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Protection plan

Germany — Aircraft

The German ministry of defence is upgrading its military planes with newer models. Though both Airbus and Boeing are competing for the €10bn order, Airbus is expecting a large part of it – and has already won an order from the government for three new jets. Another generous order from the Germans will give the company’s military branch a welcome financial boost at a crucial time.

In February, Airbus agreed to build next-generation military aircraft together with French-based Dassault as part of a deal struck between Germany and France aimed at strengthening European defence independently of Nato. “If Airbus’s military division is struggling then this endangers its co-operation with Dassault,” says Torben Schütz of the German Council on Foreign Relations. “This contract from the German government is quite crucial.”


In the basket 02

Deep dive

Who’s buying and who’s selling? We keep you abreast of the most significant recent defence deals.

In the basket: 1 Akula-class nuclear-powered submarine
Who’s buying: India
Who’s selling: Russia
Price: $3bn (€2.7bn) for a 10-year lease
Delivery date: By 2025

This will be the third nuclear-powered submarine that India has leased from Russia. The first, INS Chakra, is already in service; the second is due for delivery by 2021. International treaties will preclude the new vessel – INS Chakra III – from carrying nuclear weapons, however. But India’s home-built INS Arihant, and the soon-to-be-commissioned INS Arighat, do have such capacity.


All at sea

Canada — Navy

Canada’s inability to procure a fleet of brand new fighter jets has been well publicised but it’s the armed forces’ failure to recruit human talent that could really cause problems. While the airforce is short of pilots and mechanics, a dearth of sailors is plaguing the navy. Commodore Steve Waddell is director-general of naval strategic readiness and says that, at any given time, it’s anywhere from 10 to 40 per cent short of its sailor target, largely due to on-shore opportunities and low unemployment.

But the navy better get creative about recruiting. A pillar of Justin Trudeau’s 2017 defence policy was to ensure that the military can operate multiple missions at once – and it’ll be hard pressed to achieve that goal if it can’t bring more sailors onboard.

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