World defence developments

USAF considers a less ambitious F-22 proposal

The US Air Force’s (USAF’s) top general says the service needs more F-22 Raptor fighters but that he is not opposed to a scaled-back proposal to purchase just 60 additional aircraft beyond the 183 already ordered. USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz said at a 17 February press briefing in Washington that he would not dispute a proposal to buy a total of around 240 aircraft – considerably less than the USAF’s long-time requirement for 381

US accounts for 59% of BAE Systems sales

BAE Systems’ United States sales overtook those from the rest of the world combined in 2008: reflecting the UK group’s transatlantic acquisition strategy and Department of Defense (DoD) demand for wheeled land systems over the past 12 months. US sales accounted for 59 per cent of total turnover of GBP18.5 billion (USD26.7 billion): up from 47 per cent the previous year

US continues to support Taiwan as China builds up missiles

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to Taiwan’s defence on 17 February, saying that there would be no change in policy on arms sales to the island under the Obama administration. Speaking before her 16 February arrival in Japan, Clinton said that “under the Taiwan Relations Act, there is a clear provision that the US will provide support for Taiwan’s defence”

Iran lobbies Moscow for missiles to arm new air defence unit

Iran’s defence minister made a day-long official visit to Moscow on 16 February to press again for the sale of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Tehran to go forward, amid a restructuring of the Iranian military aimed at strengthening air defence capabilities. Iran signed a contract with Russia in 2005 to purchase 29 Tor-M1 low- to medium-altitude surface-to-air missiles under a USD700 million contract; they were delivered during 2006 and became operational in early 2007

Aero India 2009: Boeing looks to build on Poseidon success in India

Boeing is looking to capitalise on its recent success in selling the P-8I Poseidon multimission maritime aircraft to India with a series of bids for a variety of national competitions for combat aircraft, strategic transport aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft and attack and heavy-lift helicopters. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Vice-President (India) Dr Vivek Lall told Jane’s on 13 February that the company is “trying to become part of the aerospace fabric in India”: a statement borne out by the fact that it has increased its presence in the country from one office in 2005 to nine in 2009

Source: Jane’s Defence Journal

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