10 Jul 15. Japan is interested in joining a NATO missile-building consortium that would give Tokyo its first taste of a multinational defense project, a move the U.S. Navy is encouraging because it could pave the way for Japan to lead similar partnerships in Asia, sources said. The 12-country North Atlantic Treaty Organization consortium oversees development and shares the costs of the SeaSparrow missile, an advanced ship-borne weapon designed to destroy anti-ship sea-skimming missiles and attack aircraft. The missile is made by U.S. weapons firms Raytheon and General Dynamics.
In May, Maritime Self-Defense Force officers traveled to a NATO meeting in The Hague to learn more about the consortium, the MSDF and a U.S. source familiar with the trip told Reuters.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Friday that he was “completely unaware of the facts” behind the report.
Two Japanese sources familiar with the initiative said discussions in Tokyo were at an early stage, although joining the consortium would dovetail with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s more muscular security agenda, which included the lifting last year of a decades-old ban on weapons exports.
The sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The consortium, established in 1968 by four countries including the United States, is set to develop an upgraded version of the SeaSparrow in the coming years.
Having Japan on board would spread the project’s costs, but Washington also sees a role for Japan in leading multinational military industrial partnerships in Asia at a time when China’s military modernization and assertiveness is alarming many countries in the region, said the U.S. source. Such partnerships, which are rare in Asia, would create a network of security ties beyond formal military alliances that mostly involve Washington and its various regional allies. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Reuters)
09 Jul 15. Philippines postpones coastal defence programme. The Philippines Department of National Defense (DND) has shelved a Philippine Army proposal to procure a shore-based missile system (SBMS) in favour of plans to procure a range of force protection equipment, Arsenio R Andolong, chief of the DND’s public affairs office told IHS Jane’s on 10 July.
Andolong said that the SBMS procurement is part of the formal Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernisation programme and that a proposal to procure such a system – which would provide integrated coastal defence across a number of strategic sites in the Philippines – had recently been submitted to President Benigno Aquino for approval. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
10 Jul 15. India’s Tata Motors Ltd plans to double the revenue from its defence business over the next three years to $600m, betting on the government’s push for more local defence manufacturing, a top company official said on Friday. Indian companies are investing billions to build anything from armoured trucks, to guns and submarines, as they race to win a share of the roughly $100bn in defence deals New Delhi has said it will ring-fence for domestic firms over the next decade.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to modernise the country’s poorly-equipped military by turning India into a defence manufacturing hub that would end its status as the world’s largest arms importer.
Tata Motors, part of Tata Group, generated about 20bn rupees ($316m) in revenue from defence over the last three years, about 3 percent of the company’s total revenues.
“A year after the present government came into power and files started moving, there was a very quick acceleration of orders,” Vernon Noronha, Vice-President, Defence & Government Business, told journalists at an event on Friday.
Tata said it had won an order from the Indian army, worth about 9bn rupees, for more than 1,200 multi-axle vehicles for loading and unloading ammunition.
The company has a defence order book for about 15 bi