Posts Tagged arms trade

British Israeli Watchkeeper drones will be tested at Canadian Forces Base Suffield

Flight Global reports that the UK armed forces will test the Watchkeeper drone  at Canadian Forces Base, Suffield, Alberta in 2014 and beyond. That the UK would test Watchkeeper there was anticipated from at least 2006 as indicated in the Environmental Assessment for that year.

British forces have long used Canadian Forces Base, Suffield for training, calling it British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS). There is already a drone test facility at Suffield. It isn’t clear whether the British drones will be tested there, or as autonomous units.

TTU Online has reported that British military officials will invite French military officers to join in the testing of Watchkeeper, as part of the ongoing effort of the British military industrial establishment to sell the French a few Watchkeeper systems.

Watchkeeper is an Anglo-Israeli-French drone, based on the Israeli Hermes 450 drone used widely in the suppression of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

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Eupope’s Own Arms Companies Took Down Greek Economy

Mitchell Anderson, writing in The Tyee, argues that a huge part of Greek debt was racked up buying unneeded arms from its allies in Britain, Germany, France and the United States. He notes that Greece’s armed forces are much stronger than needed and that Greece’s only realistic enemy is also a strong NATO ally-Turkey.

It’s a great article, well worth reading in full.

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Machine Gun Maker Manroy Sales Down Due to Arab Spring

Various sources are reporting that Manroy Engineering sales are down due to events relating to the Arab Spring. Manroy is believed to have been trying to sell arms to the Qaddafi regime in Libya, and these were curtailed by the British supported revolution there.

MINAFN.COM reports that Manroy relies on the UK MOD bringing clients to its weapons site in East Sussex for demonstrations. Apparently budgetary considerations and the Arab Spring have curtailed this activity, and consequently Manroy sales have been suffering. Manroy sales could be as much as 15% lower this year.

It isn’t certain what weapons site the MOD invites prospective machine gun and weapons clients to, but perhaps this is actually the  MOD firing range at Lydd, Kent. Perhaps the reason Manroy relocated to nearby Beckley is the proximity of the range. UK MOD appears to be a very active promoter of weapons sales by Manley if these reports are accurate.

If Manroy had planned to sell weapons to certain countries, and these sales fell through due to British policy changes following from the Arab Spring, can it be presumed that some of these potential sales were to countries whose authoritarian governments fell to democratic movements?

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Canada’s F-35 Purchase: Update

Two excellent articles, published on http://www.globalnews.ca by David Publiese relating to the background of the F-35 purchase announcement by the Canadian government. One more to come.

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Chile Buys Drones from Israel

Chile is buying medium and long range UAV’s, with radar and thermal imaging capabilities,  in a competion that is now shortlisted to three Israeli companies. Almost certainly these would include Elbit Systems, and IAI, but the third Israeli company is unknown at the moment.

It isn’t certain which drones are being compared, nor is it clear how big the contract is, and how many drones the Chilean military plans to buy.

This adds to a long list of countries that have purchased Israeli drones.

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Miriam Ziv, Israeli Ambassador to Canada, More Than a Little Hypocritical

In 27 June 2006, Miriam Ziv, in her role as Deputy Director General for Strategic Affair, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made a presentation to the United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation in the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) in all its Aspects.
In it, she decried the proliferation of small arms in the world and called for action to reduce small arms transfers to terrorist groups in the ME threatening Israel. She called for control of transfers of small arms to ‘non-state’ actors. She claimed that Israel had reduced the level of handgun ownership in Israel by one third.

Yet she did not mention that Israel still  has a highly armed population particularly in the illegal settlements of the West Bank and that armed settlers are intimidating to the occupied Palestinian population.This undated document shows some of the people who may own handguns in Israel, including armed settlers in the occupied West Bank. Nor did she mention that Israel is one of the primary proliferators of arms in the world, especially drones, and has sold them far and wide, including to the unstable regime of Georgia, and to the autocratic state of Russia. YNET cites a report that claims that 2/3 of Israel’s arms production is exported.

In this light her comments merely seem self serving.

In fact Miriam Ziv seems unable to see Israeli weapons. After the incident with the Free Gaza boat, in which nine people were killed by the Israeli military, Ziv apparently claimed that Israeli soldiers were only armed with paintball guns.

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Alberta Government Promotes Local Arms Industry

The Government of Alberta has dedicated resources to supporting and developing the arms industry in Alberta, citing the location of  defence establishments in Alberta, for example Camp Wainwright, Cold Lake Air Weapons Range, Suffield Base

It recently published information supporting the arms industry in Alberta.

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