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30 Sep 21. Turkey wants compensation for ouster from US-led jet program. Turkey intends to seek compensation for its removal from a U.S.-led stealth fighter jet program, possibly during a meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on the margins of a Group of 20 meeting next month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan, speaking to journalists during a flight back from a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, also said there would be no “turning back” from deal with Russia for Turkey’s acquisition of S-400 advanced missile defense systems. That deal led to NATO-member Turkey’s removal from the international program that produces F-35 fighter jets. Erdogan said he hoped to meet Biden at the G-20 meeting in Rome to discuss the F-35 project, including a $1.4 bn payment Turkey had made before its ouster from the program. Another meeting between the Turkish and U.S. leaders could also take place on the sidelines of a November climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Erdogan said.
“We made a $1.4bn payment, what will become of that?” Erdogan said. “We did not – and do not – earn this money easily. Either they will give us our planes or they will give us the money.”
Asked about Turkey’s plans to purchase additional S-400 systems despite threats of further U.S. sanctions, Erdogan responded: “The S-400 process continues. There is no turning back.” His comments were reported by the private Turkish news channel NTV and other media.
Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program and its defense officials were sanctioned after the country bought the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system two years ago. The U.S. strongly objects NATO members using the Russian system, saying it poses a security threat to the F-35s.
Turkey maintains the S-400′s components could be used independently without being integrated into NATO systems and therefore pose no risk.
The U.S. also sanctioned Turkey for its purchase under a 2017 law aimed at pushing back Russian influence. The move was the first time that the law, known as CAATSA, was used to penalize a U.S. ally.
Erdogan’s talks with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi focused on steps that would deepen defense cooperation between Turkey and Russia, including partnerships for aircraft engines, fighter jets and submarines, the Turkish leader said.
Russia also could be involved in the construction of Turkey’s second and third nuclear power plants, and of a space launch platform, he said.
Erdogan traveled to Sochi to discuss the situation in Syria, where Turkey and Russia back opposing sides in the conflict. Russia is the main ally of the Syrian government, while Turkey supports groups that have fought to unseat Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Russian and Turkish troops have, however, cooperated in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province – the final holdout of rebel forces – and in seeking a political solution in the country. Erdogan said he and Putin agreed to continue to work together toward restoring calm in Idlib. (Source: Defense News)
29 Sep 21. European Council Adopts 23rd Annual Report on Arms Exports. The European Council has adopted the 23rd EU Annual Report on Arms Exports, informing in detail on arms sales authorised by EU Member States in 2020. It is the fastest annual report adoption until now, within 9 months of the end of the year reported on. With over 30.000 licenses issued for a license value of almost € 167bn the EU remains an important exporter of military equipment and technology. Military weapons have an indispensable role in the preservation of security, freedom, and peace, provided they are used in accordance with International Law, including Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law, and provided they are traded in a responsible manner. Decisions on issuing export licenses for military equipment are a national competence, following an assessment against the eight criteria of Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP which includes an assessment of the respect for human rights in the country of final destination as well as respect by that country of international humanitarian law. Over 200 licenses in 2020 were denied by Member States, following case-by-case assessments of license applications. In 2020, the EEAS launched a searchable online database containing the annual arms export data of all EU Member States since 2013. The database offers various graphic representations to all those interested in further details. The present report also covers activities undertaken by the EU in the framework of outreach to third countries, helping those in setting up arms export control systems and promoting the universalisation and implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. The report is prepared by the EEAS based on data provided by the Member States. (Source: glstrade.com)
29 Sep 21. UK set to sign contracts with Tempest partners, Japan talks ongoing. BAE. BAE Systems (BAES.L) said Tempest, the British-led project to build a new fighter jet, would sign contracts with partners Italy and Sweden by the end of this year and talks were ongoing with Japan about joining the project.
BAE’s director of Future Combat Air Systems Michael Christie said he expected contracts with the two partners on the concept and assessment phase to be signed by the end of 2021.
Talks with Japan ranged from the country joining the programme as a partner to collaborating on technology, he said.
“There’s a lot of commonality between the UK and Japan in terms of what they’re trying to achieve in this sphere … that’s an ongoing area and one that we are actively pursuing,” Christie told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.
