Main headlines from this issue

South Africa: New investigation into Arms Deal meets "deliberate" delays

South Africa has reopened investigations into BAE Systems and Thyssenkrupp for alleged “commissions” to senior officials under the 1999 Arms Deal, according to documents in CTO’s possession. The investigations were reopened in early 2020 but kept unknown to the public until now, when insider documents were provided to CTO and South African daily Mail & Guardian. Recent developments suggest that the NPA is not protected from political interference.

US Court of Appeals debates “commercial” nature of offsets

Blenheim Capital Holdings’ lawsuit against Lockheed Martin and Airbus has taken a step forward. On 16 September, Blenheim sought to convince the Fourth Circuit that, contrary to an earlier judgement by the Eastern District Court of Virginia, offset agreements with foreign governments are within US subject matter jurisdiction.

South America revives aircraft requirements, but offsets are in question

Colombia and Argentina have revived talks to replace their ageing fighter aircraft fleets. Both countries face strong public pressure to divert spending away from military modernisation and towards social development spending, and the original tenders attracted strong offset proposals. However, budgetary constraints and export controls may stall the deals before they even begin.

Malaysia requests offset from Chinese infrastructure bidders

Malaysia is requesting offset for its major infrastructure projects, particularly when working with Chinese suppliers. Minister of Transport Dr Wee Ka Siong hosted a virtual roundtable dialogue with Chinese CEOs on 17 September to discuss trade cooperation “win-win development.”

Vietnam removes automobile localisation requirements

Vietnam is amending the way it evaluates the localisation of automobiles. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has issued a circular to repeal the legislation, which will take effect on 1 October.

Engineer shortage undermines Turkish cooperation

Turkey’s shortage of engineers and trained personnel is undermining the country’s ability to cooperate with foreign suppliers on power packs, according to Ismail Demir, head of Turkey’s Defence Industry Agency (SSB). CTO summarises Demir's plans for cooperation on the Altay battle tank, the Turkish Fighter X (TF-X), and Gökbey utility helicopter.