military Cooperation Vladimir Kozhin, China is Russia’s long-term privileged and reliable partner.

Russia will supply more T-90S MBTs main battle tanks to Iraq | 13 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Russia will continue to supply Iraq with T-90S main battle tanks (MBTs) to equip one Iraqi armoured brigades. In July 2017, the Russian Press Agency TASS has announced that the Iraqi Armed Forces will acquire the Russian T-90S main battle tanks.

Kongsberg establishes Qatari business | 13 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Industry

Kongsberg has announced that it has established a company in Qatar to facilitate long-term technology development in the areas of defence, maritime, and digitalisation, under which it will initially deliver systems for the country’s VBCI 8×8 vehicle programme.

Al Wajbah VBCI 8×8 armored fitted with Kongsberg turret Protector | 13 March 2018 | Army Recognition

At DIMDEX 2018, the International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in Qatar, Barzan Holdings presents a 8w8 armoured vehicle Nexter VBCI 2 fitted with a remotely operated turret Kongsberg Protector armed with one 30mm automatic cannon. This version of the VBCI 2 seem to be destined to the AMIRI Guard under the name Al Wajbah, according information written on the side of the vehicle.

Partnership Bazan from Qatar and Nexter from France to procure VBCI 8×8 armored | 14 March 2018 | Army Recognition

March 13, 2018, during DIMDEX 2018 the International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in Qatar, one of the major defense meetings Nasser Al Naimi, Managing Director of Barzan Holdings and Stéphane Mayer, CEO of Nexter and co-CEO of KNDS are delighted to announce the signature of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) between their two companies for a partnership around the procurement of VBCI 2 8×8 armoured vehicles for the Qatari armed forces (Al Rayyan program).

Nurol Makina from Turkey to supply NMS 4×4 armored to Special Forces of Qatar | 15 March 2018 | Army Recognition

At DIMDEX 2018, the International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in Qatar, the Turkish Company Nurol Makina signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar’s special forces to supply its NMS 4X4 armored vehicle.

BMC from Turkey to produce Kirpi MRAP and Amazon 4×4 armored for Qatar | 15 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The Turkish Company BMC, manufacturer of armoured vehicle has announced during DIMDEX 2018, the International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in Qatar, the purchase of 85 wheeled armoured vehicles by Qatar, including 50 KIRPI 4×4 MRAP, and Amazon 35 Amazon 4×4 multipurpose armored vehicles.

How arms trail from Gauri Lankesh killing led to two other murder plots | 19 March 2018 | The Indian Express

The probe into the gunning down of journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh in Bengaluru on September 5, 2017, has led to the unearthing of two separate murder plots involving guns in the last six months.

Bahrain participates in anti-illicit arms trade conference | 20 March 2018 | Bahrain News Agency

Bahrain’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations pointed out that in view of the disastrous effects following the unprecedented increase on the illicit supply of small arms and light weapons in the Arab region has on the security, humanitarian and economic levels, the Arab League is paying increasing attention to the issues of combating trade and illicit supply of small arms and light weapons.

Anti-Materiel Rifle from Iraqi Government Small Arms Industry Unveiled | 20 March 2018 | The Firearm Blog

The Technical Directorate for Military Production (TDMP) is a defense armaments manufacturing arm set up within the Popular Mobilization Forces that were established in Iraq during 2014 to combat the growing threat of the so-called Islamic State. TDMP has a website that is somewhat functional in Arabic, and an English version that still needs some work. The state-sponsored company is mostly committed to manufacturing multi-barrel rocket launchers, 81mm mortar shells, and UAVs of different configurations.

Singapore denies Leopard 2A7 acquisition, but questions remain over anomalies | 21 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Singapore’s Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has refuted speculation that the country has acquired the A7 variant of the German-built Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW) Leopard 2 main battle tank (MBT) that stemmed from a recent entry in the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI’s) Arms Transfer Database.

Rheinmetall to provide artillery ammunition to Australia via NIOA | 21 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Australia is procuring artillery ammunition from Rheinmetall. Under its “Land 17 Phase 1C.2 Future Artillery Ammunition” project, the Australian Defence Force will soon be taking delivery of various projectile types from the Rheinmetall Assegai family as well as fuses and propelling charges, supplied by a team consisting of NIOA, Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, Rheinmetall Denel Munition, Nitrochemie and Junghans Defence.

