Tag Archives: General Dynamics

Change is coming

Well, actually change is always coming, some in the form we know, some innovative new and sometimes change is of a very different variety. We already knew that the Americans weren’t too bright when it comes to trade wars, and the one that is getting fuelled here is definitely a wrong one. Yet it is not about that trade war and it is not in the billions of impact that the war will have on consumers. There is a second war brewing. One that Europe and America were not ready for, one they did not prepare for. It is a new armistice race, they were not prepared because it is not the high technology they usually deal with, it came from the lower regions. Yet let that not underestimate the stage. Two players in that stage are Fabrique Nationale Herstal, established in 1889. Less than a 60 years later They would produce the FN FAL, a rifle used in over 90 countries, in that same year the final push was made for the FN MAG, use in over 80 countries. These weapons are even today lethal and can go up against the most modern side arms. One factory created two behemoth successes, merely two of dozens of weapons that are regarded as a top quality arms. Yet, it is not about FN Herstal. It is neither about the long term number one Heckler and Koch was founded after WW2 and soon became a success story in several fields surpassing FN Herstal, yet these two are not facing a new competitor. Both FN and HK face a rather troublesome future. You see, they are stopped by all these political Human rights laws and whilst we get the need for Human Rights, the people in there seem to have a view so altruistic that it also kills commerce.

Number three is delighted, SAMI, or in its full name the Saudi Arabian Military Industries, is about to equal and surpass in less than half the time that the previous two required to get established. All the data on patents, technology and deals with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and General Dynamics, as well as partnerships with Thales and CMI Defence opens new doors, doors the other two were barred from. SAMI is now in a position to surpass both and become bigger then the two earlier mentioned combined. In 2017 SAMI got Andreas Schwer (former boss of Rheinmetall AG) and the man has not been sitting still. At the same steps we see Neom growing, we see the mandate of SAMI to create 40,000 jobs by 2030 and it seems that SAMI is ahead of that curve too. With all the issues playing in Asia, Africa and Latin America SAMI has created the stage where they can outbid and surpass all expectations from the buying companies. It goes beyond the assembly of 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters. With the partnership with Navantia less than a year ago, we see the additional growth sectors in Latin America pop up, yes, it is all new, it is all change, but not the change you would hope for. We might see shunning of arms in America, but it remains a large export business, one that is now getting pushed to the side by the Saudi Arabian Military Industry, and it is not stopping. As the links with Navantia matures, we see the option to cater to the needs of coast guards on several national levels and these are not the small players. Some might have noticed the small mention of ‘Offshore Patrol Vessels Market 2024: New Business Opportunities for Manufactures to Upsurge in Coming Years‘, yet Navantia and therefor SAMI are in the thick of that part of the equation, growing faster than anyone took notice of. We might look towards the Dutch Damen, Australian Austal and Turkish Dearsan, yet they all have the same flaw ‘each player can deliver few numbers of OPV‘, Neom city changes that premise as it has a massive chunk of red sea at their disposal, basically SAMI has the option of building space well over 5 times the combined spaces that Damen, Spanish Navantia and Dearsan combined have. It changes the equation a fair bit. It sets a different market premise; it took slow growth of 130 years for FN Herstal to get where they are now. It takes SAMI 12-15 years to get that same stage, more important it seems that tall the contracts and memorandums out there gives SAMI a much larger option to grow and more important a lot more industry to bring home through export, another promise made by Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud delivered in advance of the date he wanted it to be. CEO’s and goal driven executives all set in a stage to exceed expectations. It might be fuelled by oil, but more important it is fuelled to success whilst the EU is making more and more issues on exporting all kinds of goods and the US – China trade wars are not helping. In addition the news quotes like “Europe must develop a much stronger common approach to the new 5G technology to make itself less vulnerable to security risks“, which sounds nice, but I already saw two elements they overlooked and my IP pushed a solution, a solution they are not ready for and seemingly Google is less and less ready for making Huawei the only remaining player and Saudi Arabia has a lovely deal in place. You see, that premise of 5G with ‘to make itself less vulnerable to security risks‘ requires 5G to be firmly in place and whilst we see delay after delay Saudi Arabia keeps pushing communication and other solutions forward implying that they are setting a much larger stage creating new technologies for other regions and in that the other players forgot one interesting side effect. Any stage of armistice and war requires communications to be upgraded and Saudi Arabia can deliver that too. It is there where we see a larger change and a larger group of options for Saudi Arabia. Walid Abukhaled, CEO of global defense and aerospace corporation Northrop Grumman has created a stage that is approaching a global one all from the comfort of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and whilst the rest is bickering over scraps of food form the European table we see an entire industry growing silently day by day to almost exponential proportions. An interesting part that can be verified on several levels and the news and the European media remain oblivious to that part.

