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.”

GAO finds problems with F-35 costs and technology in new report

by Zach Rosenberg

A US triservice formation of the US Air Force F-35A (lead), the US Marine Corps F-35B, and the US Navy F-35C. (US Air Force)

On 30 May the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report about the Lockheed Martin F-35, finding that the programme has not adequately explained a cost increase of USD13.4 billion since 2019, that the upgraded Block 4 version has run into technical snags and a USD1 billion cost increase, and that the US Department of Defense (DoD) has not fully defined requirements for an engine cooling system upgrade.

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Update: Oshkosh to buy aviation ground equipment firm JBT AeroTech

by Marc Selinger

JBT AeroTech's products include the Halvorsen aircraft loader. (JBT AeroTech)

US-based truck manufacturer Oshkosh Corporation plans to expand its offering by acquiring JBT Corporation's AeroTech aircraft ground equipment business for USD800 million in cash, the buyer announced on 30 May.

Oshkosh said combining its portfolio with AeroTech's “will create significant opportunities for product innovation”. JBT said it is selling AeroTech to focus on providing equipment to the food and beverage industry.

AeroTech serves commercial and military customers, with defence accounting for about 10% of its business, an Oshkosh spokesperson told Janes

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South Korea approves mass production of fourth batch of K2 MBTs

by Kapil Kajal

In service with the Republic of Korea Army, Hyundai Rotem's K2 main battle tank, pictured above, is replacing ageing inventories of M48 Patton tanks and older models of the K1 MBT. (Janes/Kelvin Wong)

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) has approved the mass production of a fourth batch of the Hyundai Rotem K2 main battle tank (MBT) for the Republic of Korea Army (RoKA).

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