Kazakh military vehicles marketed to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan | 21 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Kazakhstan is trying to sell military vehicles to its neighbors, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In an interview with InformBuro, the general director of Kazakhstan Paramount Engineering (KPE), Erbol Salimov, stated that the firm is looking to export several types of military vehicles to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Army inches closer to getting advanced assault rifles, carbines, machine guns | 23 March 2018 | The India Times

The procurement of more than 70,000 advanced assault rifles, around 90,000 carbines and a large quantity of Light Machine Guns mainly for the army on a fast track basis has moved a step forward with the defence ministry today issuing Request for Proposals for the weapons, top ministry sources said.

Armored Group introduces its new Terrier LT-79 armored vehicle | 23 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The Armored Group (TAG), a leading worldwide provider of armored vehicles, has just introduced its newest law enforcement vehicle, the Terrier LT-79. This new vehicle developed by the TAG Research and Development Team represents a well-balanced combination of protection, off-road mobility and payload. Most importantly, it offers unparalleled tactical mobility and survivability to armored vehicle end-users worldwide, in any climate or setting.

Saudis request more TOWs | 23 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

The US State Department has approved a Saudi request for another 6,696 Raytheon BGM-71F TOW 2B anti-tank missiles worth an estimated USD670 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 22 March.

Australian Military Licences To Saudi Arabia Have Quietly Quadrupled | 25 March 2018 | New Matilda

We know that the Australian Government’s planned expansion into arms sales has coincided with a four-fold increase in the number of military licenses for sales to one of the world’s most oppressive regimes. But we don’t know what we’re actually selling them, writes Kellie Tranter. Documents recently produced under Freedom of Information laws confirm that in the two years from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017 sixteen military licences were granted for the export of military equipment from Australia to Saudi Arabia. Until now it was widely believed that only four military licences were issued.

Sri Lanka negotiates with Russia to acquire S-300 and Buk air defense missile systems | 25 March 2018 | Army Recognition

According to the Sri Lanka Guardian newspaper website, Sri Lanka Defense Ministry is under negotiations with Russia to acquire new air defense systems S-300 and Buk. Currently Sri Lanka armed forces don’t have any air defense missile systems.

Russia strengthens footprint in Laos | 26 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Russia plans to expand its military-technical presence in Laos by opening a new facility in the country to support military platforms in operation in the Southeast Asian country.

China’s Red Arrow-10A antitank missile in Baghdad | 26 March 2018 | Army Recognition

At IQDEX 2018 – the 6th defense exhibition held in Baghdad –, the China North Industries Corp. (NORINCO), a Chinese military trade enterprise, has brought the Chinese HJ-10A (Red Arrow-10A) anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) system, an extremely rare move in the Middle East’s armament market.

Arms trafficker arrested in Delhi | 27 March 2018 | Business Standard

A 50-year-old man, allegedly involved in supplying weapons to criminals in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, was arrested here, the police said today. Fifteen sophisticated pistols and two revolvers along with 10 spare magazines were recovered from the possession of Khazan Singh at the time of his arrest near Ashram Chowk here, they added.

Delivery of Ukrainian Oplot T-84 tank MBT to Thailand ended successfully | 27 March 2018 | Army Recognition

According to the Ukrainian state-owned defense holding Ukroboronprom, the contract for the supply of Oplot-T Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to Thailand ended successfully. A new batch of Oplot MBT was tested under the presence of Thai Defense Ministry officers and will soon be sent to Thailand.

Cyprus announces $18M military donation for the Lebanese Army | 29 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Cyprus announced Wednesday the donation of more than 15 million euros (18.55 million U.S. dollars) in aid to the Lebanese army.

Singapore reveals first images of Aster 30 SAM system, confirms delivery | 3 April 2018 | IHS Jane’s Missiles & Rockets

The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) has revealed the first images of its newly delivered MBDA Aster 30 SAMP/T (Sol-Air Moyenne Portée Terrestre, or surface-to-air medium range/land) self-propelled surface-to-air missile (SAM) system.