The Arab News states that he ‘aims to export weapons‘, I believe that SAMI has progressed a lot further, as I see it they are almost ready to implement defense solutions on a global scale, and this includes defense systems to several nations that Europe refuses to talk to for whatever reason. This goes beyond what we see in the Arab News (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/1547956), it goes beyond ‘electronic warfare and cybersecurity‘; it goes beyond the mere operational stage, beyond the educational and implementation stage. Together with General Authority for Military Industries (GAMI) they have created a new wave on a much larger scale than we have seen before.

Good business is where you find it and it seems that Walid Abukhaled is currently finding it everywhere.

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Warranty for non-use only

I started my Monday morning with a giggle, and that is always a good way to start the day. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/03/pakistan-denies-indian-claims-it-used-us-f-16-jets-to-down-warplane) gives us ‘Pakistan denies Indian claims it used US F-16 jets to down warplane‘, the idea that the Indian government is crying over getting shot down Pakistani air (airspace violation), whilst India has bombing attacks in Pakistani (whether valid or not), does it matter how they got shot down? They merely were not good enough. It goes further, not one media outlet is giving us the goods on WHAT was shot down. Either they do not know, or India is extremely silent on what they lost. For the most I did not care, that is until I saw: “The US has said it is trying to find out whether Pakistan used US-built F-16 jets to down an Indian warplane, potentially in violation of trade agreements, as the standoff between the nuclear-armed Asian neighbours showed signs of easing“, so why buy a plane that you cannot use? I know that it is not that simple, we all get that. Yet when we are also treated to: “It is not clear what exactly these so-called “end-user agreements” restrict Pakistan from doing. “The US government does not comment on or confirm pending investigations of this nature,” the US embassy said.” From my point of view, they should have been aware of that before going into pending investigations. The entire setting of ‘It is not clear what exactly these so-called “end-user agreements” restrict Pakistan from doing‘, should the US embassy not have read those agreements before making any statement around an investigation? The fact that all the media hides behind ‘shot down two Indian jets‘ is equally an issue.

Now as for the entire usage of an F-16, I am surprised that Pakistan would accept such terms. It comes across like ‘warranty valid from purchase at the counter, till the exit door‘. Now, we can agree that Pakistan does not have a great track record on incidents, yet we know that there is an issue in Kashmir and India ‘started’ this by bombing a terrorist camp in Balakot Pakistan. I will not oppose that action, yet the humorous and silly statement by foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, where he called it a “non-military pre-emptive action”, cannot be taken too seriously either. Let’s face it; the Mirage 2000 is a military vehicle, plain and simple.

Still there is a larger concern; it is the stage of conditional sales of war machines. It is not opposing their sale as it was a choice made. And most devices can be used for offense and defence. So as we set the stage where something can only be used for one purpose, we see a larger issue evolve. When a stage changes, does that invalidate the sale? That is behind it all, if the US had clear indications that their places might be used in defence on another plane, should those war machines be allowed to be sold?

