Sino-Russian detente – or at least a service contract or 2: China, Russia sign military cooperation agreement that includes contracts for spare parts for air defense systems, aviation, and naval equipment.
Not so bad: CEO of UK defense contractor Babcock expects UK defense spending to improve over the next 6 months; company wants to revive canceled UK military training contract.
When countries export weapons, they frequently set associated conditions. Rules against reselling the gear without permission would be a basic condition for obvious reasons, and more advanced restrictions on technology transfer, sharing of details about the weapon with other countries, and related codicils are also common. Some western countries will also place restrictions on what the purchaser can do with the weapons as part of these “End Use Monitoring” (EUM) agreements. Britain recently forbade Indonesia from using its Scorpion light tanks against a separatist insurgency in Aceh, which caused Indonesia to turn toward Russia as a future supplier. In Africa, Chad encountered trouble from Switzerland after its Pilatus-7 turboprops were reportedly armed for use against a Sudanese-backed guerrilla army. A problem that Sudanese forces and their allies don’t seem to have with Sudan’s new Chinese and Russian jets.
During the Cold War, regimes always had the option of playing Western suppliers off against the Soviet Union. With the USSR’s collapse, that option disappeared for a while. In the early 21st century, the re-emergence of Russia’s weapons industry, and the development of competitive arms industries in countries like China, South Korea, Brazil, and India, is changing the global equation again. EUMs are likely to be affected by this trend, as the leverage to apply them declines. The question is which items are deal-breakers that must be retained by western countries, and which will be allowed to quietly fall by the wayside. That decision will be different in different countries, of course. Meanwhile, the strains created in India by standard American EUMs are an early indicator…
According to the Landmine Monitor Report, landmines and “explosive remnants of war” contaminate as many as 200,000 square kilometers of land in more than 90 countries around the world. Allied forces deal with that reality every day in Afghanistan, where Soviet-era relics create their own threat, but this is a problem in many other countries, and the civilian technologies used to address the problem have now fallen behind current military practice.
The systems they develop are intended to support mission planning, detection and clearance of landmines and UXO, and will be executed in 6 primary areas: landmine detection, UXO detection, intelligence systems, minefield management, humanitarian demining special initiatives, and system integration and logistics. Work is to be performed in Albuquerque, NM (89%); Long Beach, MI (4%); Durham, NC (3%); Etna, NH (2%); Gainesville, FL (2%); and Torrensville, South Australia (1%), with an estimated completion date of Oct 28/13. One bid was solicited with one bid received by the CECOM Contracting Center Washington in Fort Belvoir, VA (W909MY-11-C-0002).