Airbus Announces Defense Slimdown, Confirms Exit from Atlas Elektronik
- Airbus outlined the shape of its future defense and space business, with several subsidiaries and participations officially on the block. This includes the Atlas Elektronik joint venture with Thyssen-Krupp. The two partners are to start talks though it’s unclear whether Thyssen-Krupp wants to buy Airbus’ 49% stake. Thales had shown interest back in 2005 but was beaten by the EADS/Thyssen bid for the naval specialist.
- According to the Financial Times Poland is about to withdraw from the Visegrad Group, a joint defense project with Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Poland reportedly doubts that the smaller members will contribute enough. The 4 members also are divided [TOL] on whether sanctions is the right response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. It seems the group may refocus [Slovak Spectator] on economic and infrastructure concerns.
- CNA has a report [PDF] out on the competition taking place between Gulf states as they have tried to influence events in Egypt and Syria (and also Libya). They have all been using a mix of diplomatic, financial, and media resources to advance their agenda but Qatar stands out from its neighbors in its choice of organizations it supports.
- Agence France-Presse posted a breakdown by country of origin of foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, based on data from the London-based ICSR. Germany has provided less jihadists than France or much less in relative terms than much smaller Belgium, but controversy recently flared [Deutsche Welle] in the country as a self-appointed “Shariah police was seen patrolling the streets of Wuppertal near Düsseldorf.
- Some of the most senior generals in the US military openly advocate a more interventionist approach to ISIS than President Obama: Daily Beast.
China’s Subsidized Shipbuilding
- Clay Maitland discusses with MaritimeTV the shipbuilding glut in China because of government subsidies, not just to shipyards but also to steel mills.
Better Safety Without Breaking the Bank
- Today’s video shows work at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, MD, to make helicopters more survivable in case of crash. They’re using energy absorption designs well known in the automotive world. They reuse components across tests to reduce costs, which certainly beats destroying a production seat worth $150K 32 times: