One of the biggest defense firms in the world announced over 3,000 job losses at a variety of sites within the U.K. as Eurofighter Typhoon production slows. Many of the losses are going to happen regardless of the result of future bids in India and Japan, which could be worth over 200 planes in total.
The result will come as a body blow to a variety of small-to-medium sites in the midlands and north of England.
Questions are being asked about Defense Minister Liam Fox’s relationship with close friend Adam Werritty. Werrity, who has no official role within the MoD, has been seen on several official visits with Fox, including to Sri Lanka where he was videoed meeting Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The suggestion is that Werrity has been using his privileged access to further his own business ends.
Fox strenuously denies any impropriety, but as more evidence emerges his position is becoming more and more untenable. Prime Minister David Cameron has “demanded answers” by Monday, but has given Fox “the prime minister’s full support.” However, in British politics that could either be a sign of a government digging its heels in over a scandal or getting ready to chuck Fox overboard.
Syria & Turkey
While the West fights trench warfare with China and Russia in the U.N. Security Council, Turkey is stepping closer and closer to a confrontation with its erstwhile ally Syria. Despite calls for sanctions on Syria being vetoed by China and Russia, Turkey has vowed to implement them.
Now Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared open support for Syria’s opposition groups and has given the green light for a five-day-long military exercise right on Syria’s border. The Turkish navy has also moved to more tightly patrol the seas around Syria.
Soon-to-be President Vladmir Putin has announced a fresh investment in the Russian defense industry. The cash injection will be worth around $13 billion and will go towards revamping aging parts and machinery in order to develop the next generation of Russian arms.
The investment could also make the Russian defense industry more efficient, increase product quality and, as a result, make Russian arms more attractive to richer nations.
Russia has suffered from a variety of arms test failures. And its T-50 fifth-generation fighter lacks the new engines, avionics and weaponry it needs to match America’s F-22.