Vietnam’s growing economy, and China’s aggressive stance in the South China Sea, are pushing the country to begin a long-delayed military modernization program. Most of the equipment comes from Vietnam’s traditional Russian sources, but a purchase of Next-Gen DHC-6 Twin Otter maritime patrol aircraft from Canada showed the country’s willingness to consider other suppliers. Now comes word that Vietnam’s new Russian Gepard Class corvettes may be joined by another Western entry: 4 SIGMA ships from the Dutch Schelde shipyard.
SIGMA actually stands for Ship Integrated Geometrical Modularity Approach. Block construction has become almost routine for ships, but block design at this level is unique…
The quote of the day comes from an analyst who talked to the Financial Times:
“When a company says its new goal is to get 30% of its revenue from outside the US, how much of that will come from international sales growing rather than simply US sales shrinking?”
More from the FT on international defense trade trends in the following video, closing with the thought that cheap defense electronics from countries such as China and Thailand may at some point flood the global market:
China is approaching Thailand to partner on a range of missile and air defense programs, following proposals ranging from space to high-speed rail. Thailand’s diplomatic relationship with China is much more recent than with the US, but it has been ramping up [PDF] in recent years.
US Cyber Command / NSA
The Obama administration is reportedly considering separating command of USCYBERCOM and NSA. General Keith Alexander who currently heads both will retire next year.