UK arms supplies to Saudi Arabia – a view from London
“This is the fourth anniversary of the latest stage of a terrible conflict. Britain will do everything possible to ensure that Yemen’s people do not have to suffer a fifth.” These were the words of the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt in March 2019, on the fourth anniversary of the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen. That same day, Saudi-led forces bombed a Save The Children supported hospital in rural north-west Yemen. Eight people were killed in the attack, including five children.
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world, and, as the war enters its fifth year, it is becoming even worse. Over 70,000 people have been killed as a direct result of the war, with 24 million people – around 80% of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance. Over the last four years there have been over 18,000 air strikes on Yemen, with an estimated one third hitting civilian targets. Despite the scale of the crisis, a Saudi-imposed blockade has stopped vital food, medical supplies and fuel from reaching people in need.
The war has been fought with arms sold from around the world. One of the largest suppliers has been the UK Government, which has licensed at least £4.7 billion worth of fighter jets and bombs to the Saudi regime in the first four years of war. These weapons have played a key role in the bombing, and have had a terrible impact.
In reality the real value of the sales could be a great deal higher, with most of the bombs and missiles having been licensed via the opaque and secretive Open Licence system which hides the quantity of weapons that have been sold.
These arms sales are currently subject to the scrutiny of the UK Court of Appeal, which is considering their legality. This follows a case brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade.
We are arguing that the sale of weapons to Saudi forces for use in Yemen breaches the rules agreed by the European Union in a Common Position of 2008 that the UK claims to apply to its arms exports,, which states that if there is a “clear risk” that weapons “might” be used to commit a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) then an arms sales should not go ahead. The UK also claims to uphold its obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty, which include a ban on transferring arms and munitions that would be used for crimes against humanity, grave breaches of IHL and war crimes.
Since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, the Saudi-led coalition has been regularly accused of extremely serious breaches of IHL: including the destruction of schools and hospitals and indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas. Saudi-led forces have bombed weddings, celebrations and even a refugee camp. In 2016, the Coalition bombed a funeral, killing 140 people and turning a scene of mourning into a massacre. Last year it bombed a school bus, killing 29 children.
In 2016 a United Nations expert panel accused Saudi-led forces of “widespread and systematic” violations of IHL (S/2018/193, page 3). It made similar observations two years later. These claims have been backed up by Amnesty International, Save the Children, Médecins sans frontières, and the United Nations Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts on Yemen (A/HRC/39/43), all of whom have accused Saudi forces of serious IHL breaches.
Attempts to pinpoint which specific weapons and munitions from the UK, the US or other arms supplying countries were used in which specific attacks is ultimately not what matters. Convincing reports from multiple authoritative sources show that the Saudi-led Coalition is repeatedly using jet fighters, bombs and missiles for attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure that are virtually certain to seriously violate international humanitarian law. UK-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles are just as likely to be used in such attacks on civilian targets as US-made ones are. That being said, research from Yemeni human rights group Mwatana for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch have clearly linked UK-made missiles to attacks on civilian infrastructure. In any case, the EU Common Position and ATT rules require the UK and other governments to refrain from licensing arms exports in these circumstances.
The level of integration and the personnel involved in deals means that Saudi forces couldn’t simply replace one arms provider with another. According to former CIA analyst Brucie Riedel, “the Royal Saudi Air Force cannot operate without American and British support.”
UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia are not new. Historically, the issue has been an institutional one rather than a party political one: with Labour Governments having sold as many weapons as Conservative ones. Tony Blair’s Labour Government went as far as intervening in 2006 to cancel a Serious Fraud Office investigation into corruption in previous arms deals in part because of the “critical difficulty” it would pose to future sales.
Currently, the UK Government and the UK’s biggest arms company, BAE Systems, are in negotiations with the Saudi military to sell a further 48 fighter jets. This deal, worth billions of pounds, could further integrate UK and Saudi political and military relations for another political generation.
For now, an agreement on aircraft sales appears to have been postponed by the Court case and the international controversy that followed the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. This is reflected in BAE’s 2018 annual report, which notes that “the prevailing geopolitical climate has created an unavoidable delay” in finalising the deal.
There is no doubt that the UK Government has been lobbying on BAE’s behalf. In the weeks that followed the Khashoggi murder, the International Trade Minister, Liam Fox, met with representatives from BAE to discuss “the UK government response to the killing of Khashoggi and BAE-Saudi interests.”
The meeting came one week after the German Government took the decision to curb arms sales to Saudi-led forces for use in Yemen. In the months that followed, the UK Government lobbied strongly for Germany to change its mind. The Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, even wrote to his German counterpart asking him to reconsider the ban, arguing that it could have a major impact on UK arms sales and the profitability of BAE specifically.
The arms sales and military support have been underpinned by an uncritical political support. This was on full display 12 months ago, when the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, made a high profile visit to London. While there he enjoyed lunch with the Queen, Dinner with Princes William and Charles and photos on the steps of Downing Street. The images, which were broadcast across the world, sent a message of unity between the Saudi and UK rulers.
The level of political and military integration between London and Riyadh makes change all the more vital. Whatever the outcome of the UK Court of Appeal in the current case brought by CAAT, which is supported by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK, the final verdict in the UK courts is likely to set a major precedent. If we win then it could have a major impact on UK arms exports and foreign policy for years to come. Equally, if it is unsuccessful then it will be regarded by the UK and other arms dealing governments as a green-light to continue pouring weapons into the war.
After four years of conflict the crisis in Yemen has got worse and worse. The Governments that have armed and supported the bombing, the naval blockade, shelling from ground and naval forces, the firing of SALW and the use of armed force to abduct, kill, torture, displace civilians etc. have a particular responsibility to do everything they can to end it. We believe that these arms sales are immoral and are confident that the Courts will agree that they are illegal.
Andrew Smith is a spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT). You can follow CAAT at @CAATuk.
ARMS TRADE TREATY
China says it’s considering joining arms trade treaty | 30 April 2019 | CGTN
China is considering joining the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang on Tuesday, adding that the country supports the ATT’s goals.
Statement by the Spokesperson on the intention by the US to withdraw its signature from the Arms Trade Treaty | 27 April 2019 | European Union External Action Service
A decision by the US to revoke its signature would not contribute to the ongoing efforts to encourage transparency in the international arms trade, to prevent illicit trafficking and to combat the diversion of conventional arms.
Fact-Checking Trump’s Speech to the N.R.A. | 26 April 2019 | The New York Times
In a speech to the National Rifle Association on Friday, President Trump made misleading statements on drug prices, his border wall, MS-13 and an international arms treaty.
