13 Sep 14. Algeria – Growing Defence Spending May Lead to Procurement of Key Major Platforms. Driven by security threats, Algeria has continued to increase its defence budget, making it the highest spender in Africa and also the first African nation to tip its defence budget beyond the USD10bn mark. Adam Walker reported in Middle East Eye that “over the past decade (2004-2013) its military spending has more than doubled, with an increase of 176 percent, taking total annual spending to USD10.4bn.” “The Algerian government is spending its billions on a broad upgrade of the country’s defence capabilities. Recent purchases and interest have included unmanned drones and self-propelled artillery from China, an amphibious vessel “Kalaat Bani-Abbes” built in Italy, armoured vehicles from Germany to be assembled in a newly-established plant in Algeria, and a range of substantial purchases from Russia, including helicopters and submarines.” Earlier this year it emerged that Algeria was evaluating a few key purchases for the military including UAVs and tanker aircraft. Algeria’s increased budget for 2014 allowed it to seek tankers, transports, helicopters and ISR aircraft. Last year, MPI reported that Algeria was evaluating Airbus A330 MRTT aircraft to replacing ageing Il-
78 Midas tankers. Although several contracts are yet to materialise, it does appear that Algeria can turn these interests into actual procurement owing to its growing military spending. Defence News reported in June 2013 that Algeria’s defence spending would rise by 6 per cent through 2017. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)
16 Sep 14. Israel Cancels Sale of Drones to Ukraine in Fear of Russia. A previously approved by Israel’s Defense Ministry to sell drones to Ukraine was vetoed by a special panel of the Foreign Ministry amid fears of Russian disapproval, Channel 2 reported. According to the report, Russia recently blocked arms sales to Iran and Syria, two arch-enemies of the Jewish state. Israel was concerned that selling drones to Ukraine would anger Russian officials, prompting them to sell more weapons to Syria and Iran. A Ukrainian delegation visited Israel with the express purpose of acquiring military hardware, including drones made by the company Aeronautics, to use against pro-Russian separatists. There was no information on when the meeting occurred nor when the decision to turn down the request was passed. Israel is in a tight spot when it comes to the Ukraine-Russia Crisis. On the one hand, Israel wishes to not upset the United States, which sides with the government in Kiev and has been pressuring Putin over the conflict in Crimea. At the same time, Israel wishes to maintain its ties with Moscow, who is an important regional player in issues such as Iranian nuclear ambitions and the Syrian civil war. On March 5, the Foreign Minister released its first statement on the situation in Ukraine. The statement said that Israel is following events in the region “with great concern” and is “anxious for the well-being of all its citizens, and hopes that the situation will not deteriorate to the loss of life.” The carefully worded declaration ends by stating that Israel “expects the crisis in Ukraine to be dealt with by diplomatic means. (Source: Open Source Information Report/NDIA)
17 Sep 14. India ‘losing interest’ in Maitri SA-SAM joint venture.
India’s long-pending USD5bn programme to co-develop the Maitri short-range surface-to-air missile (SR-SAM) system with MBDA is almost certain to be delayed further following the approval of alternative options by the country’s military. Instead of waiting for Maitri, under negotiation since 2007, the Indian Air Force (IAF) and Indian Army have decided on the locally developed Akash system, official sources said. Military officials told IHS Jane’s that given the emphasis the new BJP government places on materiel self-sufficiency, the SR-SAM programme, like several other defence projects, will focus on locally desig