New assault rifles in 7.62x41mm caliber seeked for Indian army | 6 April 2018 | Army Recognition

The Indian Defense Forces will be equipped with more advanced rifles. India’s Defense Acquisition Council (DAC) cleared procurement of 72,400 assault rifles and 93,895 carbines on fast track basis for US$ 555 million to enable the defense Forces to meet their immediate requirement for the troops deployed on the borders. Both deals had been repeatedly canceled in the past.

Jeremy Corbyn falsely claims British-made weapons went to Islamic State | 16 April 2018 | Middle East Eye

Jeremy Corbyn falsely claimed that British-made weapons exported to Saudi Arabia were being secretly provided to militant groups in Syria, Middle East Eye can reveal. Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show in the wake of UK air strikes against Syria, the Labour leader claimed that British weapons exported to Saudi Arabia “end up… in very bad hands” in Syria.

Pakistan shuns US for Chinese high-tech weapons | 18 April 2018 | Financial Times

In the last few months of the Obama administration, the US state department made an announcement which caused a new breach in Washington’s tumultuous relationship with Pakistan.

What’s That? Unidentified Iranian Smart Missiles Surprises Observers | 19 April 2018 | Sputnik News

A cruise missile spotted in Iran’s Army Day Parade Wednesday has Western observers baffled. The missile is meant to be deployed only from the air and is “electro-optically guided,” according to a sign written on it in Farsi. Beyond that, specialists are grasping at straws to determine the full nature of the new Iranian weapon.

Europe

Huge rise in Britain’s secretive arms sales to Saudi Arabia | 5 March 2018 | Middle East Eye

The UK has been accused of concealing the true extent of its support for Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen by overseeing a vast rise in the use of secretive arms exports licenses, Middle East Eye can reveal. The dramatic new figures on the opaque open licence system, which keeps the value of arms and their exact nature out of the public domain, come as Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince and chief architect of the war in Yemen, is due to visit London on Wednesday to meet Prime Minister Theresa May.

Russian arms export in 2017 exceeded $15bn says Putin | 6 March 2018 | Army Recognition

“Russia matches high standards and confirms its status of one of the leading providers on the world arms market. The export of military hardware has grown for a third year running to more than $15 billion. The ability to effectively work even in conditions of political provocations and economic subversions shows the sustainability and immense potential of the Russian military-technical cooperation system,” Putin said.

Serial production of Russian PL-14 pistol soon to begin | 6 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The Izhevsk Mechanical Plant of Kalashnikov Concern of Rostec State Corporation will launch the serial production of the Lebedev pistol (PL) in the near future, plant Managing Director Alexander Gvozdik said.

UK approves $42m in spyware sales to Middle East ‘regimes’ | 7 March 2018 | Middle East Eye

Britain has approved the export of more than $40m of surveillance equipment to the Middle East since 2015, prompting fears it is being used to track political dissidents and activists, Middle East Eye can reveal. The figures show millions of dollars of exports were approved to Gulf states who are criticised by rights campaigners of spying on and repressing dissidents and opposition leaders.

New Joint Venture Announced to Deliver Germany’s Next Generation Ground Based Air Defense System “TLVS” | 8 March 2018 | Business Insider

Today MBDA Deutschland and Lockheed Martin announced a new joint venture to pursue the next generation Integrated Air and Missile Defense System, “TLVS,” for the German Bundeswehr. The joint venture is expected to become the prime contractor for the new system, which is currently being negotiated with Germany’s procurement office for the Bundeswehr.

UK moves closer to signing Typhoon jet deal with Saudis | 9 March 2018 | The Guardian

Britain’s biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, has moved towards completing an order worth billions of pounds from Saudi Arabia for the purchase of 48 Typhoon fighter jets.

Belgium: ambitious rearmament plan | 9 March 2018 | Army Recognition

A NATO commitment set the members’ national defense budget to 2% of each GDP in view of building a credible defense force. In this regard, Belgium is – at last – launching a major rearmament process. Its 2018 military budget includes 4.7 times more so-called engagement credits than the 2017 budget. This process means cash to be paid on delivery; therefore, it does not appear in normal operating budgets. Altogether, this involves spending €9.2 billion ($US 11.3 billion) on military equipment between 2020 and 2030.