Trump Pulls Out of Arms Treaty During Speech at N.R.A. Convention | 26 April 2019 | The New York Times
President Donald J. Trump is Defending Our Sovereignty and Constitutional Rights From the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty | 26 April 2019 | The White House
In a speech to National Rifle Association members on Friday that was part political rally and part pep talk, President Trump called himself a champion of gun rights. Then he proved it, whipping out a pen onstage to sign a letter that would effectively cease America’s involvement in an arms treaty designed to regulate the international sale of conventional weapons.
Arms Trade Treaty Working Group on Transparency and Reporting EU Key Messages Geneva | 4 April 2019 | European Union External Action Service
The EU thanks the ATT Secretariat for sharing the latest status of reporting. Unfortunately, we must conclude that the reporting rate has not significantly improved, and that the rate of compliance with the reporting obligations is alarmingly low.
INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW
Laying Down the LAWS: Strategizing Autonomous Weapons Governance | 24 April 2019 | Council on Foreign Relations
Leading nations are gearing up for what many view to be the next revolution in warfare. As the United States and other countries prioritize the development of emerging weapons technologies, including sophisticated drones, lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS), and swarm technologies, the world’s powers are poised to revamp the way in which they fight wars.
No special immunity for SEAL witnesses in war crimes case | 16 April 2019 | Navy Times
The new commander of Navy Region Southwest, Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar, on Tuesday blocked two SEAL witnesses from getting total immunity from future prosecution stemming from an ongoing war crimes investigation.
By not investigating the U.S. for war crimes, the International Criminal Court shows colonialism still thrives in international law | 15 April 2019 | The Conversation
On April 5, the United States revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, for her attempts to open an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. in Afghanistan. A week later, judges at the ICC rejected Bensouda’s request to open a probe into U.S. involvement in Afghanistan.
ICC judges reject opening of an investigation regarding Afghanistan situation | 12 April 2019 | ICC
Today, 12 April 2019, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected unanimously the request of the Prosecutor to proceed with an investigation for alleged crimes against humanity and war crimes, on the territory of in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The judges decided that an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan at this stage would not serve the interests of justice. The Chamber is composed of Judge Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua, who will be appending a concurring separate opinion, Judge Tomoko Akane and Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala.
The Eighteenth Report Documenting Violations by International Coalition Forces in Syria | 20 March 2019 | Syrian Network for Human Rights
In its latest report, released today, the Syrian Network for Human Rights emphasizes the need for the International Coalition forces to launch further investigations and compensate the victims with the end of ISIS in Syria. The 14-page report states that violations by International Coalition forces have become a widespread and frequent pattern in many cities and towns in Syria, which, according to the report, undermines the credibility of these forces, despite their declaration of a noble goal in helping to rid the Syrian people and the peoples of the world of terrorist organizations and the danger they pose.
The New US War in Somalia | 19 March 2019 | Amnesty International USA
The US government must carry out impartial, thorough investigations into credible evidence its rapidly escalating air strikes in Somalia have killed numerous civilians, Amnesty International said in a new report today. The Hidden US War in Somalia details how 14 civilians were killed and eight more injured in just five of the more than 100 strikes in the past two years. These five incidents were carried out with Reaper drones and manned aircraft in Lower Shabelle, a region largely under Al-Shabaab control outside the Somali capital Mogadishu. The attacks appear to have violated international humanitarian law, and some may amount to war crimes.
Report of the detailed findings of the independent international Commission of inquiry on the protests in the Occupied Palestinian Territory | 18 March 2019 | (A/HRC/40/CRP.2) |UN Human Rights Council | ReliefWeb
Submitted as a supplement to A/HRC/40/74, this text sets out the detailed findings of the independent international Commission of inquiry mandated to investigate the demonstrations that began in Gaza on 30 March, 2018, the response of Israeli security forces thereto, as well as the impact on civilians in Gaza and Israel.
US bars entry to ICC members probing ‘war crimes’ in Afghanistan | 15 March 2019 | Al Jazeera
The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court (ICC) personnel seeking to investigate possible war crimes by US forces or allies in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. “The ICC is attacking America’s rule of law,” Pompeo told reporters in Washington on Friday.
We need a war crimes tribunal into the atrocities of Islamic State | 14 March 2019 | ABC News Australia
The world witnessed a new horror in Syria this week when more than 2,000 women and children from Islamic State families emerged from a network of tunnels under the town of Baghouz, all starving and many nursing serious injuries. It has been reported that they were living underground for months, while IS soldiers fought their final battles above ground.
IDF investigates 11 Palestinian deaths on Gaza border, war crimes allegations | 14 March 2019 | The Jerusalem Post
The IDF legal division has five criminal investigations into the deaths of 11 Palestinians last year as part of the now year-long Gaza border crisis. A larger number of incidents, in which about 250 Palestinians have been killed, have been probed by the Fact Finding Mechanism -an initial review process designed to quickly clarify whether an incident might have criminal implications. Military Advocate General Maj.-Gen. Sharon Afek has ordered five of the incidents to advance forward as criminal probes.
Ex-VP of Congo seeks damages over war crime convictions | 11 March 2019 | Kiro7
A former vice president of Congo who was acquitted on appeal of war crimes in Central African Republic is seeking millions of euros (dollars) in compensation from the International Criminal Court, his lawyers said Monday.
Lawyers submit first war crimes cases against Assad | 7 March 2019 | BBC News
Human rights lawyers have filed the first cases against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The lawsuits were submitted on behalf of 28 Syrian refugees in Jordan who say they were forced to flee the country. The legal teams are calling on the ICC to investigate possible crimes against humanity committed since Syria’s civil war began in 2011.
Colombia’s war crimes tribunal opens investigation into child recruitment | 6 March 2019 | Colombia Reports
Colombia’s war crimes tribunal on Tuesday opened an investigation into what it believed is the recruitment of more than 6,000 children for which only 10 people have been convicted. Case file number 007 seeks to clarify the mass recruitment of child soldiers by the demobilized guerrilla group FARC and the unduly use of children in intelligence work for the military.
246 Civilians, Including One Media Worker and Six Medical and Civil Defense Personnel, Documented Killed in Syria in February 2019 | 1 March 2019 | Syrian Network for Human Rights
The 19-page report states that the crime of murder has become widespread and systematic, mainly at the hands of Syrian regime forces and their affiliated militias, adding that the entry of several parties into the Syrian conflict has increased the importance and complexity of documenting the victims killed in Syria.
This edition of Civil Society and Disarmament explores recent work by the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) to counter the misuse, diversion, and illicit proliferation of small arms, light weapons, and their ammunition. The volume places particular emphasis on statements and briefing papers issued by IANSA member organizations in the context of the Third Review Conference of the United Nations Programme of Action (PoA) to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects (RevCon3), held from 19 to 29 June 2018 in New York.
White Phosphorous Market to register extensive growth via arms and ammunition industry | 5 April 2019 | Fractovia
The White Phosphorous Market has main application in arms and ammunitions industry. Other areas where the product has prominent usage is synthesis of other phosphorous compounds, manufacturing of organic pesticides, metallurgy and pharmaceuticals. In ammunition industry, it is widely used in smoke bombs and flares that are used to produce smoke for concealing troop movements, displaying infrared signatures and identifying targets. Due to its instant ignition properties, it is used to destroy enemy equipment such as vehicles and storage tanks for oil, lubricants and petroleum in war situations.
Prohibitions and Export Assessment: Tracking Implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty | 2 April 2019 | Geneva Centre for Security Policy
Four years after the entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), how do states parties implement its core provisions regarding the authorization of arms transfers? Rather than looking at what transfer decisions states are taking, this study examines how states implement Articles 6 and 7 of the ATT by national legislation, policies and practice.
The Blockchain has the Potential to Stop Illegal Arms Trading into Black Market | 18 March 2019 | Hackernoon
The problem of Illegal arms trading is complex. Procurement and sale of illegal weapons worldwide involved so many venues where each terrorist or terrorist organizations can buy arms. When bought, it is easy to trade arms across international borders because of corrupt agents, open borders and advantages of lax security, these resources can be used as facilitation of procurement and trade of illegal weapons. Once brought across borders, they use in conflicts across the globe and reason of killing innocent civilians.
The Global Arms Trade: Policy Analysis (pdf) | 11 March 2019 | The Organization for World Peace
The global arms market is the trade of all arms within and around the globe. Our study will focus on conventional arms. This includes hand held guns, missiles, missile launchers, tanks, artillery systems, attack helicopters, armored combat vehicles, combat aircraft and warships. These are traded both within the law and illicitly.
UN expert on Libya weapons ‘illegally jailed in Tunisia’ | 30 April 2019 | The Guardian
A UN expert on illegal Libyan weapons, Dr Moncef Kartas, is being kept in prison by the Tunisian government in violation of international law, a letter signed by more than 90 weapons experts, academics and Libyan researchers has claimed. Kartas was seized four weeks ago by Tunisian police and accused of espionage and contacts with foreign parties.
The Guardian view on Libya: this crisis is international | 25 April 2019 | The Guardian
The warlord Khalifa Haftar, who controls eastern Libya, has never disguised his ambitions. Once one of Muammar Gaddafi’s generals, he returned from exile in the US when the dictator fell in 2011, attempted to launch a coup three years later, repeatedly declared his intention to take Tripoli and has said that his country may not be ready for democracy.
African Leaders Build Weapons Stockpiles Aided By Russian Dealers | 15 April 2019 | The Charleston Chronicle
There’s a new “rumble in the jungle” in the words of Muhammad Ali but George Foreman isn’t a part of it. What’s changing on the African landscape is the configuration of allies and business partners. Russia, most notably, is making a comeback in weapons sales to Africa, topping western and Chinese arms sellers by a wide margin.
ARQUUS Bastion 4×4 APC armored personnel carrier in service with Senegal Army | 12 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
The Bastion 4×4 APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) vehicle manufactured by the French Company ARQUUS is now in service with armed forces of Senegal. On April 4, 2019, a picture was released on the official website of the “Présidence de la République du Sénégal” showing Bastion APC at military parade marking Senegal’s 59th anniversary of independence.
Libya crisis: UK officials anxious as blame is laid at doors of Gulf allies | 9 April 2019 | The Guardian
Blame for the renewed Libyan crisis has been laid at the doors of some of Britain’s closest allies in the Gulf, highlighting again how the UK’s commercial interests so often trump its political priorities in the Middle East.
Angola Plans Manufacturing Russian Military Equipment | 7 April 2019 | indepthnews.net
Many African countries are looking for profitable business, investment and trade rather than development aid. Now Angola, a south-central Africa, has announced corporate plans to diversify its state business away from purchasing to full-fledged manufacturing of Russian military equipment for the southern African market, and possibly other regions in Africa – impeding realization of the Sustainable Development Goal 16 calling for peace and justice.
US general dismisses Chinese kit in Africa | 4 April 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The Chinese military equipment being acquired by African countries is not of a high quality, according to the US Army general nominated as the next commander of the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM).
Paramount Group Marauder armored vehicle to equip Nigerian Air Force | 28 March 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
Paramount Group, the African-based global defence and aerospace company, has proudly launched its Marauder armoured vehicle and personnel carrier within the Republic of Nigeria, in partnership with the Nigerian Air Force. The move comes as the West African nation is bolstering its efforts to effectively tackle a wide range of threats posed by various terrorist and extremist groups.
Leonardo establishes helicopter JV with Algeria | 26 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The Algerian Ministry of National Defence and Leonardo have formed a joint venture (JV) for the domestic assembly, sale, and support of Leonardo’s helicopters.
South Darfur to launch new disarmament campaign | 20 March 2019 | Sudan Tribune
Governor of South Darfur State Ahmed Abu Shanab on Tuesday has announced the launch of a new disarmament campaign during a few days. On Tuesday, Abu Shanab met with the political forces and former armed movements in Nyala, capital of South Darfur.
Egypt Agrees Deal for Su-35s | 18 March 2019 | AIN Online
Cairo and Moscow are in agreement on the sale to Egypt of “more than twenty” Sukhoi Su-35 heavyweight multirole fighters, Moscow news outlet Kommersant reported on Monday, March 18. The deal is yet to be confirmed by official sources. Reportedly, a firm contract worth $2 billion was signed late last year but remained undisclosed until this week. Shipments are expected to commence in 2020-2021.
Sudan reveals ‘Shareef-3’ upgrade to BTR-70 | 14 March 2019 | Jane’s International Defence Review
Sudan’s Military Industry Corporation (MIC) has expanded its range of wheeled armoured personnel carriers (APC) with an upgraded Russian BTR-70 8×8 called the Shareef-3.
No evidence provided by U.S. on arms sales claims against ex -IDF general | 6 March 2019 | Jerusalem Post
Ziv vehemently denied the American allegations that his consulting company, Global CST, sold $150 million in arms to South Sudan. Two months after the United States Treasury sanctioned a retired Israeli general over allegations he sold millions of dollars of arms to South Sudan during its civil war, no evidence has been shared with Israel despite government requests.
