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February 7, 2024 | International, Land, C4ISR

Adopt a treaty for semiconductor export control

Opinion: The absence of a robust global semiconductor export control regime leaves the United States vulnerable in the technological race.

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  • Exclusive: Qatar makes formal request for F-35 jets - sources

    October 8, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Exclusive: Qatar makes formal request for F-35 jets - sources

    Mike Stone WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Qatar has submitted a formal request to the United States to buy stealthy F-35 fighter jets, three people familiar with the deal said, in a deal that if pursued could strain U.S. ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel. The request for the Lockheed Martin Co jets was submitted by the Persian Gulf state in recent weeks, the people said. A U.S. State Department spokesman said, “As a matter of policy, the United States does not confirm or comment on proposed defense sales or transfers until they are formally notified to Congress.” The Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C. did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Keen to counter Iran in the region, the U.S. helps to arm allies including Qatar, host to the largest U.S. military facility in the Middle East, and home to 8,000 U.S. service members and Department of Defense civilian employees. The request follows an August deal between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates in which Washington agreed to consider giving the Gulf state approval to buy F-35s in a side deal to a U.S.-brokered agreement called the Abraham Accord to normalize diplomatic ties with Israel. Israel has signaled stiff opposition to a UAE sale and would likely be just as resistant to one with Qatar, fearing it could undercut its military advantage in the Middle East. In Washington, a fourth person familiar with the matter said concern about Qatar's links to Hamas have frequently surfaced over arms sales to the Gulf state. But in the case of an advanced warplane like the F-35, it could be a deal breaker. One of the people said Qatar's letter of request for the jets, the first formal step in the legal process of foreign military sale, was not directly linked to its adoption of the Abraham Accord. Nor has Qatar shown any sign it will normalize ties with Israel. U.S. and Qatar have close ties. In September Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani met in Washington as the U.S. hopes to move forward with naming Qatar as a major non-NATO ally. Despite being U.S. allies, both the potential Qatari and UAE F-35 deals must satisfy a decades-old agreement with Israel that states any U.S. weapons sold to the region must not impair Israel's “qualitative military edge,” guaranteeing U.S. weapons furnished to Israel are “superior in capability” to those sold to its neighbors. Saudi Arabia, Washington's most powerful and closest partner among the Gulf Arab states, is also likely to oppose the United States supplying F-35s to Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt remain locked in a three-year standoff with Qatar that the Trump administration has tried to end, so far without success. A formal letter of request typically contains specifications that would be used to furnish pricing data to a customer, but currently the F-35A, a fifth generation stealthy fighter jet, costs around $80 million. Any F-35 sale could take years to negotiate and deliver, giving a new U.S. presidential administration ample time to halt the deals. Any sale would also need congressional approval. Poland, the most recent F-35 customer, purchased 32 of the jets, but will not receive its first delivery until 2024. Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington D.C., additional reporting by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Chris Sanders and Edward Tobin

  • US Navy awards largest-ever shipbuilding contract to Electric Boat for new attack submarines

    December 3, 2019 | International, Naval

    US Navy awards largest-ever shipbuilding contract to Electric Boat for new attack submarines

    By: David B. Larter WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy on Monday awarded its largest-ever shipbuilding contract to General Dynamics Electric Boat for construction of nine Virginia-class attack submarines, eight of which will have 84-foot section that boosts the boat's strike missile capacity. The contract for the Block V Virginias, worth $22.2 billion, could grow by another $2 billion if the Navy exercises an option for a 10th boat. The contract is for two fewer boats than the 11 proposed by the fleet in this year's budget submission. “A lot of hard work across the whole team to structure the contract in such a was as to balance risk between the government and the shipbuilder,” said James Geurts, the Navy's top acquisition official, in a roundtable with members of the media to announce the contract signing. “If the shipbuilder delivers on target, the multi-year savings will be 16.5 percent, or $4.4 billion in savings. So, it's a pretty important day for us.” Guerts, the assistant Secretary of the Navy for research, acquisition and development, said that when you add government furnished equipment into the contract, the total swells to about $35 billion. The first boat in Block V, SSN 802, is currently under construction but does not have the Virginia Payload Module. The next boat, 803, will have VPM. All of the boats will have an upgraded acoustics suite. In the briefing, Navy officials said that six of the boats would be constructed at Electric Boat's partner yard, Huntington Ingalls Newport News, and three would be built at Electric Boat. The 10th boat would go to Electric Boat if the Navy exercised the option. The move to put most of the work in Newport News was done to balance the increased workload at Electric Boat with the start of the Columbia class, the next generation of ballistic missile submarines slated to begin construction this year. In a statement, Electric Boat President Kevin Graney said the contract provides stability for his shipyard. “This contract allows for our shipbuilding team, out suppliers and our employees to plan ahead so that we can continue to deliver submarines of unmatched quality, stealth and lethality,” Graney said. Dave Bolcar, Newport News' vice president of submarine construction, likewise hailed the contract as a means of stability in the submarine industrial base. "Today's contract maintains the Virginia-class build rate that provides continued stability to our workforce and to the 5,000 suppliers that will support submarines for the next decade,” he said. "This contract also continues the two per year construction cadence essential to sustaining production efficiencies, while ensuring our national security and the Navy's continued undersea superiority.”

  • Dassault Aviation : résultats semestriels 2020

    July 24, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Dassault Aviation : résultats semestriels 2020

    DEFENSE Dassault Aviation : résultats semestriels 2020 Le 23 juillet, Éric Trappier, PDG de Dassault Aviation, a tenu une conférence de presse à l'occasion de l'annonce des résultats semestriels 2020. Le groupe a réalisé un chiffre d'affaires de 2,6 Mds€, (contre 3 Mds€ au premier semestre 2019). Le résultat net s'élève à 87 M€ (contre 286 M€ en 2019). En termes de livraisons, Dassault Aviation a remis 16 Falcon au premier semestre 2020, soit un de moins que sur la même période de 2019. Sur le terrain commercial, 5 commandes de Falcon ont été signées, contre 7 un an plus tôt. Concernant le Rafale, 7 appareils ont été livrés à l'export. M. Trappier a souligné la volonté du groupe de maintenir ses investissements d'avenir. «Nous allons maintenir notre effort de R&D autofinancé en faveur de notre future gamme d'avions d'affaires Falcon : le 6X qui est notre priorité absolue, et le NX, le nouveau Falcon. Car en sortie de crise, nous serons au rendez-vous avec des avions nouveaux. Cela va nous coûter en marge mais ce n'est pas le moment de baisser la garde», a-t-il notamment déclaré. Le Figaro du 24 juillet

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