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11 Apr 19. How Turkey’s industry could suffer from the S-400 deal with Russia. After experiencing a decade of growth, Turkey’s increasingly vibrant defense industry may fall victim to the government’s quest to purchase the Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system, a deal that will make Turkey the first NATO ally to deploy the system on its soil. Turkey announced in December 2017 it would acquire the Russian system for long-range air and anti-missile defense. Ankara has since ignored NATO allies’ calls to scrap the S-400 deal, citing its sovereign right to deploy any air defense architecture it chooses. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emphasized this point during a state visit to Moscow on April 8, saying that the S-400 deal is irrevocable.
Turkey risks severe U.S. sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. Top U.S. lawmakers are threatening to pass legislation that would bar Turkey from buying the F-35 fighter jet, and sanction the country if it buys the Russian S-400.
If Turkey accepts the S-400, “no F-35s will ever reach Turkish soil. And Turkish participation in the F-35 program, including manufacturing parts, repairing and servicing the fighters, will be terminated, taking Turkish companies out of the manufacturing and supply chain for the program,” wrote a bipartisan group of leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
“We are committed to taking all necessary legislative action to ensure this is the case. Turkey is an important partner in the F-35 program, but it is not irreplaceable,” the lawmakers added in their New York Times op-ed.
But Ankara remains defiant. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said April 10 that the country could open negotiations with Russia to purchase a second batch of S-400s.
A U.S. diplomatic source has told Defense News that the direct cost of U.S. sanctions on the Turkish industry could reach $10 billion. “And that excludes indirect costs,” he added.
Turkey is a partner is the multinational, American-led Joint Strike Fighter program that builds the F-35. Turkey has committed to purchase more than 100 new-generation jets. Several Turkish companies are producing parts for the JSF program, including airframe structure and assemblies, landing gear components, and more than 100 F135 engine production parts to include titanium-integrated blade rotors. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
18 Apr 19. Turkish defence exports goal for 2023 too ambitious despite growth – analysts. While Turkey has announced another year of growing defence and aerospace exports, it is far from reaching its goal of $25 bn per annum by 2023, analysts Yvonni-Stefania Efstathiou and Tom Waldwyn wrote for the Britain-based International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank.
Turkey’s exports were less than 10 percent of the ambitious goal, the article said, but the country’s defence industry was still making progress.
Turkish defence and civil aerospace exports were up by 17 percent 2018 against the previous year, reaching a record $2bn, the article said, citing Turkey’s Undersecretary for the Defence Industry Directorate İsmail Demir.
It is difficult to know how far Turkey is from hitting an annual defence and civil aerospace sales and services export target of $25bn in the next four years in each subcategory since authorities do not provide a breakdown of their figures, the article said.
But it is fair to say Turkey is making progress towards becoming a significant defence exporter, the article said, adding that defence-export contracts signed over the last 12 months reflected the growing capability of the Turkish defence industry.
Turkish companies such as ASELSAN, HAVELSAN and ROKETSAN now produce combat systems and guided weapons while significant industrial capability gaps continue with regard to marine and aircraft propulsion and in radars, it said.
Of the 13 countries Turkey has reported delivering armoured vehicles to since 2010, such as Bahrain, Tunisia and Turkmenistan, 11 are both Muslim and diplomatically friendly, the article added.
Ankara has been unable to match its success in exporting defence equipment to Muslim nations elsewhere in the world and has failed to secure any significant defence exports to fellow NATO members.
Turkey over the next decade is likely continue to rely on imports and licence-production agreements for significant components, while also making progress with ongoing initiatives to develop indigenous alternatives, it said.
Challenges facing the Turkish defence and aerospace industry include the falling value of the lira and an economy is at risk of a recession .
Relations with the United States and other suppliers have been strained following the crackdown that followed the July 2016 failed coup attempt, as well as other policy differences, such as the acquisition of Russian S-400 air-defence missiles.
Turkey’s fragile relations with fellow NATO members means that it may find it increasingly difficult to obtain and afford crucial foreign subsystems to equip its platforms and those it is trying to export, the article noted.
Another problem facing Turkey is the brain drain of young, skilled workers from the Turkish defence industry to foreign companies, who are leaving for Europe and the United States where higher salaries and better conditions are offered. (Source: Google/https://ahvalnews.com)
18 Apr 19. Leonardo boss warns Germany’s Saudi embargo will damage European industry. The head of Italian defense giant Leonardo has joined the chorus of criticism aimed at Germany’s weapons embargo against Saudi Arabia, claiming it will damage Europe’s chances to integrate its defense industry. Alessandro Profumo said Germany would ultimately unblock sales to Saudi Arabia, but that the embargo has threatened the European Union’s effort to export jointly built weapons.