Russia exports more armaments than expected despite sanctions | 12 March 2018 | TASS

Western sanctions complicate sales of Russian armaments but Moscow is ready for work in challenging conditions and exports more military equipment to other countries than earlier planned, Russian presidential aide for military and technical cooperation Vladimir Kozhin said on Monday.

Upgraded MBT T-84 Oplot Fortress for Ukrainian army | 12 March 2018 | Army Recognition

According to the latest press release by UkrOboronProm, Ukrainian State Enterprises (DPs) Malyshev Plant and Kharkiv Morozov Machine Building Design Bureau (KMDB) are preparing to deliver a batch of T-84 Oplot “Fortress” main battle tanks (MBTs) for trials by the Ukrainian armed forces.

La FGTB Metal Liège s’inquiète des emplois liés au commerce des armes | 13 March 2018 | RTBF

A Liège, le MR a reçu ce matin plusieurs membres la FGTB Métal. Le syndicat s’inquiète de l’avenir des entreprises liées au commerce des armes. En province de Liège, Il n’y a pas que la FN Herstal ou CMI -qui produit des tourelles de chars- qui sont concernées. Selon la FGTB, le secteur regroupe environ 5000 travailleurs dans une trentaine d’entreprises.

Ukraine launches production of large caliber artillery ammunition | 15 March 2018 | Kyiv Post

The state-owned joint-stock holding company Artem, which is incorporated in the Ukroboronprom State Concern, has successfully tested 152 mm artillery ammunition of own production, Ukroboronprom Director General Pavlo Bukin has said.

Lithuania discuss with Belgium and UK to adapt JLTV armored to EU standards | 17 March 2018 | Army Recognition

On March 13-15 Vice Minister of National Defence of Lithuania Giedrimas Jeglinskas observed tests of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) in Bedford while on visit in the United Kingdom. Vice Minister also met with representatives of the UK Ministry of Defence and the Belgian Defense Directorate General for Material Resources and discussed challenges of adapting the JLTV for national needs and EU standards.

Ukraine launches production of large caliber artillery ammunition | 19 March 2018 | Army Recognition

The state-owned joint-stock holding company Artem, which is incorporated in the Ukroboronprom State Concern, has successfully tested 152mm artillery ammunition of own production, Ukroboronprom Director General Pavlo Bukin has said. “Thus, Ukraine received own production of large caliber artillery ammunition,” the press service of Ukroboronprom reported on Wednesday, citing Bukin.

Ukraine’s envoy: UN has “no right to turn blind eye” to Russian arms supplies to Donbas | 19 March 2018 | UNIAN

Ukraine has called on the United Nations not to ignore the supply by Russia of its weapons and military hardware to occupied Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

France faces legal risks for Saudi Arabia, UAE arms sales | 20 March 2018 | Al Jazeera

La légalité des ventes d’armes françaises mise en cause | 20 March 2018 | ACAT

A new report commissioned by human rights groups says the French government may have breached international law by supplying Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates weapons that could be used in their war on Yemen.

KBP unveils MTs-116M sniper rifle | 20 March 2018 | Jane’s International Defence Review

Russia’s Central Design and Research Bureau of Sporting and Hunting Firearms (TsKIB SOO), a subsidiary of the Tula-based Instrument Design Bureau (KBP), has unveiled the MTs-116M bolt-action sniper rifle.

Spain to buy new weapons for more than EUR 10 billion | 21 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Spanish Minister of Defense María Dolores de Cospedal will soon detail her new plan concerning a 15-year investment cycle for weapons systems. To put this plan in the Spanish defense “landscape”, let’s precise that the country’s defense expenditure for 2017 was estimated by NATO at 0.92% of GDP, the same as in 2014. The NATO target, agreed at the Wales summit meeting in 2014, is for national defense spending by all members to increase to 2% of their GDP by 2024.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m | 22 March 2018 | The Register

Britain will spend £345m ($486m) upgrading its F-35B fighter jets to the most recent, combat-ready, version of the aircraft’s operating system. The figure was indirectly revealed by defence procurement minister Guto Bebb, in response to a Parliamentary question.