We can accept that the sale is set to a governmental stage that machines are to be used for defensive abilities only, yet in the stage of provocation, when do we accept the usage to be defensive? Which parameter triggers the defence option to be valid, especially in light of disputed terrain?

The Indian Economic Times (at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/balakot-iaf-strike-involved-over-200-hours-of-planning/articleshow/68172274.cms) gives us: “involved over 200 hours of planning that began following intelligence inputs regarding a second suicide terror strike somewhere in India“. When we accept that fact and the fact that it was aimed at terrorists, as well as an intentional incursion into Pakistan, would all the options not have changed? The stage no matter how valid it is to go after the JeM is set, you see unless anyone can give clear evidence that the JeM is in Pakistan backed by the Pakistani government, India set themselves up by proceeding on an act of war. If the camp would have been in Kashmir that entire issue would have been less complicated. It is not what is likely to be the case, it is what we can prove is the case and that is a bigger issue here and from that point of view the entire escalation as witnessed is a loaded one and my $0.02 here is that the actions of the US embassy are merely complicating matters. Whilst their claim ‘It is not clear what exactly these so-called “end-user agreements” restrict Pakistan from doing‘, is extremely sloppy to say the least. And that is apart from the US Embassy relying on the application of ‘so-called’ and ‘restrictions’; it comes across as a double negative of something not yet looked at. So investigating that before we see the howling cries of ‘US demands to know if Pakistan used F-16 jet to shoot down Indian warplane over Kashmir‘, which is still less interesting than finding out what exactly had been shot down. You see it matters, because the news that a 1983 MiG 21 lost against a Chinese-designed JF-17 fighter jet (or optionally a General Dynamics F16) is not that interesting; they lost a plane that had been taken out of production in 1985, so big deal, perhaps the Indian pilot would have made it back if he had a little more up to date equipment (like the Fulcrum or the Raptor) at that point it becomes massively interesting, especially if it would have been done using a JF-17.

So whilst we can look at it from different angles, the entire ‘end-user agreement‘ angle is just too hilarious. As I state before, we get that there is a clear need for passages like that at times, yet what will the US do after selling the F16? Not sell any more? Let’s not forget that there are a few alternatives that are not sold in America, or by Americans, those players are happy to take up the slack of the US at that point. It would be so much simpler if India had never decided to bomb Pakistani soil, which is the real complication. It might have been essential, we cannot deny that option, but it was tactically flawed in more than one way. Even as we recognise that Pakistan has its own flaws as well (the mention of ‘Pakistan immediately downplayed the airstrikes, saying no infrastructure was hit.‘) is also an issue. So either is intentionally not acting, or it is openly making statements for the JeM, either version is a larger issue for Pakistan.

Even as I might oversimplify the issue, I recognise that the entire matter is loaded on a few fronts, and we get that something had to be done, and something was done. However to set the stage where larger players are all about an ‘end-user agreement‘, all whilst the terms were as stated by themselves unclear and unknown trivialises the matter, and that is one part that should not be allowed for.

The dispute is old, and the BBC (at https://www.bbc.com/news/10537286) gives us: “before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in August 1947, Kashmir was hotly contested.” An issue that has been around for 72 years! Is it not time to talk to Kashmir about them becoming self-sufficient? As the BBC article gives us: “Many people in the territory do not want it to be governed by India, preferring instead either independence or union with Pakistan” is independence really that bad an idea? It seems ironic that a nation fighting to become independent from the UK (1947) is all about annexing a region that does not want to be with them.

I think that it is time that after 72 years of disputes and transitional violence from one side to the others, another solution should be found. And with the need to lower pressures, is independence of Kashmir not a valid option to consider?

We see the news in several ways by several players, yet only the BBC gives us what the locals want. They allegedly voiced: ‘independence or union with Pakistan‘, it is time to listen to the local population and educate or truly assist them in creating a long term future, mainly because all the present actions imply that there is no progress and there might never be progress. How debilitating is that for any local population?

 

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