“First of all, let’s see if the embargo is maintained,” he said. “What worries me more is that we risk fracturing the creation of a European defense system.”
Germany has placed a temporary embargo on sales to the Gulf state over its involvement in the Yemen conflict and in response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. It’s alleged he was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last fall. Western officials believe Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in orchestrating the killing. The regime has denied any knowledge of it, instead describing the crime as a rogue operation gone wrong.
Leonardo is part of a four-nation industrial consortium including Italy, Germany, the U.K. and Spain. It has sold 72 Eurofighters to Saudi Arabia — with an order of a further 48 pending.
In an interview with Defense News, Profumo said that in the case of pan-European programs like Eurofighter, an embargo ordered by one partner should not be allowed to endanger an export sale.
“The ideal situation would be for the EU country that is the prime [contractor] on an export deal to issue the export license, which is valid for the EU,” he said. “In the U.S., a product being produced in California, Idaho, Texas or Michigan would not need an export license from each state. We need to move in this direction, or it will be very difficult to have truly European programs.”
“The U.K. is prime on the Eurofighter export to Saudi Arabia. The sale was approved by the U.K. Parliament, and it is inopportune that single countries in the value chain can halt the sale,” he added. “I believe that Germany will eventually reopen exports to Saudi Arabia.”
Leonardo’s work on radar and electronics for the Eurofighter contributed to the company’s strong performance in 2018, as sales rose 5 percent and profit soared by 83 percent. The firm expects another revenue hike of up to 5 percent this year, reaching €12.5-13 billion (U.S. $14.1-14.7 billion).
Profumo is meanwhile keeping a wary eye on Britain’s divorce from the EU, which would separate the country — where Leonardo employs 7,000 — from continental Europe, just as industrial integration across the continent is a hot topic.
One catalyst for integration will be a new EU fund for cross-border defense programs, begging the question of whether Leonardo’s U.K.-based operations will be denied access to the funds after Brexit.
“We hope the U.K. remains integrated in the European defense system with access to European defense funds,” Profumo said. “If Europe spent €225bn overall on defense in 2017, the U.K. spent €45bn.”
“It would be a big problem for Europe if the U.K. was not part of the system,” he added.
Noting that Leonardo works on electronics and helicopter product development in the U.K., he said: “It will be important to know where intellectual property will need to be registered for a program to win European funding.”
One problem facing industrial integration in Europe is the work on two future fighters — Britain’s Tempest and the Franco-German future combat air system.
Leonardo has signed up as a partner on Tempest, but Profumo hopes the two programs will merge.
“I hope the two programs will merge in the end. The U.S. will not develop two aircraft as successors to the F-35, and Europe should develop one sixth-generation fighter,” he said.
Though Leonardo is at work on the Tempest, a commitment from the Italian government to back the program hasn’t come, placing Italian involvement at risk, the executive said.
“Italy has not yet decided whether to join. I hope it decides fairly soon because when it comes to participation in the development, the sooner you decide, the deeper your involvement and the more work share you get,” he said.
“One thing is to work on the recipe, another to provide ingredients,” he added.
Profumo previously said Italy could enter the future tank program, on which France and Germany are working, although he told Defense News the company would need to first understand the Italian Army’s requirement for a tank to replace its current Ariete model.
He also quibbled the habit of France and Germany to launch programs together before later enlisting new partners.
