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U.S. arms makers see booming European demand as threats multiply

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U.S. arms makers see booming European demand as threats multiply

By Andrea Shalal

 

2019-06-23T202033Z_1_LYNXNPEF5M0UX_RTROPTP_4_FRANCE-AIRSHOW-FLIGHTS.JPG

A Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter of the Belgian Air Force performs at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 22, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

 

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. arms makers say European demand for fighter jets, missile defenses and other weapons is growing fast amid heightened concerns about Russia and Iran.

 

The U.S. government sent a group of unusually high-ranking officials including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to the Paris Airshow this year, where nearly 400 U.S. companies were showcasing equipment as the United States and Iran neared open confrontation in the Persian Gulf.

 

Lockheed Martin, Boeing and other top weapons makers said they had seen accelerating demand for U.S. weapons at the biennial air show despite escalating trade tensions between the United States and Europe.

 

"Two Paris air shows ago, there weren't a lot of orders," said Rick Edwards, who heads Lockheed's international division. "Now ... our fastest growth market for Lockheed Martin in the world is Europe."

 

Many European nations have increased military spending since Russia's annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014, bolstering missile defenses and upgrading or replacing ageing fighter jet fleets. NATO members agreed in 2014 to move toward spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence.

 

Eric Fanning, chief executive of the Aerospace Industries Association, said the NATO pledge and European concerns about Russia were fueling demand. "I do think it reflects the increasing provocations of Russia," he said.

 

Industry executives and government officials say growing concern about Iran's missile development program is another key factor. Tehran's downing of a U.S. drone came late in the air show, but executives said it would support further demand.

 

"Iran is our best business development partner. Every time they do something like this, it heightens awareness of the threat," said one senior defence industry executive, who asked not to be named.

 

Edwards said Lockheed's F-35 stealth fighter, selected by Belgium, is poised to win another new order from Poland, while Bulgaria, Slovakia and Romania are also working to replace Soviet-era equipment.

 

Edwards and other executives say they see no impact from the ongoing trade disputes between U.S. President Donald Trump and the European Union.

 

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Charles Hooper, director of the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), said Europe accounted for nearly a quarter of the $55.7 billion in foreign arms sales his agency handled in fiscal 2018.

 

Hooper said the U.S. government was making concerted efforts to speed arms sales approvals and boost sales to help arm allies with U.S. weapons.

 

Ralph Acaba, president of Raytheon Co's's Integrated Defense Systems business, said the company was boosting automation and working to deliver the Patriot missile system and other weapons in half the five-year period previously typical.

 

"Europe is really big for us now, and that's a big change in just the last few years and even the last 18 months," he said.

 

In addition to wooing new Patriot customers, Raytheon is upgrading existing systems for customers likeGermany, which is likely to finalize a contract worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to the company in coming months.

 

Thomas Breckenridge, head of international sales for Boeing's strike, surveillance and mobility programs, is eyeing contracts wins for Boeing's F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets in Germany, Switzerland and Finland.

 

"There's a huge appetite in Europe for defence as a whole," he said.

 

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Jan Harvey)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-06-24

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A direct result from the policy of fear usa and trumpy are so extremely fond of. If the americans believe all that BS coming from their orange idiot, that is fine by me, I strongly hope (and expect!) that Europe is smarter...

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6 hours ago, Thainesss said:

 

No we don’t. 

Although it is difficult to determine what Tug is referring to since there are no references in his post, I did find some similar percentage numbers, they were however from 2015, and the percentage was 54%, I think those numbers were owned by the previous administration, the link listed below supports Tugs numbers, it is just not current.

 

https://www.nationalpriorities.org/campaigns/military-spending-united-states/

 

UsGovernmentspending.com puts current defense spending at 21% and according to them pensions and healthcare are both more expensive than defense. Below is a link to their chart, and I do not know how credible they really are or what formula was used.

 

https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_fed_spending_pie_chart

 

To further complicate matters Our FBI and Homeland Security are also carried as National Defense spending.

So until the time comes when Tug provides us with some references supporting his statement you are indeed correct making yours.

 

 

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Thanks capt ron I’m not that computer savvy I got my info from google we spend waaaaayyyyy to much 

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4 hours ago, CaptRon2 said:

Although it is difficult to determine what Tug is referring to since there are no references in his post, I did find some similar percentage numbers, they were however from 2015, and the percentage was 54%, I think those numbers were owned by the previous administration, the link listed below supports Tugs numbers, it is just not current.

 

54% of the total yearly “discretionary spending” is on Defence.

 

Discretionary spending is less than 1/3rd of the total yearly federal budget. 

 

Tug stated this:

 

12 hours ago, Tug said:

we spend 54%of our tax dollars on defense

 

And that is not even close to the same galaxy as the reality. 

 

The total federal budget in and of itself amounts to approximately $12,000 per person, per year. The whole federal budget. 

 

5 hours ago, CaptRon2 said:

you are indeed correct making yours.

 

I know. 

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6 hours ago, JulesMad said:

A direct result from the policy of fear usa and trumpy are so extremely fond of. If the americans believe all that BS coming from their orange idiot, that is fine by me, I strongly hope (and expect!) that Europe is smarter...

I wouldn't bet on Europe, they've had plenty of arguments amongst themselves for centuries now.

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I don't know what they are talking about but we are not concerned about the Russians or Iran at all in Europe. 
It are the people sitting in Brussel who say that, not the people from Europe.

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1 hour ago, tabarin said:

I don't know what they are talking about but we are not concerned about the Russians or Iran at all in Europe. 
It are the people sitting in Brussel who say that, not the people from Europe.

Those in Europe not concerned about the Russians? Tell that to the Finns, Poles, Lithuanians, Estonians, and Latvians.

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1 hour ago, tabarin said:

I don't know what they are talking about but we are not concerned about the Russians or Iran at all in Europe. 
It are the people sitting in Brussel who say that, not the people from Europe.

 

The people sitting in Brussels aren't the ones buying arms. These would be European governments. That's one reason each spends so much, by the way. Buying bulk and embracing standardization would bring costs down, but for obvious political reasons, unlikely to happen any time soon.

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Neither Iran or Russia are a threat to EU or in conflict with EU.  if anything scaremongering by either arms dealers or US to make some sales.

 

No doubt India and turkey deals switching over to Russian made arms is a main or one of main contributors 

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35 minutes ago, BestB said:

Neither Iran or Russia are a threat to EU or in conflict with EU.  if anything scaremongering by either arms dealers or US to make some sales.

 

No doubt India and turkey deals switching over to Russian made arms is a main or one of main contributors 

 

Russia Not A Threat To EU, Says Pro-Russian Poster.

:coffee1:

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