06 Jan 10. A|D|S, the UK’s AeroSpace, Defence and Security trade organisation marked its formal launch by publishing a new book and video highlighting the hugely positive impact that the industry makes in the form of £60 billion per year to the economy and 500,000 high-quality British jobs across all regions of the country. With contributions from senior industrialists and politicians these publications seek to inform the UK of the crucial nature and exciting future that the sectors offer.
The formal launch of A|D|S will be marked at a private gala dinner at a central London location tonight to be attended by political figures, senior industry executives and members of the armed forces. The book and video will debut at the dinner before being used at future public events, including the Farnborough International Airshow in July.
27 Jan 10. Sustained by the spending habits of the Gulf nations, the Middle East represents one of the world’s most robust defense markets and should remain that way in the near future. The six countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will account for roughly 60 percent of all defense expenditures made in the region in 2010, according to a recent Middle East military market analysis by Forecast International. In 2010, these countries are projected to invest over $63bn toward their armed forces and security, with two-thirds of that total contributed by Saudi Arabia alone. FI expects that this trend will continue. Combined GCC defense spending is expected to rise in 2011 by an additional 2.5 percent. Over the next five years, the greater Middle East defense market is projected to grow by over 11 percent, reaching nearly $120bn by 2014. The seemingly unstoppable defense-spending binge by the Middle East and the GCC members has been fueled by their quest to close the strategic gap between themselves and regional rival Iran by acquiring superior military hardware and technologies. Though concerns over Iran’s nuclear program and aggressive posture are the major motivating factors behind the defense-spending habits of the GCC, other issues are at play. The anxieties of the GCC not only extend across the Gulf and along their borders, but are also aimed inward. Internal security remains a priority for the Gulf kingdoms, evinced foremost by Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion dollar Saudi Border Guard Development Program (SBGDP). This external-internal dynamic serves as the driver of GCC defense investment. As a result, GCC defense expenditure in 2008 exceeded 5.6 percent of GDP, compared to the global average of 2.4 percent. Defense investment in the Middle East is not confined to the GCC countries alone. Israel remains the second-largest defense spender in the region and is also the largest beneficiary of Foreign Military Financing (FMF) from the U.S. Israel is slated to receive $2.775bn in FMF from Washington this year, all of it gratis. This money will help finance defense equipment development and purchases for the Israel Defense Forces. Major defense programs in the Israeli pipeline include the purchase of an initial batch of 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, as well as locally built naval corvettes and the final development and implementation of five air-defense missile-interceptor systems that constitute the bulk of the Israeli C-RAM
(counter-rocket, artillery and mortar) program. Another factor that has emerged in the Middle East defense market is Iraq, where rebuilding the Iraqi military capability remains an ongoing process. With the final removal of U.S. forces from Iraq under the Status of Forces Agreement now scheduled for December 31, 2011, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) must continue to improve their conventional capabilities. This will involve the procurement of indirect fire, air, and air-defense assets. However, budgetary problems may hinder Iraq’s ability to acquire certain
U.S. platforms in the short