“As for the idea of French-German programs to which other countries can adhere, I know it is easier to start with two countries, but I would like to see a wider group at the outset,” he said. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
16 Apr 19. Drones plan stokes fears of UK defence on the cheap. Minister accused of buying technology off the shelf amid swingeing cuts in equipment Blue Bear’s operations manager, David Walters, with one of the drones. At an industrial estate on the rural outskirts of Bedford, Britain’s new “swarm squadron” is taking shape. By the end of this year — if everything goes according to defence secretary Gavin Williamson’s plans — the UK will have a fleet of 21 unmanned drones that can work in tandem to carry out surveillance and overwhelm enemy defences. “It’s all about force in numbers,” said Ian Williams-Wynn, managing director of Blue Bear Research, the Bedford company awarded a £2.5m contract to develop the drone swarm concept for the Ministry of Defence. “If a single wasp comes after you, you can swat it. If 100 come for you, then you run away.” Mr Williamson is funding the £2.5m project through a £160m transformation fund — an ambitious bid to shake up the defence ministry and deliver much needed new capabilities to the UK’s armed forces quickly and cheaply. “What the MoD is saying is you can do this faster, better and quicker than a big prime defence company,” said Mr Williams-Wynn. Ian Williams-Wynn: ‘If a single wasp comes after you, you can swat it. If 100 come for you, then you run away’ © Charlie Bibby/FT Critics of Mr Williamson argue, however, that he is trying to do defence on the cheap, announcing eye-catching plans to buy new technology off the shelf while the UK’s heavyweight military status is undermined by the need to make swingeing savings to pay for its existing equipment plan. According to the National Audit Office, the UK’s government spending watchdog, Britain’s £180bn defence equipment plan faces a £15bn black hole during the next 10 years. It includes F35 stealth fighter jets and nuclear submarines. “The problem for Gavin Williamson is that he has insufficient money for the defence equipment plans we have now,” said Admiral Lord West, a former First Sea Lord. “It’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors.”
The transformation fund was first trumpeted by Mr Williamson in a February speech remembered mostly for his announcement that he would be sending Britain’s new £3bn aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, into China’s backyard. Two months later he has already blown his initial £160m budget In addition to the drones, the defence secretary also unveiled plans to convert two commercial ferries into coastal strike ships for the Royal Marine commandos. Since then the MoD has announced £75m for the Royal Navy to deliver two autonomous mine-hunter vessels, £66m to fast-track army robotics equipment and £30m for digital military software development. UK defence budgets have been stretched by the purchase of Type 26 frigates.
On Tuesday the defence secretary was at the Royal London Hospital to announce he was investing another £5m into a new injector pen to administer life-saving blood clotting drugs on the battlefield. It raises questions about where the money is coming from. He has vowed to secure another £340m from the Treasury in the upcoming comprehensive spending review but no decision has been made. He had already won an extra £1bn for the MoD in last autumn’s Budget. The amounts of money involved in these transformation projects are relatively small compared with the £31bn renewal of Britain’s nuclear missile submarines. But Mr Williamson insisted in an interview with the FT that they will “liberate” his military chiefs from lengthy and costly procurement cycles. “Is it wrong to look at different ways of procuring?,” Mr Williamson asked. “Is it wrong to look at if you can bring different technologies and put a military wrap around it? I don’t think it is. One of the F35 combat aircraft being deployed by the RAF © Christopher Furlong/Getty Images “We are not walking away from major investments we are making, whether it’s the F35 or the Type 26 frigates or new military vehicles. We recognise we have got to be investing in that type of technology and that type of hardware. “But we want to create innovation because we recognise the field of warfare is changing so rapidly.” Converting cheaply available commercial vehicles for military use might seem to make sense.
Nevertheless, some of Mr Williamson’s more innovative ideas have faced ridicule. Last year the UK’s biggest selling daily newspaper, The Sun, mocked up a picture of the defence secretary riding a tractor fitted with rocket launchers and a P&O car ferry firing a missile. While the “guns on tractors” idea has been vehemently denied by the MoD, the plan to convert ferries was no joke. For years the Royal Navy has been arguing for the introduction of two littoral strike ships — amphibious landing vessels similar to boats operated by the US navy. They would host 300 Royal Marine commandos, a landing deck for four Merlin helicopters, a group of fast attack boats as well as advanced intelligence and surveillance capabilities.
Recommended UK politics & policy Savings plans at UK defence ministry ‘cause daily confusion’ Naval officials estimate buying and converting a second-hand ferry would cost less than £100m each — less than half the price of a Type 31E frigate. Detailed plans on how they might do so are expected by the end of the year. Nick Childs, a naval analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think-tank, said the ridicule was unfair, pointing to examples of ship modifications carried out by the UK and US. But he added: “The problem is if they turn from being a supplement to other capabilities into a substitute.” And with the navy already facing severe crewing shortages and question marks over how much the frigates will cost even Mr Williamson’s more pragmatic plans to boost Britain’s military capability may not be so easy to deliver. “The reality is we have a massive black hole in defence,” said the Labour MP Ruth Smeeth, a member of the parliamentary defence committee. “I don’t know if this is just another sticking plaster.” Russia, US and the rise of the drone swarm Last year the Russian defence ministry said it shot down a swarm of “DIY” drones rigged with explosives that targeted air and naval bases in Syria. Thought to be among the first examples of a drone swarm attack in a conflict zone, it demonstrated the military potential of large numbers of unmanned aircraft.