Une affaire de corruption frappe Ruag | 22 March 2018 | 24 Heures

Une surprise? «C’est la preuve que Ruag a mis en place les recommandations de notre audit du 13 octobre 2016, où nous affirmions que le risque de corruption est considérable», nous affirme Michel Huissoud, directeur du Contrôle fédéral des finances. Et c’est un fait. L’entreprise d’armement a elle-même donné l’alarme et déposé une plainte auprès du Ministère public de la Confédération (MPC), après qu’un lanceur d’alerte l’a informée d’opérations illicites menées en son sein par l’un de ses collaborateurs.

Hausdurchsuchungen bei der Ruag | 22 March 2018 | Handelszeitung

Bundesanwaltschaft ermittelt gegen die Ruag | 22 March 2018 | Handelszeitung

Russland-Deal ist kein Einzelfall: Weitere Probleme bei Ruag | 28 March 2018 | Handelszeitung

Julius-Bär-Banker vertrieb für Ruag in Russland Munition | 4 April 2018 | Handelszeitung

Die Ruag steckt noch tiefer im russischen Morast | 5 April 2018 | Handelszeitung

Ruag prüft Zivilklage gegen Mitarbeiter | 8 April 2018 | Handelszeitung

Die Bundesanwaltschaft BA hat heute Donnerstag morgen Hausdurchsuchungen bei der Ruag, dem Rüstungskonzern des Bundes durchgeführt. Die Bundesanwaltschaft bestätigt gegenüber der «Handelszeitung» die Ermittlungshandlungen. «Es kam zu Hausdurchsuchungen, es wurden verschiedene Informationen und Datenträger sichergestellt», sagt BA-Informationschef André Marty.

Britain’s ‘secret’ arms sales to Middle East human rights abusers | 23 March 2018 | Middle East Eye

The UK government has been accused of using secretive export rules to hide the true extent of arms exports to Middle East states with dire human rights records, Middle East Eye can reveal. Figures seen exclusively by MEE reveal a more than 20 percent increase in the use of opaque “open licences” to approve arms sales to states in the Middle East and North Africa, in a move that avoids public scrutiny and keeps the value of arms and their quantities secret.

U.S. budget of $200 million for military assistance to Ukraine | 25 March 2018 | Army Recognition

United States has approved a budget of $620 million to provide assistance to Ukraine, Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States Valeriy Chaly said, on Friday, March 24, 2018. Around $200 million will be allocated for military and technical assistance to Ukraine, which is by $50 million more than in 2017.

Montenegro Deepens Defence Industry Ties to Turkey | 26 March 2018 | Balkan Insight

Montenegro is due to approve an agreement on closer defence industry ties with Turkey, which in recent years has become a global player in terms of the arms trade.

Serbia continues defence industry modernisation | 27 March 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin has reopened a manufacturing plant within the PPT Namenska military production complex as part of a broader scheme to modernise the national defence industrial base with national and international investment.

MBDA’s order book 2017 reached a record peak of €16.8 billion | 27 March 2018 | Army Recognition

For the fifth consecutive year, MBDA recorded a high in orders, worth EUR 4.2 billion, in 2017 while revenue amounted to EUR 3.1 billion. By 31 December the company’s order book reached a record peak of EUR 16.8 billion, giving the group prospects for sustained growth over the next five years.

British Company Jankel to supply LTTV Light Troop Transport Vehicles to Belgian army | 28 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Following the 2015 contract to supply the Belgium Ministry of Defence (BeMOD) with over 100 FOX Rapid Reaction Vehicles (RRV), British Company Jankel has secured a second prestigious contract with the Belgian army to supply a new fleet of specialist tactical vehicles, under the program LTTV Light Troop Transport Vehicles.

Russia inks contract with Uzbekistan to deliver more than 10 Mi-35 helicopters | 29 March 2018 | TASS

Military-technical cooperation with Uzbekistan is actively developing, deputy head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Vladimir Drozhzhov said.

