Ukraine conflict: Invasion might fuel more growth in Dutch defence budget

by Marc Selinger

In response to Russia's attack on Ukraine, the Netherlands might expand a planned increase in its defence budget, according to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

The Netherlands decided in January, before the invasion began, to boost its defence expenditures by “billions of euros”, moving it close to the NATO goal of spending at least 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) on defence by 2024, Rutte said. However, the country will “probably need to do more, particularly given what has happened over the last two weeks”, he said.

Rutte made his comments at a London press conference with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Trudeau indicated that Canada might be open to more defence spending. Although Canada committed to a 70% increase over 10 years in 2017, “we also recognise that the context is changing rapidly around the world, and we need to make sure that the women and men who serve in the Canadian armed forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly,” Trudeau told reporters. “We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

According to the Canadian Department of National Defence, Canada is scheduled to spend 1.48% of its GDP on defence by fiscal year (FY) 2024–25, up from 1.31% in FY 2018–19.

Johnson, who noted that the UK spends about 2.4% of its GDP on defence, declined to comment when asked whether Canada's spending is too low. However, he said, “We've got to recognise that things have changed and that we need a new focus on our collective security, and I think that is increasingly understood by everybody.”

Germany to procure 600 RAM Block 2B missiles for German Navy

by Kate Tringham

Although the RAM Block 2 (pictured here) has a larger motor than the RAM Block 1 and 1A, all three can be fired from the same launcher. (Raytheon)

The German federal parliament's budget committee has authorised the procurement of 600 RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Block 2B quick reaction surface-to-air guided missiles for the German Navy.

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GA-ASI opposes possible Chinese corn plant near US airbase

by Marc Selinger

UK Royal Air Force crews are supposed to undergo training on the MQ-9B Protector UAV near the site of a proposed Chinese corn mill in the US. (Crown Copyright)

US defence contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI), which has a significant presence near Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, is urging the US government to block Chinese company Fufeng Group from building an agricultural facility near the military installation, citing national security concerns.

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Malaysian navy tables MYR2.4 billion proposal for three more Littoral Mission Ships

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Royal Malaysian Navy Keris-class LMS. The service has proposed a MYR2.4 billion plan to procure three improved variants of this class under its 2023 budget. (Pieter Sinke)

The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) has laid out a MYR2.4 billion (USD524.84 million) proposal to procure an initial batch of three improved Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) vessels under the country's next defence budget.

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