Ian Williams-Wynn, from Blue Bear Research, part of the UK consortium of companies developing Britain’s first drone swarm, said the fleet could be made up of three or four groups of different drones varying in size and purpose. Although none would be armed, some could have jamming techniques to disable or confuse enemy air defence systems. At the same time other drones in the swarm could be equipped with cameras to provide crucial intelligence and surveillance on target positions. Some drones developed by the US can even be set up to even impersonate much bigger aircraft, drawing enemy fire and revealing the position of air defences. The cost is relatively cheap — ranging from £70,000 to £300,000 — meaning the total cost for purchasing 21 drones “off the shelf” from Blue Bear could be about £2m. A single Reaper drone, currently used by the UK’s Royal Air Force to fly bombing and reconnaissance missions, is about $16m. Each of the aircraft can be preprogrammed but once airborne acts autonomously, adjusting its speed and route to deliver a particular mission. Black Start, one of the models being considered for inclusion in the swarm, is hand launched by an operator who first shakes the aircraft to wake up the propeller before throwing it into the sky. It can carry up to 5kg and run for 90 minutes. “If you lose one you have not lost the entire capability, or a single very expensive asset,” Mr Williams-Wynn said. (Source: FT.com)
16 Apr 19. Turkey eyes Trump protection from any sanctions for Russian missile system purchase. Turkey expects President Donald Trump to use a waiver to protect it if the U.S. Congress decides to sanction Ankara over a planned purchase of a Russian missile defence system, a Turkish presidential spokesman said in Washington on Tuesday.
The United States has threatened to impose sanctions if Turkey seals its deal with Russia. Ankara has said its purchase should not trigger sanctions as Turkey is not an adversary of Washington and remains committed to the NATO alliance.
“If it comes to that, that is the sanctions proposed to be implemented by the Congress, of course we will expect President Trump to use his power for a waiver on that issue,” Ibrahim Kalin told reporters in a briefing.
Asked if Trump has explicitly signalled he would issue a waiver, Kalin said he did not. “I cannot say that he did. This is a message we are conveying.”
U.S. officials have called Turkey’s planned purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems “deeply problematic,” saying it would compromise the security of F-35 fighters jets, made by Lockheed Martin Corp. Turkey has refused to back down and said it will take delivery of the S-400s in July. The disagreement is the latest in a series of diplomatic disputes between the United States and Turkey. They include Turkish demands that Washington extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, differences over Middle East policy and the war in Syria, and sanctions on Iran. Asked what Turkey would do if Trump abstained from providing a waiver, Kalin said Turkey would have to wait and see the scope of the sanctions, but hopes it does not come to that.
“Threats and sanctions would be very counter productive, backfire and will not produce any results positively,” he said. (Source: Reuters)
16 Apr 19. Turkey’s Albayrak, Trump discuss Russian missile defence issue – CNN Turk. Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak held talks with U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday and he said Trump took a “reasonable” stance regarding Turkey’s planned purchase of a Russian air defence missile system, Turkish media reported. Ankara’s plan to buy the S-400 system has fuelled tensions between the NATO allies and Washington has said Ankara could face sanctions over the issue. Turkey’s defence minister called on Monday for issues be resolved through dialogue.
Albayrak, who is Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, said he met on Monday Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s son-in-law.
“During our meetings, where we discussed steps to increase our cooperation, we were received by U.S. President Donald Trump. We passed on the greetings and messages of our president,” Albayrak wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
“He listened in a very reasonable way with a positive understanding to the process regarding Turkey’s needs for the S-400s,” broadcaster CNN Turk cited Albayrak as telling reporters. “There was a very positive, constructive conversation.”
Albayrak was also cited as saying there were discussions at the meetings on increasing bilateral trade between the United States and Turkey to $75bn annually from $20bn currently. (Source: Reuters)
15 Apr 19. 3 Regiment AAC on Enhanced Forward Presence Mission in Estonia. 3 Regiment Army Air Corps is deploying to the Baltics on Operation CABRIT for three months, with Apache attack helicopters of 663 Squadron taking off from their base at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk, Monday, April 15. A fantastic opportunity for the Squadron.