The Tempest project, which in addition to BAE includes Rolls-Royce (RR.L), European missile maker MBDA and Leonardo UK (LDOF.MI), has a budget of 2bn pounds ($2.7bn) from the UK government to 2025, plus 800m pounds from the companies over the same period.
While Britain works on Tempest to replace its Eurofighter Typhoon jets from 2040, France, Germany and Spain are working on a rival to replace France’s Rafale and German and Spanish Eurofighters.
Analysts have questioned whether European military budgets are sufficient for the two competing projects.
Christie wouldn’t be drawn on whether they could be combined, but said “the longer the two programmes run separately, the harder it’s going to be to come together.”
France and Britain clashed this month over London’s trilateral nuclear security deal with Australia and the United States. read more
Christie said his focus was on keeping down costs by shortening the time its takes to deliver the new jet.
“We are challenging ourselves effectively to deliver the Tempest system in half the time we delivered Typhoon,” he said.
The aim is for the main development programme to start in 2025, with the jet operational by 2035.
Christie envisages a manned aircraft surrounded by unmanned drones and smart weapons, connected by an information cloud, but says the decisions on how Tempest operates won’t be finalised until 2025.
For speed and cost savings, BAE is using 3D printing, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robots at its factory in Warton, northern England.
It has also brought in dozens of smaller companies and academics from outside the aerospace and defence sector to enhance technological capabilities. ($1 = 0.7311 pounds) (Source: Reuters)
29 Sep 21. British Army opens first solar farm. The British Army’s first photovoltaic Solar Farm has been officially opened by the Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin, today. Completed earlier this month and the size of almost eight football pitches, the solar farm is based at The Defence School of Transport (DST), Leconfield, and forms part of the British Army’s £200m Project Prometheus investment which is designed to see the Army using renewable energy Built by Centrica Business Solutions, the solar farm is made up of over 4,000 solar panels and is the first of four pilot sites to officially open. Across all four sites, the project estimates £1m in efficiency savings and 2,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) annually, with saving costs due to be reinvested into essential Army infrastructure.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Jeremy Quin said, “This multi-m pound investment reaffirms our commitment to Net Zero 2050 and developing a more sustainable service. Significant investment will result in a more efficient and environmentally-friendly estate.
Spanning approximately four hectares and with a peak capacity of 2.3Mega Watts, the solar panelled farm is projected to save 700 tonnes of carbon emissions and cut electricity bills by one third annually at DST.”
A majority of the energy generated will be used onsite at DST to provide support to personnel based there. This may include powering accommodation, offices, hangars, classrooms and the gymnasium, whilst any surplus will be exported to the grid.
Outlined in the recent Defence Command Paper, innovation and green initiatives will be at the forefront of a future Army, of which Project Prometheus forms a part. This is further supported by the £24bn increase in spending over four years, as announced by the Prime Minister last November.
The Director of Basing and Infrastructure, Major General David Southall said, “Our first operational solar farm at Leconfield marks a key milestone in the Army’s go-green agenda; it showcases our firm commitment to tackle the effects of climate change, harnessing renewable energy to power our estate.”
Leconfield is the first of four pilot sites to open this year; each builds on our knowledge and expertise, enabling us to upscale and deliver a total of 80 solar farms across the Army Estate within the decade; we continue to Think Big – Start Small – Scale Fast.
To help reduce greenhouse emissions across Defence, the Army is investing the £200m into its solar farms over the next 10 years. The initiative is designed to support the UK Government reach its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Managing Director of Centrica Business Solutions, Greg McKenna said, “It’s been a privilege to work alongside the Army to deliver its first major solar scheme here at DST Leconfield. It will require a monumental effort to reach Net Zero, but by showing leadership on sustainability and carbon reduction, the Army has put in place a template which the rest of the public sector and industry can replicate.”
Construction for the three additional pilot sites is already under way with the Duke of Gloucester Barracks in Gloucestershire, Rock Barracks in Suffolk and Baker Barracks on Thorney Island, Sussex, due to open next year. 3Ti have been awarded the contract to deliver the construction of these sites. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
28 Sep 21. Greece Orders Three French Frigates in €3bn Deal. Greece has agreed to buy three FDI Belharra-class frigates from France, with an option for a fourth, the two countries’ leaders announced here today.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed the agreement, which also includes a larger defense cooperation agreement, during a joint press conference here this morning.