Defence contractors hand British universities £40m | 31 March 2018 | The Guardian

Britain’s universities are taking tens of millions of pounds from some of the world’s biggest defence contractors to help develop the next generation of military hardware. The close relationship between academia and the defence sector is credited with helping sustain tens of thousands of jobs in the UK but it is causing unease among some scientists, even as other sources of funding for universities dry up.

Armenia will receive weapons from Russia under a $100 million loan | 31 March 2018 | Army Recognition

Armenia will receive weapons and military equipment from Russia under a new $100 million loan in 2018, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Vladimir Drozhzhov said. The supply of these Russian weapons is expected for this year.

UkrOboronProm breeds conflicts of interest in lucrative foreign arms sales | 2 April 2018 | Kyiv Post

UkrOboronProm, the giant state-run holding company of over 130 defense enterprises, is a Soviet-style industrial monster that dominates the country’s military-industrial complex. It fiercely defends its business with the country’s armed forces.

Hungary to licence produce Ceska Zbrojovka small arms | 3 April 2018 | IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

On 28 March, Hungarian Defence Minister István Simicskó and his Czech counterpart, Karla Slechtová, announced a licence agreement to manufacture Czech infantry weapons in Hungary.

Le Seco a mis son veto sur 48 demandes d’exportation d’armes de guerre | 8 April 2018 | Le Temps

Vingt et un pays ont été concernés en 2017 par des interdictions d’exportation de matériel suisse, dont la Turquie, le Mexique, les Emirats arabes unis, le Koweït et l’Arabie saoudite.

France’s Macron defends Saudi arms sales, praises Mohammed bin Salman | 11 April 2018 | The New Arab

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday defended arms sales to Saudi Arabia, urging critics of Mohammed bin Salman to give the Crown Prince a chance.

Legal battle to make UK-Saudi Arabia arms sales unlawful | 12 April 2018 | Middle East Monitor

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is at the Court of Appeal today to review the export of British weapons systems to Saudi Arabia for use in the ongoing war in Yemen. The judicial review is being brought against Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, for granting export licences amid extensive allegations of war crimes by Saudi Arabia in its southern neighbour.

A new film exposes the utter hypocrisy of Britain going to war over Syria | 14 April 2018 | The Canary

As the British government launches military action in Syria, a new film has exposed the hypocrisy of Theresa May’s position. Because the prime minister has condemned the “barbaric” targeting of civilians in Syria. But civilians in Yemen are also allegedly targeted with British-made bombs and warplanes.

Weapons are smuggled through Slovakia, Czech journalists reveal | 17 April 2018 | The Slovak Spectator

Bratislava airport is used as a transit point for smuggling Czech rocket launchers and howitzers to Azerbaijan, on which a ban on the export of military material was imposed due to its conflict with Armenia.

Italian officials and German firm face legal action over Saudi arms sales | 18 April 2018 | The Guardian

Una coalizione internazionale di Organizzazioni Non Governative sporge denuncia penale contro RWM Italia S.p.a, filiale italiana del produttore di armamenti tedesco Rheinmetall AG, e contro l’UAMA | 18 April 2018 | Rete Italiana per il Disarmo

Is Europe complicit in deadly Saudi-coalition airstrike in Yemen? | 18 April 2018 | European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights

At 03:00am on 8 October 2016 an airstrike allegedly by the Saudi-led military coalition struck the village of Deir Al-Hajari in Northwest Yemen. The airstrike killed a family of six, including the pregnant mother and four children. At the site of the airstrike bomb remnants were found, and a suspension lug manufactured by RWM Italia S.p.A., a subsidiary of the German Arms Manufacturer Rheinmetall AG. ECCHR and its partners vom Italy and Yemen call for an investigation into the criminal liability of the Italian authorities and RWM’s directors for arms exports.

Military grade firearms increasingly available to terrorists in Europe | 18 April 2018 | The Guardian

An “arms race” between criminal groups in Europe risks making it easier for terrorists to obtain high-powered, military grade firearms, a report has warned. The survey says long-standing barriers to obtaining firearms have broken down in recent years owing to the emergence of the internet, cross-border smuggling of military-grade assault rifles into the EU, the conversion of large numbers of blank-firing guns and the widespread reactivation of weapons previously rendered unusable to be sold to collectors.