Major Dave Lambert, Officer Commanding 663 Squadron, said: “The deployment to Estonia is a fantastic opportunity for the Squadron to challenge itself. It will test how we deploy and operate overseas, develop our operational partnership with the Wildcat and our ability to work alongside our NATO allies. Everyone in the Squadron – from ground crew to pilots – has worked hard to prepare for Estonia, and we’re looking forward to establishing ourselves in theatre and contributing to NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.”
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was also there to bid farewell to 663 Squadron as they took off for Estonia, where they will be training alongside NATO forces working to reassure Britain’s allies and deter her adversaries.
Wildcats and Spring Storm
The Apaches will be working in tandem with the Army’s Wildcat battlefield reconnaissance helicopters to provide valuable training opportunities to NATO allies on Estonia’s annual Exercise Spring Storm and to the UK-led battlegroup deployed on NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).
The Wildcat’s surveillance ability combined with the Apache’s sensors and weaponry will be a step change in troops’ capabilities to detect, track and engage targets during the exercises they participate in.
Before the Apaches departed from Wattisham, the Defence Secretary spoke to the soldiers who fly and maintain the aircraft to understand more about its capabilities and their mission.
Mr Williamson said: “The first deployment of Apache helicopters to Estonia underlines our position at the forefront of NATO. This is a world class machine operated by world class Army aviators and this deployment demonstrates our unwavering commitment to NATO’s collective defence.”
Army Air Corps’ helicopter deployment will boost Britain’s presence in the Baltics – codename Operation CABRIT – to around 1,000 personnel, making Britain the largest contributor to eFP. (Source: Warfare.Today/U.K. MoD))
15 Apr 19. Greek court upholds Privinvest’s EUR1.2bn arbitration award. The Athens Court of Appeal has rejected a Greek government petition against an arbitration award granted in 2017 to Privinvest Group relating to its Hellenic Shipyards subsidiary, maintaining that Greece still owes EUR1.2bn (USD1.4bn) for defaulting on its contracted obligations. The case dates back to 2010 when Privinvest, via its Abu Dhabi MAR shipbuilding subsidiary, acquired a majority share in the shipyard from ThyssenKrupp MarineSystems (TKMS). Prior to the acquisition, the Greek government terminated a contract with the shipyard in 2009 for the upgrade of Type 209 submarines to the Neptune II standard for the Hellenic Navy, as well as the construction of Type 214HN Papanikolis-class submarines for the service. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
13 Apr 19. Soldier F protest: Thousands of bikers demonstrate in London over Bloody Sunday prosecution. Thousands of bikers flooded the streets of central London to protest against the prosecution of a soldier who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. Organisers claim as many as 11,000 bikers met on Park Lane on Friday, before riding through London to Parliament Square and on to Trafalgar Square.
The protesters, many of whom are armed forces veterans themselves, oppose the prosecution of an unnamed soldier, known only as Soldier F.
Soldier F is to be charged with murdering two people after troops opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry in January 1972, on what became known as Bloody Sunday.
Rolling Thunder ride protest in London
Some relatives of the 13 killed have campaigned for their prosecution, while others argue that Soldier F should not face trial.
The protest, which also saw around 80 bikers ride to the Stormont parliament building in Belfast, was conceived in March when Harry Wragg, 56, posted a video on Facebook, calling for Soldier F not to be prosecuted.
He claimed a form of immunity was given to paramilitaries as a result of the peace process – concessions he insisted should be extended to British soldiers who served. A number of biker groups from around the UK welcomed Mr Wragg’s suggestion of a procession of motorbikes in London to protest against Soldier F’s prosecution.
The protesters wore leather jackets with patches that showed their biker group, and many veterans bore the insignia of their former regiments.
Bikers came from across the UK on Friday morning, with some travelling to London from Newcastle, South Wales, Leicester and Kent. They brought flags that read: ‘We stand with Soldier F’.
Park Lane was blocked on Friday afternoon by riders queuing to take part in the procession. The bikers’ engine revving attracted a crowd to watch the ride begin, at 1.30pm.
The protest travelled from Park Lane through Victoria, across Vauxhall Bridge, back across the Thames at Westminster Bridge and into Parliament Square.
Protesters then rode along Parliament Street and Whitehall and passed the Cenotaph, finishing in Trafalgar Square.
Speaking to the Press Association, Mr Wragg said: “I had a bit of a rant on Facebook saying how disgusting it was really, over Soldier F.
“I made a statement saying ‘what about a few of us riding to London, to make a noisy protest?’
