Arms manufacturer

Why its upto us to uphold the worlds first global arms treaty

As the first global arms trade treaty was agreed at the UN, UK Ministers were in Libya – aboard a warship – promoting arms sales. BAAT warns that the global arms trade treaty will only be effective if normal people force governments, institutions and arms giants to uphold it.

On Tuesday, 2 April 2013, States had gathered at the United Nations General Assembly for the adoption of the UN Arms Trade Treaty. Prior to this day there was more legislation on exporting bananas round the world than guns. Costa Rica, the first demilitarized nation, introduced the draft resolution.

The global treaty that was finally passed is much the same as the British arms export policy, established under Tony B-liar, stating that arms cannot be sold to countries with bad records on human rights. Despite having an ethical arms trade treaty, we went to war with Iraq and what did we care about human rights as we were complicit in horrific abuses of rights one example we can’t forget is Abu Ghraib.  The UK continues despite adopting the so called ethical arms trade policy, to arm repressive regimes other than itself such as human rights abusing Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to name just a two.

A block of countries refused to sign the document, these included Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. They especially wanted a reference in the text to the right to self-determination of peoples living under foreign occupation, and specifically cited Israel’s occupation of Palestine in this regard.

Chloe Marsh from BAAT said “It is up to small groups of committed citizens all over the world to hold governments and institutions accountable for breaches of arms export policy. Human rights are not handed out freely by oppressers, they are fought for by regular people. Arms are almost always used as a way to repress people, i won’t be happy until the arms trade treaty, makes producing weapons entirely illegal”

Arms manufacturer events

Protest the President of Boeing UK when he visits Bristle

Sir Roger Bone, ex-senior diplomat for the British Government and now advocate for global arms dealer Boeing UK is the key speaker at an executive event at the Bristol Council House. Sponsered by U.W.E. and another blood stained bank HSBC.1

Join us at the Council House, College Green at 5pm on Thursday 7th March. Creative things may happen!  When will Bristol wake up to the murderous trade it invites in for the sake of money.

The Boeing empire had revenues from military sales of 30,700 million dollars in 2011  nearly 50% of its total sales, which moved it up to the second largest military company  in the world.   BAE Systems are 3rd.

The British Army has 67 Boeing Apache helicopters.  It was an Apache heliopter that was involved in the infamous collateral murder tapes, that  Wikileaks  released, showing  disturbing evidence of the murder of civilians in Iraq.

According to the most recent National Audit Office review of defence procurement, the MOD plans to buy 14 more Boeing Chinook helicopter and upgrade the cockpit of the existing. costing £1.2 billion.  We haven’t found accurate up to date overall figures but in 2009/10 Boeing was 13th largest supplier to the MOD with £251 million sales. Source FOI request.

See BAAT companies page for more details and Boeing Annual Report. In the US Boeing  agreed in Feb 2013 to become the US sales outlet for Elbit from Israel  to sell its UAV (drones).

Arms manufacturer

UWE Not One More Bomb!

Students are meeting in the courtyard at UWE, opposite the SU shop at 2pm Monday 19th November to show solidarity with the people of gaza.  Bristol Against Arms Trade will join them to lead an educational tour of Bristol Business Park ( opposite the main UWE entrance) to see the many international arms companies based there. Including Boeing, Thales, Selex, QinetiQ and  L-3.  This is the industrial military complex at work profiteering from suffering and death.  The glossy brochures, promotional videos and slick hi-tech mechanics of the arms manufacturers hide the true and ugly side of their business, when ( not only in Gaza) the dynamics of war takes over. Bring a banner etc and join us.

Arms manufacturer

Military equipment to Israel

Israel gets most of its imported military equipment from the USA.  Lockheed Martin make the F16 which is still the principle aircraft of the Israeli Air Force. BAE systems made some of the first but not all the  ‘Heads up’ display units the F16 pilots use within their crash helmet, BAE systems also make much of the tear gas being used in the west bank.

Lockheed Martin make the hellfire missile which is the likely armament used to fire from the F16’s to the ground.  Raytheon make Paveway missiles another likely option.

Companies are very cautious about revealing any involvement with supplies to Israel and any parts go via the US to circumvent  controls and arms trade licencing. Campaign Against Arms Trade have a web page which lists some companies, but note the sources are quite dated and a more general page about Israel.  Corporate Watch have a website which details corporate involvement with Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. (I used arms companies tag on left of page to access archive)


ISRAEL: Total value of 91 UK military  export licences from Oct09 – Oct10 Including armoured plate,gas mask filters, signaling and radar equipment.£4.64 million

Total value controlled export licences Nov10 – Dec11    £90.5 million (this includes some non military but still controlled materials.)

EDO/MBM Brighton are a known supplier of parts to the Israeli Defence Force.

See War on Want report about high st banks and the arms trade.

Arms manufacturer Drones

MOD welfare programme for arms contractors and Israel!

An unreported aspect of the  drones issue is the MOD’s Watchkeeper project which  has gone very quiet over the last year.  Thales and the Israeli company  Elbit formed a joint venture to become the main contractors .  Initialy nearly £900 million was allocated for 54 drones, the first scheduled delivery was two years ago. The idea was they would go to Afghanistan. 

 I may be a divvy but how is it that these companies have spent 4/5 years producing something which is used in another guise around the world?  Answer:  Yes, its a great way to rip the British MOD off.

Elbit 450 drone as used by Americans

This is developing into another saga of waste, financial mismanagement and mis use of public funds.  Although there has been no news about Watchkeeper for over a year, recruiting for UAV research and design continues. The beneficiaries of this in Bristol are Qinetic, Thales, Rolls Royce?, VEGA Group Plc.  

Now it appears the MOD has purchased 5  Reaper drones to add to its existing fleet .  The others used in Afghanistan  are rented so the outrageous delays of Watchkeeper are even more costly. See previous posting

The most recent figures from the Ministry of Defence show that, by the end of September, the UK’s five Reapers in Afghanistan had flown 39,628 hours and fired 334 laser-guided Hellfire missiles and bombs at suspected insurgents.

The RAF bought the drones as an urgent operational requirement (UOR) specifically for Afghanistan, and the MoD confirmed that their purpose after 2014 was unclear. Under rules imposed by the EU and the Civil Aviation Authority, UAVs can be flown only in certain places in the UK, including around the Aberporth airfield in mid-Wales.

If the air-exclusion zone restrictions are not lifted by the end of 2014, the UK may have to relocate the drones to the US, or perhaps even to Kenya.

“No decisions have been made about the longer-term future of Reaper as a core capability, nor have any decisions been made on the basing of Reaper aircraft once the UOR is complete,” said a spokesman. “The UK has a need for a persistent intelligence-gathering capability. Our investment and experiences with Reaper will be considered in developing the programme … at this stage, the MoD is still developing this strategy.”    Time to call the National Audit Office.