Furthermore, Greece is also expected to formalize a follow-on order for six Dassault Rafale fighters, in addition to the 18 ordered earlier this year, the first of which was handed over on July 21.
The ships will be armed by Aster 30B1 air-defense missiles and Exocet MM40 Block 3C anti-ship missiles made by MBDA.
The naval contract, valued at about 3bn euros, is substantially lower than anticipated. Greek media reported yesterday that the contract would include three Gowind-class corvettes, to be built in Greece, in addition to the three frigates, a deal that was valued at about 5bn euros.
No explanation was provided for the exclusion of the corvettes from today’s announcement. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/)
27 Sep 21. Who’s Going To Be The UK’s Next Military Chief? The Prime Minister has started interviewing candidates to become his new military leader, but who is in the running for the job? With General Sir Nick Carter set to step down as Chief of the Defence Staff – the head of the Armed Forces – the Prime Minister has started interviewing candidates to become his new military leader. Gen Carter had been expected to retire in June, but was asked by Boris Johnson to stay on in post until late 2021.
But who exactly is in the running for the job?
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin – First Sea Lord
The head of the Royal Navy, the First Sea Lord has served in a number of conflict zones – including the Falklands and Iraq.
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Sir Tony has also commanded in a number of roles and played a part in negotiating the recent landmark Aukus deal between the US, UK and Australia.
The Prime Minister is said to have been pleased by the decision to appoint James Bond actor Daniel Craig as an honorary commander in the Royal Navy.
If selected, Adm Sir Tony Radakin would be the first naval officer appointed Chief of the Defence Staff since Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, who was in post between 2001 and 2003.
General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith – Chief of the General Staff
The head of the British Army, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, is another military service leader interviewing for the role.
He is said to have a good personal relationship with the Prime Minister, both having studied at Eton.
Militarily, he served in the Gulf and Balkans, as well as commanding 22 Special Air Service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He also commanded 16 Air Assault Brigade in Afghanistan and served as Commander Helmand Task Force and Commander British Forces Afghanistan.
Sir Mark also provided troops and military planners in the UK’s fight against coronavirus.
However, could recent issues with the Ajax programme count against him?
Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston – Chief of the Air Staff
Completing the set of military service leaders, Air Chief Marshal Wigston is also set to be interviewed for the role.
The head of the RAF has served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including as the Director of Air Operations in Headquarters ISAF Joint Command and was awarded a CBE in 2013 for the role.
He also led a review, commissioned by the MOD, into inappropriate behaviour in the Armed Forces in April 2019.
However, he is reportedly “unlikely” to be appointed in the role.
Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key – Commander of Joint Operations
The Prime Minister is said to have wanted three-star military officials to apply for the role.
It is reported the Defence Secretary invited three to apply, but only Vice Admiral Sir Ben Key accepted the invitation.
Having served on, and commanded, numerous Navy ships, Sir Ben also served as an advisor to the Iraqi Director Joint Staff in Baghdad and was awarded the US Bronze Star in 2006 for his service.
He was also in charge of Operation Pitting – the UK’s evacuation of Kabul airport in August.
General Sir Patrick Sanders – Head of Strategic Command
General Sir Patrick Sanders is in charge of both the UK’s special forces and military approach to the cyber domain, managing allocated joint capabilities from the Army, RAF and Navy.
Sir Patrick is also one of the leaders in establishing the UK’s response to subthreshold warfare from adversaries.
He has previously served in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. (Source: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/)
23 Sep 21. Minister of Defence Laanet: National Defence A Government Priority, Defence Budget Set to Increase By A Record EUR 103m. According to Minister of Defence of Estonia, Kalle Laanet, defence expenditures in the 2022 state budget agreed upon in the government is set to increase to EUR 748m, which is 2.31% of the forecasted GDP. It includes costs associated with Allies, a defence investment programme, and new capability developments. Thanks to economic growth and a political consensus, the largest defence budget in history ensures that existing capability gaps can be filled faster, thereby strengthening Estonia’s security.
