US-led global arms sales grew 8.5% in 2019, Australia top host of foreign arms companies (SIPRI)

New data from SIPRI’s Arms Industry Database shows that arms sales by the world’s 25 largest arms companies totalled US$361 billion in 2019, an 8.5 per cent increase over 2018. The top five arms companies were all based in the United States: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. Outside of North America and Western Europe, the largest number of foreign arms company entities are hosted by Australia (38).

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US and India sign Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation

Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation As anticipated, the United States and India have today [27 October 2020] signed an agreement for the sharing of sensitive satellite data during a biannual “2+2” security dialogue in New Delhi. According to Indian defence sources, the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on Geospatial Cooperation will provide India with access to a range of topographical, nautical and aeronautical data necessary for more accurate use of missiles

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US State Department approves a further $2.37 billion in potential arms sales to Taiwan

The US State Department is reported to have approved the potential sale of 100 Boeing-made Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems to Taiwan, at a cost of up to US $2.37 billion. The move comes days after the State Department approved the potential sale of three other weapons systems to Taiwan, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China in the runup to the November presidential election.

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On Korean War 70th anniversary, President Xi affirms that China is ready to defend its sovereignty

Speaking on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War, China’s President Xi Jinping is reported to have said that victory in the 1950-53 conflict was a reminder that his nation would “never sit back and watch any damage to our national sovereignty… and we will never allow any force to invade or divide the sacred territory of the motherland.”

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It’s one thing to build war fighting capability, it’s another to build industrial capability (Graeme Dunk)

Analysis suggests that the proportion of contracts awarded to firms that are both Australian operated and owned is low, and that work done by Australian-controlled companies has been increasingly subcontracted to foreign-owned prime contractors. The Australian part of Australia’s defence industry is small, and getting smaller. This subordinate role has important implications for the health of Australia’s industry and national resilience.

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