WWF Funds Guards Who Have Tortured And Killed People (pt. 1/3) | 4 March 2019 | BuzzFeed
The World Wide Fund for Nature funds vicious paramilitary forces to fight poaching. A BuzzFeed News investigation reveals the hidden human cost. In Central African Republic (CAR), a failed state in civil war, WWF’s staff embroiled themselves in something potentially even riskier: an arms deal. (pt. 2/3) (pt. 3/3)
Donald Trump vetoes resolution to end US involvement in Yemen war | 17 April 2019 | DW
President Donald Trump rejected a bill from Congress to end assistance to Saudi Arabia for the Yemen war. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the veto would serve to “perpetuate America’s shameful involvement” in the crisis.
Canada Prepares to Implement New Export Controls and Brokering Requirements | 11 April 2019 | McCarthy Tétrault LLP
On March 16, the Canadian government published proposed regulations supporting amendments to Canada’s Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) that, among other things, create a new control regime for Canadians engaged in “brokering” related to transactions involving the movement of certain controlled goods, services or technology from one foreign country to another. This is the first time Canada has imposed such controls and companies that may be potentially involved in such transactions should be reviewing the new regulations carefully.
While Trump Hyped Defense Jobs, Weapons Makers Were Exporting Their Operations Overseas | 4 April 2019 | Mother Jones
When President Donald Trump tried to justify selling American weapons to Saudi Arabia last year, he claimed that arms sales to the kingdom would create “hundreds of thousands of jobs” and bring “much additional wealth to the United States.” Defense analysts have knocked down his shifting claims that that these deals could create as many as a million jobs. Now a new report finds that not only were Trump’s numbers grossly inflated but that American defense companies are increasingly sending jobs overseas while helping other countries expand their capacity to build weapons systems.
The full extent of US arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE | 4 April 2019 | Middle East Eye
The United States has struck at least $68.2bn worth of deals for firearms, bombs, weapons systems, and military training with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since the start of their war in Yemen – billions more than previously reported – according to data collected by an American think tank.
Yemen war: Congress votes to end US military assistance to Saudi Arabia | 4 April 2019 | The Guardian
Congress has given final approval on a resolution to end American military assistance for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, in an unprecedented attempt to curtail the president’s power to go to war and a sweeping rebuke to Donald Trump’s foreign policy.
US approves MH-60R sale to India | 2 April 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The US government has approved the sale of the Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk maritime multimission helicopter to India, it was announced on 2 April.
Congress Acts on War in Yemen | 1 April 2019 | Arms Control Today
Both chambers of the U.S. Congress recently passed resolutions to prohibit U.S. military involvement in the war in Yemen, a rebuke to the Trump administration’s approach of supporting the Saudi-led coalition fighting there. Due to differences in the resolutions, the House needs to act again, after which a presidential veto is expected.
Proposed Small Arms Transfers: Big Implications for U.S. Foreign Policy (video) | 26 March 2019 | House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations – Hearings
The Trump Administration is making it easier for U.S. weapons to proliferate around the world. Through a unilateral rule change, the Administration will eliminate congressional oversight of certain weapons exports, making it easier for these deadly weapons to end up in the hands of governments that violate human rights, arms traffickers, and international crime syndicates. Which weapons are included?
General Export Permit No. 47 — Export of Arms Trade Treaty Items to the United States | 16 March 2019 | Canadian Government
The objective of General Export Permit No. 47 — Export of Arms Trade Treaty Items to the United States (GEP-47 or General Export Permit No. 47) would be to provide a streamlined permitting process for the export of most ATT items to the United States. The reporting requirements in GEP-47 would enable the Government of Canada to fill a significant reporting gap and increase transparency by reporting on the permanent export of ATT items to the United States.
Brokering Control List | 16 March 2019 | Canadian Government
The ultimate objective of this package of proposed regulations is for Canada to accede to the ATT in full and demonstrable compliance.
Overview of the Arms Trade Treaty regulatory implementation package | 15 March 2019 | Canadian Government
Canada will join the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) later this year. To ensure compliance, it is Canada’s practice before it accedes, to meet all of the legislative requirements of the Treaty. As a first step, the Government of Canada introduced Bill C-47, which amends the Export and Import Permits Act (EIPA) to establish controls on brokering of military items and to incorporate directly into Canadian law the assessment criteria laid out in the ATT, along with other amendments to further strengthen Canada’s export controls. Bill C-47 received Royal Assent on December 13, 2018.
Arrest of ELN Arms Dealer in Colombia Reveals Global Network | 15 March 2019 | Insight Crime
The detention of a powerful Colombian arms dealer accused of supplying weapons to the ELN has revealed the details of an intricate international arms trade extending from the United States to Colombia.
Senate passes resolution to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen | 14 March 2019 | The Guardian
The Senate has voted to end US support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition’s war in Yemen, bringing Congress one step closer to a unprecedented rebuke of Donald Trump’s foreign policy. Lawmakers have never before invoked the decades-old War Powers Resolution to stop a foreign conflict, but they are poised to do just that in the effort to cut off US support for a war that has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe.
More than 500 arrests made in raid against arms trafficking in eight Latin American countries | 12 March 2019 | The Tico Times
A raid against arms trafficking in eight Latin American countries ended with 560 arrests, including the detainment of a person suspected of providing weapons to Colombia’s National Liberation Army, Interpol announced Monday. The operation involved police, customs, immigration and military agents from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama.
Exporting American’s gun problem? The proposed rule that has monitors up in arms | 5 March 2019 | Middle East Eye
The Trump administration is on the cusp of changing small-arms export regulations that opponents say could flood conflict zones like the Middle East with the same retail guns used in mass shootings in the US. The rules, which could be finalised this month, would allow sniper rifles, semi-automatic firearms and AK-47-style assault rifles to be sold commercially without requiring US companies to register with the State Department.
India to buy 464 Russian-made T-90MS main battle tanks | 17 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
India’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) has approved the INR134.48 billion (USD 1.93 billion) procurement of 464 Russian-made T-90MS main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Indian Army (IA), the New Delhi Times reports.
Indonesian army to receive Pandur II Cobra IFVs | 16 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
On April 12, 2019, the Indonesian Ministry of Defense issued PT Pindad a contract worth $ 80 million for the production of the first 22 Pandur II series 8×8 infantry fighting vehicles that received the Indonesian designation Cobra. The vehicles must be delivered to the Indonesian army within three years and will reportedly be equipped with the Israeli remote-controlled uninhabited combat module Elbit Systems U30MK.II, which Ares (Elbit Systems Brazilian) will supply with a Northrop Grumman Bushmaster Mk.44 30mm automatic gun and two 7.62mm machine guns.