‘I am pleased that with a budget increase of EUR 103 m we are able to send a strong message to both our Allies and any potential aggressors that Estonia takes its security very seriously and is ready to contribute to it,’ Laanet said.
In addition to the additional funding received from the budget, significant sums have been saved through defence reforms, which will be redirected to capability development. In the coming years, the plan is to continue with personnel service reforms, while consolidating vehicle repair and maintenance services and warehouse management.
Reforms will help to achieve more realistically manned and assembled combat-capable units in the field of national defence and to ensure that every euro invested in national defence produces the most realistic military defence capability possible.
‘The acquisition of major capability developments, such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS), are as important as the development of comprehensive national defence extending from the cyber realm to raising the level of readiness of society as a whole,’ Laanet added.
An agreement will soon be signed in the amount of EUR 46m for the acquisition of anti-ship missiles. In addition, EUR 25m will be used to purchase large-calibre ammunition, and EUR 25m to purchase wheeled vehicles, which will altogether raise defensive readiness. In addition, EUR 15m worth of self-propelled artillery will be procured, almost half of the planned CV-90 armoured combat vehicles will be completed (the total cost of the project is EUR 36m) and the construction of a new Defence Forces camp will begin at Raadi, where the new buildings of the Disaster Medical Centre and the NCO School will be located.
Also updated along with the new state budget framework and the summer economic forecast was the long-term forecast for the defence budget for subsequent years, which is an input to the new 10-year National Defence Development Plan. The new National Defence Development Plan 2022-2031 is scheduled to be approved in October. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/Estonian Ministry of Defence;)
24 Sep 21. Joint Statement, European Intervention Initiative Meeting. Joint statement, European Intervention Initiative, Meeting of the ministers of Defence in Stockholm, Sweden, 24. September 2021.
Since the launch of the European Intervention Initiative in 2018, it has grown to include thirteen European states who share the aim to develop a common strategic culture to meet the challenges facing Europe. These challenges are becoming more severe and urgent than in decades.
Today, Ministers of Defence, or their representatives, of Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom met in Stockholm, Sweden, to exchange views on current security and defence challenges.
The Ministers or their representatives shared important lessons so far identified after the withdrawal from Afghanistan, including views on the implications for European coordination and capability requirements, and for transatlantic cooperation.
The Ministers or their representatives were briefed by France on the security situation in Mali. They underlined the importance of the political transition in Mali and that elections are held within the agreed time frame. They also expressed serious concern over possible cooperation between Malian authorities and foreign mercenaries. Furthermore, they discussed their continued commitment to the fight against global and regional terrorism and the contribution EI2 can make through exchange of information and analysis.
The Ministers or their representatives received a timely update by Portugal on the situation in Cabo Delgado, and the process of launching the European Union training mission in Mozambique and took note of the initial positive results.
The Ministers or their representatives were briefed by Sweden on the Russian-Belarusian military exercise Zapad-21, and by Finland on the first results of the Working Group on Disinformation.
Lastly, the Ministers or their representatives discussed the future of EI2 cooperation, and how to strengthen its capacity to tackle current and future security challenges and deliver concrete outputs by streamlining the flow of information between its various components. (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/)
27 Sep 21. Labour Conference has proven itself to be out of touch and on the wrong side of job creation once again, says GMB Union. GMB, the defence manufacturing union, says a motion carried by Labour Conference that opposes the recent information and technology sharing agreement with Australia threatens hundreds of UK manufacturing jobs. The motion – carried today – resolves to oppose the AUKUS agreement, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States
Under the deal, hundreds of jobs could be secured at Rolls Royce in Derby, BAE Systems in Barrow, Babcock sites, and throughout the wider supply chain.
Hazel Nolan, GMB Regional Secretary, said: “Labour Conference has proven itself to be out of touch and on the wrong side of job creation once again. It is grossly irresponsible for Labour delegates to pass such a misleading and factually incorrect motion that undermines industries where jobs are under threat. This deal could be a real opportunity for UK manufacturing. To dismiss it out of hand is nonsense. If it ever wants to be in power, Labour needs to get back to its roots and speak up for jobs and the concerns of working people.”
