Opposition to Arms Sales to SA Continues | Pentagon Orders Navy to Launch Missiles at Houthi Targets | Poland Plans to Make Up for Failed Airbus Deal

October 14, 2016
In The News
  • Pressure has continued from US lawmakers opposed to continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Rep. Ted Lieu of California urged the Pentagon to suspend cooperation with a Saudi-led coalition conducting airstrikes in Yemen, saying in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry released on Wednesday that civilian casualties from the strikes “appear to be the result of war crimes.” A funeral struck by Saudi missiles last weekend killed 140 mourners and Lieu is requesting that US arms sales to Riyadh be suspended until a White House review is completed.
  • The Peruvian Ministry of Defense has received a number of R-312AT helicopter radio systems from JSC Rosoboronexport, subsidiary of Russia’s Rostec State Corporation. Delivery of the systems comes as part of an offset deal in connection with 24 Mi-171Sh helicopters and is expected to save Lima over $12.5 million. Rosboronexport have also promised to allocate $1 million for the building of a helicopter training center for Peru if eight offset projects agreed to are implemented.
Middle East & North Africa
  • In response to missile attacks on US and allied vessels off the coast of Yemen, the Pentagon has ordered the US Navy to launch missile attacks at targets operated by Houthi rebels. On October 13, the USS Nitze fired three BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles at radar sites in Yemen which were believed to have been active during previous attacks and attempted attacks on vessels. A defense official said the radar sites were in remote areas where there was little risk of civilian casualties. The Houthis meanwhile, reiterated their denial that they were responsible for the attack on US warship the USS Mason.
  • As a way of saying sorry for the ditched Caracel military helicopter deal, Poland is to offer France alternative investment projects , according to the Polish Prime Minister. The previous Polish administration had agreed to buy 50 Airbus utility helicopters in April 2015 for $3.5 billion as part of efforts to modernize their military forces at a time of tensions with neighbor Russia. Beata Szydlo told Polish media that the French foreign minister will be presented with “cooperation proposals, when it comes to investment of another type, or a purchase of other equipment” when they make a visit to Warsaw, which is planned for the near future.
  • Proposals for new tanks and aircraft have been submitted by the Italian armed forces for parliamentary approval . On October 11, the defense commission of the lower house of the Italian parliament began debating plans by the Italian military to buy the Centauro II tank and an updated version of its A-129 Mangusta helicopter. While once nothing more than a rubber stamp for military acquisitions, the parliament’s defense commission was given greater influence over defense spending due to legislation passed in 2012. They have until November 8 to offer an opinion on the purchases.
Asia Pacific
  • In order to curry favor with the Indian government, Saab will share their Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar with Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology with India they if they select the Gripen fighter. The list of sweeteners also includes the previous offer of co-developing India’s indigenously manufactured fighter aircraft Tejas MK1A by setting up a production line in India under the “Make in India” scheme. Company officials said that both the LCA and the Gripen are of similar class and also share the same General Electric engine citing commonality in maintenance and operation.
  • Boeing has revealed some of the potential upgrades offered to Japan’s F-15Js . The company’s defense head in Japan announced that AESA radars, a new mission computer, a new electronic warfare suite, conformal fuel tanks, and additional missiles would all be included as part of any deal. A model on display at Boeing’s stand at this week’s Japan Aerospace show depicts an F-15 loaded with 16 Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles: double the load now available.
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries are confident that they can poach customers away from Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon aircraft in favor of their own P-1. The company said that customers looking to move away from their older P-1 Orions see a number of advantages in the Japanese anti-submarine warfare plane over its American counterpart. One advantage touted over the P-8A is the P-1’s four turbofan engines, as a single engine failure will not result in the termination of the mission and allows the plane to operate at lower altitudes.
Today’s Video

USS Nitze Targeting Yemeni Radar Sites with Tomahawks: