Lockheed chief warns Europe on defence consolidation


An attempt by European governments to build a joint defence industrial base to counter US dominance is unaffordable and "encourages more protectionist elements", says Bob Stevens, chief executive of Lockheed Martin, the world's biggest military contractor.

At the Paris air show, he said it made sense for European countries to harmonise military equipment needs, but warned that attempts to establish an industry with a distinct European identity were a "step backwards".

He was responding to a drive by the European Defence Agency, which represents defence ministers, to avoid duplication of effort among countries, boost investment and encourage Europe-wide competition.

Mr Stevens said he welcomed such moves but was troubled by some of the language in the EDA strategy, including arguments for "lessening Europe's dependence on so-called non-European sources for key technologies", a statement aimed directly at the US.
Wanting to have their cake and eat it?
Fact is that while the EU gave the world the Eurocopter Tiger/Augusta Mongoose, and the Dassault Rafale, military cooperation with the US has given us the Longbow and the JSF.

While Europe might have a fair bit to offer in terms of military technology, at the minute we are fighting alongside America and I feel that homogenisation.....

...in fact, you know what, sod it.
I've had too much beer and I'm not about to make an idiot of myself by throwing myself in at the deep end with strongly held but ill informed opinions based on not much information.

I'm gonna carry on with the carling, because I'm a red blooded Englishman, but in summary, my arguments were:

America = higher defence budget, better technology. The only other nation actively involved in the so called war on terror, therefore homogenisation (sp?) between technologies and platforms is to be encouraged, given the fact that our lads and their "UNITED STATES SOLDIERS SURGH*!!!" are serving alongside each other.

Anyway that's my half-pissed 2p, if it doesn't make sense, now you know why.

(*tongue in cheek, for any offended septics out there).
Better to have more then one source of death and destruction, means ta say look how the Yanks f-ed up their Motor industry.
He intends to counter 'protectionist elements' by preventing the emergence of a competitor?

A certain familiarity with pot/kettle dialogue situations wouldn't go amiss.
If anybody has been involved in camel development (multi-national involvement in Defence projects called Project Racehorse!) you know the only better waste of money is owning an Americas Cup yacht. Absolutely everything is a compromise and in the end nobody gets what they need - and a lot of it is made elsewhere and leaves you at their mercy if the poo hits the fan.

Anybody seen LR TRIGAT recently?
Ah, Lockheed - the company that sold the F-104 Starfighter to so many NATO countries in the 1960's.

No corruption or underhanded dealings involved in those sales - perish the thought!

"That's G for Germany, Herr Minister ....."

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