Skip to comments.Fighter deals intensify global aerial arms race
Posted on 02/04/2012 5:30:34 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Fighter deals intensify global aerial arms race
* Lockheed buoyed by Japan, Dassault by India
* Boeing, partners in Eurofighter also looking for wins
* Opportunities eyed elsewhere in Asia, Middle East
* Hunger for deals comes as Western defense budgets trimmed
By Rhys Jones and Tim Hepher
Feb 3 (Reuters) - Big decisions on warplane purchases by Japan and India have intensified competition in the multi-billion-dollar global market, with Western defense firms scrambling for orders in Asia and the Middle East as their home-country budgets shrivel.
Growing international unease over China's military build-up and ongoing tensions between Iran and Western allies in the Gulf, coupled with the deep pockets of nations basking in high commodity prices, have sparked a surge of interest in air power.
"There is a strong emphasis on... combat aircraft and things that belong to them: missiles, bombs, support aircraft, airborne early warning systems, air tankers and that kind of stuff," said Siemon Wezeman, senior researcher on arms transfers at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's biggest arms contractor, and France's Dassault Aviation are the major winners in a pair of widely watched procurement decisions in the past month, dealing a blow to competitors such as the four-nation Eurofighter Typhoon and Boeing Co's F/A-18 Super Hornet, defense industry experts say.
Lockheed was buoyed by Japan's $7 billion decision to buy 42 F-35 stealth fighter jets in December, providing a shot in the arm for a project under fire over costs and struggling to hold together a coalition of foreign partners.
Japan's selection means South Korea is very likely to follow suit, analysts said. Seoul last week invited Lockheed, Eurofighter and Boeing to bid in a $7 billion contest for what is expe
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In the bigger picture, this may be a good thing in the long run. Other countries beefing themselves up with military hardware bought and developed in the western states might keep our technology alive for a bit longer.
This also amounts to a build up of armed camps in the world as well, so that’s something to consider.
I think the next 100 years are going to be intense.
If only we can just get back on our feet.