The defence industry briefing

The news, views and numbers you need to know about this month

News in numbers


Total value of sales made by the 100 largest arms and military services companies in 2017 according to SIPRI


Value  of arms sales by US companies in 2017, according to SIPRI's new report


Share of US companies in SIPRI's Top 100 global arms sales report


Sales value gap between the world's two largest arms producers, Lockheed Martin and Boeing


Value of arms sales made by Russian companies in 2017, according to SIPRI data


Share of arms sales made by Russian companies, placing Russia 2nd after the US in SIPRI's Top 100


Combined arms sales by the 24 Western European countries in SIPRI's Top 100, with the UK taking the lead

Quotes from the industry

“This £400m investment will ensure the Dreadnought programme remains on track, so we continue to have a nuclear deterrent at sea for decades to come. Not only does today’s news see us safeguard 8,000 jobs right now, but I have also opened a brand new multi-million-pound facility to train Britain’s submarine engineers of the future.”

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, announcing additional investment in the country's nuclear-armed submarine programme

"The United States seeks a better relationship with Russia, but this cannot happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

The US Pentagon in a statement about the Open Skies Treaty flight over Ukrainian territory

"I believe the only thing they are looking for is cop-outs. The way I see it, it's just passing the buck. The crew should have avoided the collision."

Navantia Shipyard official and union leader Javier Galán blames the Norweigan Navy for the sinking of the frigate KNM Helge Ingstad

"We will bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyberspace.”

Howard Marshall of the FBI’s cyber division on a joint US and UK response to alleged Russian cyber attacks.

Around the world

The F-35's high-tech coating is reportedly wearing off quicker than expected, making it visible on enemy radar. RAF officials are aware of the situation according to British media reports.

In other Joint Strike Fighter news the F-35 Joint Program Office started the Initial Operational Test & Evaluation phase in early December, 16 months behind the original schedule, and Australia has received its first delivery of two F-35s.

Meanwhile Japan is reportedly considering the purchase of an additional 100 F-35s, including a version that could be operated from its Izumo-class destroyers.


The Austrian government is split over the decision whether to scrap its Eurofighter jets. The country currently operates decades-old Saab aircraft alongside its Eurofighters. The two preferred options - keeping the Eurofighter or buying Saab Gripen jets - would cost about the same at around €2bn, Austrian newspaper Die Presse reported.

Source: Reuters

The German army is growing for the first time since the end of the Cold War with the creation of a sixth tank battalion. The formation of the 363rd Tank Battalion will begin in October next year and be made up of four companies and 500 soldiers eventually. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said it will help Germany address rising security concerns and meet its NATO commitments.


Northrop Grumman’s B-21 Raider bomber has passed a critical design review for the US Air Force. The project's engineering and manufacturing development phase began nearly three years ago and it is expected to begin delivering initial capability in the mid-2020s.

Source: US Air Force

The US Navy and Missile Defense Agency have successfully shot down an intermediate range ballistic missile target in space from the Hawaii-based AEGIS Ashore facility. The test marked the second consecutive successful intercept for the SM-3 Block IIA missile in development.

Source: DefenseNews

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