NATO’s Future AWACS Replacement: Desires vs. Reality

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* NATO realizes they’ll need to replace their invaluable NE-3A AWACS fleet around 2030. At this stage, everyone naturally wants everything, including a missile defense role. Budget realities and remorseless demographics ensure that they’ll buy what’s available off the shelf. That’s probably good news for Boeing’s E-737 AEW&C. Russia / Ukraine * Russian President Putin, while reviewing the state of military cooperation with other countries, mixed a VP of Sales outlook on export growth with veiled threats against Ukraine: “Our military technology developers and manufacturers took part in 24 international exhibitions and signed new long-term contracts for a total of $18B. This brought our total export order portfolio up to a record level of more than $49B. Russia supplies goods to 65 countries and has signed and is implementing military technology cooperation agreements with 89 countries. We are seeing rapid growth in military technology ties with our traditional partners: the CIS and CSTO countries, India, Venezuela, Algeria, China, and Vietnam. We are also developing new arms markets too, especially in Latin America. […] Exports of Russian air defence technology require particular attention. This segment accounts for a large share of the international market. Russia accounts for around a third of […]

* NATO realizes they’ll need to replace their invaluable NE-3A AWACS fleet around 2030. At this stage, everyone naturally wants everything, including a missile defense role. Budget realities and remorseless demographics ensure that they’ll buy what’s available off the shelf. That’s probably good news for Boeing’s E-737 AEW&C.

Russia / Ukraine

* Russian President Putin, while reviewing the state of military cooperation with other countries, mixed a VP of Sales outlook on export growth with veiled threats against Ukraine:

“Our military technology developers and manufacturers took part in 24 international exhibitions and signed new long-term contracts for a total of $18B. This brought our total export order portfolio up to a record level of more than $49B. Russia supplies goods to 65 countries and has signed and is implementing military technology cooperation agreements with 89 countries. We are seeing rapid growth in military technology ties with our traditional partners: the CIS and CSTO countries, India, Venezuela, Algeria, China, and Vietnam. We are also developing new arms markets too, especially in Latin America. […]

Exports of Russian air defence technology require particular attention. This segment accounts for a large share of the international market. Russia accounts for around a third of international air defence system supply deals. The share of these arms in our exports went up from 13 to 20% in 2013. […]

The serious state crisis Ukraine is currently going through has left its defence industry with practically no state support at all. Two thirds of the companies producing related components for the industry are here in Russia. We all know very well that any potential disruption in these cooperation ties could be critical for Ukraine’s defence industry and for the people working in this sector and their families.”

* FT: Kerry steps up sanctions warning to Moscow.

* Sanctions like stopping the purchase of Russian helos for Afghanistan? State-owned RIA Novosti rubs it in: Replacing Russian Helicopters in Afghanistan Would Cost US.

* ITAR-TASS: Self defense units control situation easter Ukraine’s Sloviansk [sic]. In Putin’s Ukraine, situation controls you.

* After an attack on a pro-separatist checkpoint (video), Ukraine’s interim government is sending contradictory signals about whether it will press the issue in Sloviansk.

Speaking of Afghanistan

* Bloomberg: Pentagon to Devise 3 Budget Plans on U.S. Troops. 3 scenarios: zero, 5,000, and 10,000 troops remaining in the country starting next year.

Saudi Naval FMS

* The US Navy’s PEO C4I‘ PMW 740 and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) will hold an industry day on May 24 in San Diego, CA, to discuss potential business with the Royal Saudi Naval Forces.

US Administration: With Watchdogs Like These, Who Needs Friends?

* The Washington Post reports of a US Senate inquiry into the behavior of Charles K. Edwards, until recently the acting inspector general at the Department of Homeland Security, finding that Edwards “altered and delayed investigations at the request of senior administration officials.”

India’s General Election

* Voting is happening in stages across India, and the winner won’t be known until May 16th. This makes it at least awkward that the outgoing government would make a last-minute appointment for the Army’s chief. The FT provides a good video explanation of the electoral process and political stakes.

Time for Maintenance, Upgrades

* China’s Liaoning carrier just started a 6-month overhaul at the Dalian shipyard.

* Today’s video shows two young British officers not too impressed by the practical skills and autonomy of their peers during a recent exchange in China:

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