Elbit-Bharat Forge to supply Athos 2052 155mm howitzers to Indian Army | 16 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
At the end of several rounds of tendering and trials since the beginning of the last decade, the Israeli company Elbit Systems has won the Indian Army’s 155 mm/52 calibre towed artillery gun competition, of which the import content alone is valued at over $ 1 Billion. Elbit’s Indian partner is Bharat Forge, Indian Defence News reports.
Tax dispute leaves US military aid stuck in Israeli customs | 16 April 2019 | Globes
Dispute between Tax Authority, Defense Ministry holds up IDF weapons | 17 April 2019 | The Jerusalem Post
Large consignments of weapons and parts, which are meant for use by the Israeli army and security forces, have been stuck for weeks in customs warehouses at Haifa and Ashdod ports as well as Ben Gurion airport, due to a dispute between the Ministry of Defense and the Israel Tax Authority.
Indonesia ordered first batch of Harimau medium tanks | 15 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
On April 12, 2019, Indonesian Defense Minister Ramisard Ryakuda signed a large package of contracts with enterprises of the Indonesian defense industry in Bandung, the most significant of which was the order for the Indonesian shipbuilding association PT PAL to build three more diesel-electric submarines in cooperation with South Korean corporation Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME). Another significant contract was the order for the Indonesian state defense industry association PT Pindad to build the first batch of the Harimau (“Tiger”) serial Turkish-Indonesian production for the Indonesian army.
Crimes de guerre au Yémen, quand les armes européennes tuent (55min. video) | 15 April 2019 | ARTE
Ce film dévoile les dessous d’un trafic opaque, le double-discours de nos démocraties et les manquements du personnel politique européen. Il pose enfin une question fondamentale : en poursuivant le commerce avec l’Arabie saoudite, sommes-nous complices de crimes de guerre ?
Au Yémen, les armes françaises tuent | 15 April 2019 | ARTE
Made in France | 15 April 2019 | Disclose
Yémen : des armes made in France (4min. video) | 15 April 2019 | ARTE
Une fuite d’une note “Confidentiel-Défense” prouve que le pouvoir exécutif est au courant de l’usage massif des armes françaises vendues à la coalition dans la guerre au Yémen. En partenariat avec le média d’investigation Disclose, ARTE Info décrypte cette note, ainsi que la stratégie de la famine utilisée contre la population yéménite. Ce dossier répond aussi à cette question : dans quelle mesure l’Allemagne, les États-Unis et le Royaume-Uni continuent-ils à vendre des armes aux belligérants de ce conflit ?
Government closes potential export loophole in gun buyback scheme | 12 April 2019 | Newshub
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced new restrictions on exporting semi-automatic firearms, magazines and parts. The new restrictions close a potential loophole in the Government’s ban whereby gun owners could have snubbed the buyback scheme and instead sold their now-illegal firearms to overseas buyers for more money.
Elbit Systems contracted for STYLET guided mortar by undisclosed Asian country | 11 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
Elbit Systems Ltd. announced today that it was awarded an approximately $30 million contract to supply STYLET, a precise Guided Mortar Munition (GMM) to a country in Asia-Pacific. The contract will be performed over a two-year period.
Lockheed Martin: $2.5 billion contract to produce THAAD missile systems for Saudi Arabia | 10 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control, Dallas, Texas, is being awarded a $2,457,390,566 modification (P00015) to a previously-awarded contract HQ0147-17-C-0032 for the production of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors and associated one-shot devices to support the U.S. government (USG) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case requirements.
Turkish firearms firm to establish factory in Malaysia | 8 April 2019 | Daily Sabah
Turkish firearms manufacturing company, Trabzon Gun Industry Co. (TİSAŞ) has signed a preliminary protocol with Malaysia to establish a weapons factory in the country with an investment of $10 million.
Turkish firearms firm signs deal with Malaysian company for joint production of police weapons | 2 April 2019 | Daily Sabah
A domestic firearms manufacturing company based in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Trabzon signed an agreement Tuesday with a Malaysian company to jointly produce weapons for Malaysian security forces.
First two F-35As arrive in South Korea | 2 April 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The first two of 40 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters ordered for the Republic of Korea Air Force (RoKAF) arrived at South Korea’s Cheongju Air Base on 29 March.
Vietnam takes delivery of more US patrol boats | 1 April 2019 | Jane’s Defence Industry
The US government has handed over additional Metal Shark patrol boats to the Vietnam Coast Guard, the US Embassy in Hanoi announced on 1 April. The deal – valued at USD12 million – is indicative of the two countries’ increasingly close defence and security ties, it said.
Myanmar army has developed new 105mm light tank based on 2S1 chassis | 30 March 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
Myanmar army has developed a new 105 mm light tank based on the chassis of Russian-made 2S1 tracked self-propelled howitzer fitted with a new Chinese-made two-man turret armed with one 105 mm cannon. A picture of the new light tank was released on the Facebook account of the Myanmar armed forces.
2019 Update to Defence and Strategic Goods List | 28 March 2019 | Department of Defence, Australian Government
The Defence and Strategic Goods List (DSGL) has been updated and came into effect on 28 March 2019. The DSGL 2019 (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019L00424) includes a total of 70 notable amendments.
Malaysia considers counter-trade push to support military procurement | 28 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Malaysia is considering a move to push harder on the use of counter-trade – involving local commodities including palm oil – as a means to facilitate defence trade. Jane’s understands that the method is gaining political support in light of the country’s continuing fiscal restraints.
Iraq unveils indigenous UAV | 27 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Iraq’s State Company for Military Industries (SCMI) unveiled a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) during the IQDEX show held in Baghdad in March.
Qatar receives first Apache attack helicopter | 20 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Qatar has received the first of its recently ordered Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, the US Embassy in Doha disclosed on 20 March.
An examination of Saudi Arabia’s airstrike rules of engagement and its protection of civilians | 19 March 2019 | Action on Armed Violence
For over four years, a conflict has been raging in Yemen. It is one that has its roots in the failure of a political transition supposed to bring stability to Yemen following an Arab Spring uprising, one that, in 2011, forced its long-time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to hand over power to his deputy Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. President Hadi, however, struggled with a variety of problems, including attacks by al-Qaeda, a separatist movement in the south, the continuing loyalty of many military officers to Mr Saleh, as well as corruption, unemployment and food insecurity.
Turkish politician says Qatar has ordered 100 Altay tanks | 18 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Qatar has ordered 100 Altay tanks that will be produced in Turkey, Ali İhsan Yavuz, the vice-chair of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party, told the media on 12 March. He said the first 40 Altays will be delivered to Qatar within the next two years.
