Rapid Fire 2011-01-20: Saudis Want Tech Transfers

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* US long-term economic security requires cuts in defense spending, argues Michael O’Hanlon of the liberal Brookings Institution. * Saudi Arabia wants to produce 70% of military equipment locally using foreign technology transfer, plans to offer greater investment incentives. That particularly significant in light of their massive purchases in the pipeline – but building that much industry from nothing, within a procurement culture of baksheesh, is a very dubious prospect. * In the battle against piracy, NATO admits that the Somali pirates are winning. * PLA general warns US must end arms sales to Taiwan for improved military ties with China. What else did you expect him to say? * Taiwan is investigating poor showing of its anti-aircraft missiles during tests, where 6/19 missed. Fully 3/6 failures in that test were of Raytheon’s AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles, which are older and have never had fantastic hit ratios; the test also reportedly featured Raytheon’s Hawk, MBDA’s Magic and MICA anti-air missiles, and Taiwan’s own Sky Bow. * South Korea may also have an issue brewing. Failures occurred between July 2008 – July 2010 with Raytheon’s naval SM-2 air defense missiles (3/9), and anti-ship missiles from MBDA (Sea Skua, 1/12) and Boeing […]

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