“There are 11,000-plus bikes. We’ve just come together. And the best thing for me is that it’s combined services.
“There’s loads of banter between the RAF, the Navy, the Army and the Marines, and we’ve turned up as one. I’ve been truly moved this week.”
Alan Coates, 47, who owns a motorcycle shop in Hull, joined the protest against the prosecution, which he said was “bang out of order”.
“I don’t know the guy, I don’t know his name, I’ve never served in the armed forces,” he said.
“I’ve shut my business for the day, come all the way down from Hull purely to show my support.
“There’s no greater thing a man can do than lay his life on the line for his country, for people he doesn’t know.
“So people who don’t know him now are down here essentially showing him that he has our support and the Government are bang out of order.
“All these people here are here to support this man who has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the people. He did his job, as many others did, yet he’s being persecuted for what they call a crime.”
Soldier F will face charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.
The Ministry of Defence said the charges have been brought by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service, which is independent of the Government.
A Government spokesman said: “We are indebted to the soldiers who served with courage and distinction to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
“Although the decision to prosecute was taken by the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service, which is independent from Government, we will offer full legal and pastoral support to the individual affected.” (Source: Evening Standard)
12 Apr 19. MOD to Set Up Centre of Excellence for Human Security. Armed Forces to Counter the Weaponisation of Non-Combatants. The Ministry of Defence will create a new Centre of Excellence for Human Security, according to an announcement made by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. This makes the MOD the world’s first military organization to have a dedicated national defence policy on Human Security.
In front of a backdrop of 100 personnel, armoured vehicles and AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopters from the Army Air Corps conducting exercises to protect non-combatants in a conflict zone, Mr Williamson announced a new UK Centre of Excellence for Human Security at the MOD training facility Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain.
Soldiers from the 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), gave a demonstration during the announcement. Mr Williamson was also photographed talking to a representative from the 77th Brigade.
“In modern warfare there is no ‘front line’ and the sad reality is that innocent bystanders are in harm’s way in conflicts around the world,” said the Defence Secretary. “Protecting civilians from human rights violations is as much a military task as defeating the enemy.”
The Centre of Excellence will build on the success of the Human Security Advisers course and deliver expanded training on Women, Peace and Security, Children and Armed Conflict, Human Trafficking, Protection of Civilians, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Cultural Property Protection.
Mr Williamson continued: “This new Centre of Excellence will build on the amazing work already being done by the UK, from our Human Security courses launched last year to the training we provide peacekeepers on preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict.”
As we see actors in conflicts around the world using women and children as merely an extension of the battlefield, it is essential that the world’s militaries know how to combat this to protect vulnerable bystanders.
The Armed Forces have done vital work to protect non-combatants, deploying Military Human Security Advisers to UN peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo since 2014 and providing training for peacekeepers in Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria on preventing and responding to sexual violence in conflict.
This new centre is the next step to ensuring militaries from around the world better integrate UN Security Council Resolutions linked to human security in to military planning and conduct of operations.
The Centre of Excellence will be funded from a new Human Security budget. Running costs will be around £2m a year. (Source: Warfare.Today)
12 Apr 19. Germany Exporting Weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE — Reports. Germany’s National Security Council, a secret security council consisting of Chancellor Angela Merkel and her chief ministers, has approved shipments of weapon parts to countries directly involved in the war in Yemen, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to several German media sources. The approvals come two weeks after the German government extended a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, which was originally put in place after the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That extension, however, made a conditional exception for systems developed jointly with other countries amid anger at the German ban among some European partners, notably France and Britain.
— The security council approved a shipment of “technology for low-bed semi-trailer production” from the Ulm-based company Kamag to France, which will then send a finished product to Saudi Arabia.
— Further exports will go to the UAE, including German-French-produced accessories for “Cobra” artillery tracking radar systems.
— A shipment of three “Dingo” armored vehicles and 168 warheads to Qatar was also approved.
— Other shipments include 92 electric drives for the “Fuchs” armored personnel carrier to Algeria, 18,000 detonators for mortar grenades to Indonesia and 3,000 anti-tank weapons to Singapore.
The Left reacted with outrage to the decisions taken by the security council. “Apparently things are not going fast enough with new arms deliveries to the Yemen war coalition,” said the Left’s deputy parliamentary leader, Sevim Dagdelen. She described the approvals as “simply criminal and a violation of current European law.
(Source: defense-aerospace.com/Deutsche Welle German Radio)
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