Illegal arms units unearthed | 18 March 2019 | The Telegraph India
Acting on a tip-off, police late on Saturday raided two illegal gun-making units in Niche Kulhi locality in Jharia, only 9km from district headquarters, to recover a big haul of weapons, and arrested owner Md Shabir, 40, and five others found on the spot.
RAF keeping Saudi warplanes which are bombing children in the Yemen in the air | 16 March 2019 | The Mirror
RAF personnel are servicing Saudi warplanes which are bombing children in the Yemen. The astonishing revelation was buried in Commons written answers by Defence Minister Mark Lancaster. He admitted 282 MoD and civilian staff work with Saudi armed forces.
Iraq takes first steps to producing its own military vehicles | 14 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Iraq’s Samar Alkhair factory, a subsidiary of the Iraqi State Military Industries Company, unveiled an indigenously produced, lightly armoured 4×4 vehicle at the IQDEX exhibition, which was held in Baghdad from 9-12 March.
Day Of Judgment: The Role of the US and Europe in Civilians Death, Destruction, and Trauma in Yemen (Pdf Report) | 13 March 2019 | Mwatana Organization for Human Rights | Relief Web
Yemen-based Mwatana for Human Rights, US-based University Network for Human Rights, and PAX urge the US Senate to pass Senate Joint Resolution 7, which seeks to end the involvement of US armed forces in the Saudi/UAE-led Coalition’s military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen. The Senate is set to vote on the resolution today.
North Korea sanctions evasion efforts detailed in UN’s latest PoE report | 12 March 2019 | NK News
Letter dated 21 February 2019 from the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 1874 (2009) addressed to the President of the Security Council | 21 February 2019 | UN Panel of Experts on North Korea
A UN panel of Experts (PoE) tasked with monitoring the implementation of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions imposed on North Korea published its annual report on Tuesday. The investigations and information within the report reveal wide-ranging sanctions violation and evasion activity by North Korea and third-party facilitators.
India-Russia AK-203 JV will be fully indigenised in 3 years | 7 March 2019 | The Economic Times
India, Russia inaugurate manufacturing plant for AK-203 assault rifle | 5 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
The India-Russia project to produce the latest AK-203 assault rifles, expected to meet operational requirements in conventional and counter-terrorism environments, will be fully indigenised in three years and deliver a much needed punch to Indian security forces.
US and European arms used to attack Yemeni civilians | 6 March 2019 | Al Jazeera
United States and European weapons are being used by the Saudi- and UAE-led coalition to kill and wound hundreds of civilians in Yemen, a new report by the Yemen-based Mwatana for Human Rights (MHR) has revealed. The organisation documented 27 unlawful coalition attacks from April 2015 to April 2018 that killed 203 civilians and injured at least 749.
No peace in Yemen until south’s wish to split with north heard, MPs told | 5 March 2019 | The Guardian
Peace in Yemen is impossible without acknowledgement of southern Yemen’s calls for independence from the north, leaders of the United Arab Emirates-backed southern transitional council (STC) are due to tell British MPs and officials as they step up efforts to be involved in the peace talks.
How AK-203, superior to INSAS, will end forces’ hunt for a reliable rifle | 4 March 2019 | The Economic Times
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of a manufacturing unit for AK-203 rifles in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district on Sunday has finally ended the hunt of Indian security forces for a reliable assault rifle.
Wer liefert die Waffen? | 25 April 2019 | Die Wochenzeitung
Zugang zu amtlichen Dokumenten gemäss Öffentlichkeitsgesetz | 21 March 2019 | Bundesgericht
Vier Jahre lang kämpfte die WOZ durch alle Instanzen, nun hat uns das Bundesgericht Recht gegeben: Das Staatssekretariat für Wirtschaft (Seco), darf die Liste der Waffenexporteure nicht mehr geheim halten.
Emirate verlangen Vertragstreue bei Rüstungsexporten | 24 April 2019 | Stern
Die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) haben Deutschland zur Vertragstreue beim Export von Rüstungsgütern aufgefordert. «Wir wissen, dass die deutsche Rüstungsindustrie bereit ist, alle Güter zu liefern», sagte der Botschafter der VAE in Berlin, Ali Abdullah al-Ahmed, der Deutschen Presse-Agentur. «Und wir erwarten, dass die von allen Parteien vereinbarten Vertragsbedingungen auch erfüllt werden.»
Inquiry opens into leaked classified ‘French weaponry in Yemen’ note | 24 April 2019 | France24
French authorities have opened an investigation into the leaking of a classified military note which revealed French weapons are being used by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in Yemen, sources told AFP on Wednesday.
France under pressure to come clean over arms exports in Yemen war | 20 April 2019 | France24
France’s lucrative arms exports to the Gulf came under renewed scrutiny this week following the release of a classified report showing that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has made much wider use of French arms than officials in Paris acknowledge.
Why does the EU need a €13bn defence fund? It should be waging peace | 19 April 2019 | Andrew Smith | The Guardian
It is often said that the European Union is the most successful peace project in the world. Those arguing the case will point to the centuries of war that preceded its founding and the relative peace that has followed. There are many times when that claim has been severely tested, with European governments playing a central role in fuelling global conflict while pursuing repressive anti-refugee policies that have punished people escaping war.
US donates 37 MRAP vehicles to Albania | 16 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
37 Navistar MaxxPro Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) vehicles, donated by the US government, were handed-off for the Albanian Armed Forces on 4 April.
Berlin genehmigt Waffenlieferungen an Jemen-Kriegsparteien | 11 April 2019 | Der Spiegel
Germany exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE | 12 April 2019 | DW
Die Bundesregierung liefert wieder Waffen an Länder, die direkt am Jemenkrieg beteiligt sind. Das Kabinett hat im geheim tagenden Bundessicherheitsrat dem Export an Kriegsmaterial unter anderem an Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate zugestimmt. Das geht aus einer Liste des Bundeswirtschaftsministeriums vom Donnerstag hervor, die dem SPIEGEL vorliegt.
Closed-door hearing on UK-Saudi arms sales begins in London | 10 April 2019 | Middle East Eye
UK arms sales are factor in humanitarian crisis in Yemen, court hears | 9 April 2019 | The Guardian
A London court that is hearing a challenge to the UK’s continuing arms deals with Riyadh has begun sitting in secret, amid unconfirmed reports that British troops have been operating covertly in Yemen to direct Saudi air strikes. Lawyers representing the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a British advocacy group, are arguing that continuing arms exports to Saudi Arabia are unlawful because the weapons may be used to target civilians in Yemen in breach of international humanitarian law.
