WASHINGTON: The United States has approved a $ 1.77 billion sale of Boeing spy jets to Germany as NATO increases activity on Russia’s borders.
The State Department’s Office of Political and Military Affairs announced on Saturday the approval of the sale of five Poseidon P-8A patrol aircraft developed and manufactured by Boeing Defense, Space and Security, modified from the 737-800.
Aircraft armed with what US flagship airlines describe as the world’s “most advanced” weapons systems and other equipment, such as sensors and radars, are used for reconnaissance activities.
The sale of spy planes to Germany would “support the foreign policy and national security of the United States,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) wrote to Congress, adding that the sale would also improve the security of “NATO” members. country.
The DSCA further said the spy plane sale would require four US government officials and four contractors to spend two years in Germany helping “equipment introduction, training and supply support.”
Germany’s purchase of Boeing spy jets comes amid a sharp increase in NATO flights along the Russian border over the past year.
In 2020 alone, Russia’s Defense Ministry said thousands of warplanes and spy planes were approaching the country’s airspace, and in many cases had to be escorted by interceptors.
US and NATO forces also hold US-led war games in eastern Europe near the Russian border, deploying tanks and troops for exercises in the region. NATO member Lithuania announced last year that American troops stationed in Poland had taken part in military drills near the Russian border.
The Lithuanian military spokesman claimed that the exercises were “defensive in nature and not aimed at any neighbors.”
Provocative US-led NATO military activity has increased in frequency since 2014, when the Crimea region, then Ukraine, joined Russia after the referendum and when military conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine.
Earlier in February, the US military reportedly conducted a “small exercise”, launching a simulated nuclear strike on Russia.
The Pentagon claimed in a statement that the low-power warheads were deployed on the USS Tennessee submarine patrolling the Atlantic Ocean to deter “potential adversaries, such as Russia,” and in response to Russian-like weapons trials.
Russia has repeatedly denounced US provocative actions, warning Washington that it would respond to US hostility.
The US sale to Germany comes as Boeing, America’s flagship company that designs, manufactures and sells aircraft, has taken a heavy commercial hit over the past two years due to fatal accidents, under-production and damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Boeing had to stop its 737 Max fleet due to a series of deadly accidents and then cut production at its largest facility in Washington due to the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“The profound impact of the pandemic on commercial air travel, coupled with the 737 MAX grounding, challenges our results,” said Chief Executive Dave Calhoun. The past year was one of “profound social and global disruption that significantly limited our industry.”
The P-8A is sold by Boeing to its clients as a “multi-mission maritime patrol aircraft, excelling in anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and search and rescue.”
Boeing claims that the aircraft “combines the world’s most advanced weapon systems” with a cost advantage of sharing 86 percent of its share with the 737.
Freeze it plunging millions of Texans into darkness rippling through energy markets in unpredictable ways, yielding financial gains for Australian banks and severe suffering for other companies caught in the disruption.
Extreme weather froze wind turbines and oil and gas wells, shut down oil refineries and pushed power plants out of operation, sending shocks through energy markets. Wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed, as did spot prices for natural gas in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.
The turbulence brings profit to commodity traders at Macquarie Group Ltd. Australia, whose ability to deliver gas and electricity across the country allows it to take advantage of soaring demand and prices in states like Texas.
The bank raised its guidance on Monday for revenue this year through March to reflect windfall winds. It said that the net profit after tax would be 5% to 10% higher than for fiscal year 2020. That equates to an increase of up to 273.1 million Australian dollars or the equivalent of approximately $ 215 million. In an earlier guide, issued Feb.9, Macquarie said it expects profits to drop slightly in 2020.
“Extreme winter weather conditions in North America have significantly increased short-term client demand for Macquarie’s ability to maintain critical physical supplies across the commodity complex, and in particular in relation to gas and electricity,” the bank said.
Germany and France are committed to working together on large-scale weapons projects, including next-generation fighter jets and tanks, leaders from the two countries said on Friday.
However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made clear during a video conference attended by French President Emmanuel Macron that industrial policy issues must be clarified before further decisions can be made on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS), planned from 2040, and Main Ground Combat. System (MGCS).
The two leaders tasked their respective defense ministers with working out solutions over the coming weeks.
“The FCAS will not be finished in the next few weeks. It’s a complex issue,” said Macron.
Merkel added that although the program was led by France, it had to be an intermediate project of equals.
Cooperation between the two neighbors remains a declared political goal but faces problems with division of labor and inflated costs.
Berlin has indicated that it will not agree to France’s plans to modernize the Tiger attack helicopters. According to information received by the German Press Agency (DPA), the cost is in the tens of millions of euros per helicopter.
The two sides also disagreed on dividing the work and intellectual rights for the FCAS, which is called the sixth generation of fighters.
During the conference, Macron said he would support Merkel, who will step down after elections in September, “until the last second.”
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