27 Sep 21. Netherlands Defence Academy Team Edit NL ARMS Netherlands Annual Review of Military Studies 2021. Five faculty members of the Netherlands Defence Academy have edited NL ARMS Netherlands Annual Review of Military Studies 2021. The open access volume of the NL ARMS offers an interdisciplinary view on the domain of Compliance and Integrity in International Military Trade (CIIMT), integrating defence economics, international law, arms export control frameworks and policies, information management, organizational sciences and ethics. Although, in academia, and from an interdisciplinary perspective, CIIMT constitutes a relatively novel research domain, across private and public defence-related sectors, the subject evokes high levels of attention and interest, instigating a need for critical thinking, reflection and creativity to address ensuing multi-faceted issues and problems. The Faculty of Military Sciences at the Netherlands Defence Academy extends an in-house MSc programme on CIIMT, which, by integrating practice-based and scientific-based knowledge, aims to contribute to this need. The MSc programme on CIIMT is concerned with exploring, analysing, understanding, explaining, controlling and improving the military dimension in international military trade. More particularly, CIIMT studies managerial questions regarding strategic trade control of military and dual-use goods and services. (Source: glstrade.com)
26 Sep 21. Erdogan says Turkey plans to buy more Russian defense systems. President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey still intended to buy a second batch of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, a move that could deepen a rift with NATO ally Washington and trigger new U.S. sanctions.
Washington says the S-400s pose a threat to its F-35 fighter jets and to NATO’s broader defense systems. Turkey says it was unable to procure air defense systems from any NATO ally on satisfactory terms.
“In the future, nobody will be able to interfere in terms of what kind of defense systems we acquire, from which country at what level,” Erdogan said in an interview that aired on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
“Nobody can interfere with that. We are the only ones to make such decisions.”
The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey’s Defense Industry Directorate, its chief, Ismail Demir, and three other employees in December following the country’s acquisition of a first batch of S-400s. read more
Talks continued between Russia and Turkey about the delivery of a second batch, which Washington has repeatedly said would almost certainly trigger new sanctions.
“We urge Turkey at every level and opportunity not to retain the S-400 system and to refrain from purchasing any additional Russian military equipment,” said a State Department spokesperson when asked about Erdogan’s comments.
“We continue to make clear to Turkey that any significant new Russian arms purchases would risk triggering CAATSA 231 sanctions separate from and in addition to those imposed in December 2020,” the spokesperson added, referring to the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.
The spokesperson also said the United States regards Turkey as an ally and friend and seeks ways to strengthen their partnership “even when we disagree.”
Erdogan will meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia on Wednesday to discuss issues including the violence in northwestern Syria. read more
Erdogan also said that U.S. President Joe Biden never raised the issue of Turkey’s human rights track record, seen as extremely troublesome by international rights advocacy groups, confirming Reuters reporting from earlier in September. read more
Asked whether Biden brought up the issue during their June meeting on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels, Erdogan said: “No he didn’t. And because we don’t have any problems of that nature in terms of freedoms, Turkey is incomparably free.”
Turkey is among the top jailers of journalists, according to figures from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), while Human Rights Watch says Erdogan’s authoritarian rule has been consolidated by the passage of legislation that contravenes international human rights obligations.
23 Sep 21. Sweden to deepen military ties with Norway, Denmark, Swedish TV reports. Sweden will sign a defence cooperation agreement with Norway and Denmark this week to counter a deteriorating security situation in the Baltic region, Sweden’s TV4 said on Thursday.
Sweden, which is not a member of NATO but enjoys close ties with the bloc, is rebuilding its military after decades of neglect as a result of growing tensions with Russia in the Baltic region.
“If there is a crisis situation we will be considerably better prepared in that we will have coordinated our planning in this region,” Hultqvist told TV4.
“In practice, we will be able to react more quickly.”
He said that the combined resources of the three countries would help deter a potential antagonist.
Sweden has boosted military spending – including agreeing to buy Patriot missiles from the United States – and deepened its military cooperation with NATO and neighbouring countries like Finland in recent years in response to heightened tensions with Russia.
“We know that Russia is prepared to use military power in order to achieve its political goals and aims,” Hultqvist said.
“We are deepening our cooperation with the other countries in this region precisely in order to raise the bar in preventing disruptions and crises.” (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Reuters)
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