In the News March 21
European Governments Give Airbus Guaranteed Contract for Purchase of Military Drones
France, Germany, Italy, and Spain have jointly announced a pay-the-rich scheme to have the European-based Airbus cartel develop and produce large military drones. The drone production would be under guaranteed contract for purchase by the European armaments consortium, the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR).
In a statement widely circulated in the media on February 23, Airbus said the development of a Eurodrone would create more than 7,000 high-tech jobs and would deliver to OCCAR “the most advanced Unmanned Aerial System … in order to meet the technological challenges leading to European defence sovereignty.” It failed to mention the billions in guaranteed public funds that would be channelled into the already bulging pockets of the war profiteers.
The contract to design and build the Eurodrone is between the public-private-partnership Airbus and representatives from three other public-private partnership subcontractors, including Airbus Defence and Space in Spain, Dassault Aviation in France, and Leonardo in Italy.
Lucio Valerio Cioffi, general manager of Leonardo said, “Eurodrone will contribute to sustaining key competencies and jobs within Europe, providing armed forces with top performance and independent operational systems for years to come.”
According to Wikipedia, “The Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (French: Organization Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement; OCCAR) is a European intergovernmental organization that facilitates and manages collaborative armament programs through their lifecycle between the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom.”
Not all members of OCCAR signed the Eurodrone purchase agreement. France, Germany, Italy, and Spain officially agreed to the arrangement with the UK noticeably absent along with Belgium.
Airbus announced that the contract includes the development, manufacturing, delivery and servicing of an initial twenty Eurodrone Medium Altitude, Long Endurance systems “with versatile and adaptable capabilities, allowing [the drones] to engage in intelligence operations and homeland security missions.” In addition to the high-tech jobs, Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space predicted the project will “strengthen European industrial sovereignty.”
Drone warfare was developed during the U.S. Obama presidency and has since been used extensively throughout the world. Drone warfare is one of the more disturbing and destructive features of warfare in the 21st century. The U.S.-led NATO aggressive alliance, as a condition of membership, requires member states to purchase specific military systems, which may include killer drones. They are mostly produced in the U.S. war economy by Boeing and other U.S.-based industries. It should be noted that European oligarchs are some of the biggest investors in the U.S. war economy but see an opportunity to expand their holdings in European war companies with the plan to build the Eurodrone and expand OCCAR and their state and private militaries. So too U.S. investors benefit from war production in Europe.
The Eurodrone and OCCAR itself represent the development of competing supranational interests.
(TML Daily, posted March 21, 2022)