Bazalt details DP-64 Nepryadva counter-sabotage grenade launcher | 9 April 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
Russia`s defense contractor Bazalt (a subsidiary of the Rostec’s Concern Tecmash) has detailed its DP-64 45 mm counter-sabotage grenade launcher. “The DP-64 grenade launcher can be used by both naval ships and civil vessels, including during counter-piracy operations. Owing to an active scheme of functioning, the weapon features a locked breech end. The launcher produces almost no noise,” said a spokesperson for Bazalt.
SNP’s Ian Blackford accused of hypocrisy over link to arms sales | 8 April 2019 | The Scotsman
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has hit out at accusations of hypocrisy over his chairmanship of a company that indirectly benefits from arms manufacturers that sell weapons to the Saudi Arabian regime.
Campaigners head to court to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia | 6 April 2019 | The Guardian
The sale of billions of pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia hangs in the balance this weekend ahead of a landmark court case that could force the UK to halt exports of missiles, bombs and jets to the kingdom.
Bundesregierung will Thyssenkrupp-Rüstungsgeschäft mit Ägypten absichern | 4 April 2019 | Focus
Die Bundesregierung plant, eine milliardenschwere Lieferung von Fregatten an Ägypten mit Exportkredit-Garantien abzusichern. Der Haushaltsausschuss des Bundestags machte dafür am Mittwoch den Weg frei.
Werknemers van FN Herstal kunnen heft in eigen handen nemen | 4 April 2019 | Apache
De Belgische wapenfabrikant FN Herstal ligt al een tijdje onder vuur (pun intended). De recentste hetze draaide rond de geweren van het bedrijf die zijn opgedoken bij de ‘Reuzen’, een militie in Jemen die beschuldigd wordt van oorlogsmisdaden en mensenrechtenschendingen. De wapens zouden er terechtgekomen zijn via de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten, één van de afnemers van de wapens van FN Herstal.
Romania to produce Beretta ARX160 rifles | 3 April 2019 | Jane’s Defence Industry
Italian firearms manufacturer Beretta will partner with Romania’s Plopeni Mechanical Plant (Societatea Uzina Mecanica Plopeni), a subsidiary of the state defence association Romarm, to produce assault rifles in Romania.
SIG Sauer CEO Avoids Jail Time For Role in Illegal Arms Shipment | 3 April 2019 | New Hampshire Public Radio
Court officials in Germany announced Wednesday that Ron Cohen, CEO of Newington-based gun maker SIG Sauer, will avoid jail time for his role in an illegal shipment of 38,000 pistols sent to Colombia.
Bewährung für Ex-Manager von Sig Sauer | 3 April 2019 | Rheinische Anzeigerblätter
Für eine nicht genehmigte Pistolenlieferung über die USA nach Kolumbien haben drei Ex-Manager des Waffenherstellers Sig Sauer aus Eckernförde Bewährungsstrafen und hohe Geldauflagen erhalten.
Bewährung für Ex-Waffenmanager gefordert | 2 April 2019 | NTV
Für ein nicht genehmigtes Waffengeschäft mit Kolumbien hat die Kieler Staatsanwaltschaft Bewährungsstrafen für drei Ex-Manager der Waffenfirma Sig Sauer aus Eckernförde gefordert. In seinem Plädoyer beantragte der Staatsanwalt am Dienstag vor dem Landgericht Kiel Strafen von bis zu einem Jahr und neun Monaten sowie Geldstrafen. Gericht, Verteidigung und Anklagevertreter hatten sich Ende Februar auf entsprechende Strafrahmen verständigt. Im Gegenzug legten die drei Angeklagten durch ihre Anwälte vor der 3. Großen Strafkammer Geständnisse ab.
Switzerland ready to buy Cobra 120 mm mortar systems | 2 April 2019 | Jane’s International Defence Review
Following extensive trials, the Swiss Army is expected to place a contract for a new 120 mm self-propelled (SP) mortar system in the next 6-12 months, according to Captain Lars Kristian Lehman of the Swiss Armed Forces.
FN SCAR®-SC .300 carbine | 1 April 2019 | FN Herstal | Janes.com
FN Herstal, world leader in the design and manufacture of small arms will present its latest products at INFOPOL 2019 to be held in Courtrai between 2 – 4 April. The FN SCAR-SC® in 5.56x45mm / .223 is now joined by a version in 7.62x35mm / .300 BLK caliber.
Irritationen um deutschen Waffenexport-Kompromiss | 29 March 2019 | DW
Der Exportstopp für deutsche Waffen nach Saudi-Arabien bleibt für weitere sechs Monate bestehen. Deutsche Bauteile für europäische Waffen dürfen aber wieder geliefert werden. Ein Hintertürchen? Es ist ein Kompromiss, der Irritationen auslöst: Der Export deutscher Waffen an Saudi-Arabien bleibt verboten, deutsche Bauteile für europäische Waffen dürfen aber wieder geliefert werden.
Bundesregierung verlängert Rüstungsembargo gegen Saudi-Arabien | 29 March 2019 | Der Spiegel
Nach wochenlangem Streit hat sich die Bundesregierung geeinigt: Der Rüstungsexport-Stopp für Saudi-Arabien soll weitere sechs Monate gelten. Bis zum 30. September werden grundsätzlich auch keine Neuanträge genehmigt.
CDU-Politiker Kiesewetter zum Stopp von Rüstungsexporten „Wir überheben uns moralisch“ | 29 March 2019 | Deutschlandfunk
Der jetzt beschlossene Rüstungsexportstopp für Saudi-Arabien bringe „sicherheitspolitisch oder außenpolitisch überhaupt nichts“, sagte der CDU-Politiker Roderich Kiesewetter im Dlf. Deutschland brauche eine ernsthafte Debatte darüber, „welche Rüstungsexporte wir überhaupt noch wollen“. Roderich Kiesewetter im Gespräch mit Ann-Kathrin Büüsker
Jeremy Hunt thinks it would be ‘moral bankruptcy’ NOT to arm Saudi Arabia. Sorry, what? | 27 March 2019 | Andrew Smith | OpenDemocracy.net
Ending the sale of UK arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen “would be morally bankrupt and the people of Yemen would be the biggest losers”, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote in an article for Politico this week. It’s worth reading that again. According to our Foreign Secretary, it’s not continuing to arm the Saudi regime as it rains bombs on Yemen that’s morally bankrupt – but stopping arming them.
