Poland’s strong economy allows it to plan for solid defense modernization in the decade ahead. Russia’s posture and the EU’s weakness may also have something to do with it. They want significant industrial and technological offsets whenever foreign suppliers will be involved. Financial Times.
Australia’s federal government released its 2013-14 budget, without the “generous” handouts often seen just before elections. The Department of Defence unexpectedly benefits from that 2013-14 budget more than its civilian counterparts, though increases in the 6-year plan appear somewhat backloaded. With purchases such as JSFs to be cleared in US dollars [PDF], the AUD/USD exchange rate will need to be watched closely, as the past 10 years have seen the Australian dollar swing in value between about 65% and 105% of the US dollar. Continued cooling of the Chinese economy – itself a subject of endless debate – may put a lid on commodity prices, in turn clipping Australia’s ability to procure expensive imports. The Australian DoD does not hedge foreign currency exposure by policy [PDF]. DoD | News Limited | AAP.
New Zealand will buy up to 200 trucks from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia (RMMVA) to be delivered by the end of next year, for a total value of NZ$113 million (about $92M). Rheinmetall already supplies mobile bridges to the island. Their budget is returning faster than Australia’s towards surplus. The country’s latest defence appropriations [PDF] are about flat from the previous year.
Canada is sending a team to Afghanistan tasked with assessing whether almost 400 containers of miscellaneous equipment stored in Kandahar are still in seaworthy condition. About 1,800 containers of higher-value content had already been shipped back by the end of 2011. Canadian Press | 45e Nord [in French]
North Korea has been firing short-range missiles in to the Sea of Japan (East Sea for the South Koreans) for the 3rd day in a row today. Yonhap | Reuters.
Brazil intends to channel 2.9 billion reals (about $1.4B) to fund innovation in its defense and aerospace sector over 4 years. Ministério da Defesa [in Portuguese].
Today’s video is a bunch of B-52s in a Minimum Interval Take Off (MITO) convoy. With huge planes mere seconds apart, you have to plan these right, as was sadly found in a deadly crash in 1982.