German army to modernize Leopard 2 A6, purchase PzH 2000 155mm ammunition | 27 March 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
On March 20, the German parliamentary budget committee signed off on two projects for the Bundeswehr. The first project consists in the upgrading of 101 Leopard 2A6 main battle tanks into the 2A7V variant by 2026. The second project consists in the purchase of 32,000 rounds in 155mm caliber for the Panzerhaubitze 2000 (PzH 2000) self-propelled howitzers.
Rheinmetall acquires IBD Deisenroth | 26 March 2019 | Jane’s Defence Weekly
Rheinmetall has acquired vehicle protection system manufacturer IBD Deisenroth Engineering for an undisclosed amount, the company announced on 26 March.
Yemen crisis won’t be solved by UK arms exports halt | 26 March 2019 | Jeremy Hunt | Politico
Nothing in Yemen has been left untouched by war, not even the presidential palace in Aden. When I visited this fortified building a few weeks ago, you could see the pockmarks from bullets and the damage from explosions.
Romania will produce locally 197 Piranha V wheeled armored vehicles | 26 March 2019 | Armyrecognition.com
According to the Romanian news website ACT Media, Romania will produce locally197 Piranha 5 wheeled armored vehicles in Romania. In October 2017, it was announced that Romania will purchase a total of 227 Piranha 5 jointly produced by General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) and Romanian Companies.
Britain’s arms export watchdog in danger of becoming toothless | 20 March 2019 | The Guardian
As Britain’s foreign secretary warns of “a shortening window of opportunity” for peace in Yemen, the hours are also counting down for weapons manufacturer Raytheon UK to explain its activities to the government’s committees on arms export control (CAEC).
Meet Heckler & Koch’s HK416: The Rifle You Need To Know About | 19 March 2019 | The National Interest
In 2017, the French military should begin taking delivery of a new individual weapon to replace the aging FAMAS rifle. The Direction Générale de l’Armement — the French defense procurement agency — announced in September 2016 that it would adopt the German Heckler & Koch HK416.
US-Drohneneinsätze im Jemen: Kläger erzielen Teilerfolg | 19 March 2019 | Oberverwaltungsgerichts für das Land Nordrhein-Westfalen
In einem teilweise stattgebenden Urteil vom heutigen Tag hat das Oberverwaltungsgericht die Bundesrepublik Deutschland dazu verurteilt, sich durch geeignete Maßnahmen zu vergewissern, ob eine Nutzung der Air Base Ramstein durch die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika für Einsätze von bewaffneten Drohnen an der Wohnanschrift der Kläger im Jemen im Einklang mit dem Völkerrecht stattfindet. Erforderlichenfalls müsse die Bundesrepublik auf dessen Einhaltung gegenüber den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika hinwirken. Soweit die Kläger verlangt haben, die Nutzung der Air Base Ramstein für bewaffnete Drohneneinsätze zu unterbinden, hat das Gericht die Klage abgewiesen.
Human rights fury as UK licenses £75m of spyware exports | 17 March 2019 | The Guardian
The UK has licensed the sale of £75m of telecoms hacking equipment to scores of countries, including several that have launched brutal crackdowns on political dissidents. The revelation has alarmed human rights groups which question whether UK-made technology is being used by autocrats to target their opponents.
Rheinmetall ready to ship Saudi trucks as defence drives profit | 13 March 2019 | Reuters
Rheinmetall is ready to ship 120 military trucks to Saudi Arabia as soon as Berlin decides on an export licence the German firm said on Wednesday as it reported a 40 percent rise in full-year profit driven by growth in its defence business.
Avis sur la légalité de ventes d’armes à l’Arabie saoudite et aux pays membres de la coalition participant à l’opération « Restaurer l’espoir » au Yémen (pdf) | 12 March 2019 | Éric David and Daniel Turp
Les conclusions du présent avis sont applicables aux membres de la coalition qui ont pris part aux attaques aériennes dirigées contre les insurgés houtistes, ont imposé un blocus terrestre et maritime de l’ensemble du Yémen et ont posé d’autres actes ont entraîné de nombreuses violations du droit international humanitaire (DIH) et du droit international des droits fondamentaux (DIDF). L’exportation par les États parties au Traité sur le commerce des armes (TCA) a par ailleurs entraîné la non-exécution de leurs obligations au titre de ce traité en raison des violations du DIDH et du DIDF par les États qui ont bénéficié de telles exportations.
Waffenexporte: Schweizer Stimmvolk hat das letzte Wort | 12 March 2019 | Swiss Info
Swiss Senate against tighter controls on arms exports | 11 March 2019 | Swiss Info
Switzerland’s Senate has rejected two motions calling for stricter laws on exporting war materiel. On the recommendation of its security policy committee, the senate voted against two proposals on Monday: one calling for parliament rather than the government to decide on permission criteria for arms exports (20 to 17, with 6 abstentions), the other on stricter controls to prevent Swiss arms from landing in war zones (22 to 16, with 5 abstentions).
Spanish Magistrate Accuses State-Owned Agency of Corruption | 8 March 2019 | OCCRP
A magistrate of the Spanish National Court has found evidence that scandal ridden state-owned company Defex, now in liquidation, allegedly engaged in corruption in the supply of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, implicating Saudi Arabian government officials.
Ministry of Defence claim of one civilian death in Isis raids ridiculed | 7 March 2019 | The Guardian
The Ministry of Defence claim that the RAF killed only one civilian in thousands of airstrikes against Isis has been dismissed as ludicrous and “stretching credibility”. According figures released by the MoD following a freedom of information request by the charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), the RAF strikes between 2014 and January this year killed or injured 4,315 of the group’s fighters. It said 90% of those were killed.
Meet Russia’s Deadly AK-203 Rifle: One Nation Just Bought 750,000 | 7 March 2019 | The National Interest
From air defense systems to nuclear submarines, the Soviet Union has enjoyed a longstanding, profitable defense export relationship with India. However, both the USSR and its Russian successor state have historically struggled to break into the Indian small arms market.
Serbia Receives Four More MiG-29s from Belarus | 6 March 2019 | AIN Online
Belarus has donated another four single-seat MiG-29s (of the 9.13 version, NATO reporting name “Fulcrum-C”) to Serbia, from the reserve of the Belarusian ministry of defense, according to a presidential order. The formal handover was the highlight of the working visit by a delegation from Serbia led by defense minister Aleksander Vulin.
Forget the M-16 or AK-47: This Russian Assault Rifle Is a Real Killer | 1 March 2019 | The National Interest
The assault rifle, unveiled in 2017 and displayed at Russia’s “Army 2018” defense expo, will be limited to close-quarters FSB use and is expected to see action in future Russian counter-terrorist operations. Russian Special Forces are getting the latest variant of the ASh-12,7×55 mm heavy assault rifle.