Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Jordan weapons development

The SOFEX conference being held in Amman has brought to focus (at least to me) an important realization. Jordan is aggressively entering the field of weapons production and upgrading at a regional scale. A Jordanian company has signed a partnership with a Russian firm to produce light helicopters. This is building on previous weapons and aviation achievements made by Jordan in recent years.

The hub of this action is the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau. The KADDB was established in 1999 "to provide an indigenous capability for the supply of independent, high-quality, efficient and cost-effective scientific and technical services to the Jordan Armed Forces". Their web site offers an impressive list of initiatives and products, with a number of spin-off companies. One interesting product is a pistol which will soon become a standard for the Jordanian armed forces.

One of the spin-offs is Seabird Aviation Jordan (in cooperation with an Australian company), which produces a range of light aircraft that have been sold throughout the region, particularly Iraq, and as far away as Australia and Ghana. Jordan Aerospace Industries also is in the field with a number of light aircraft models.

Much of the production of these enterprises seems to go to the Jordanian market, which in itself is important as it saves money for the country. From the looks of how things are going, I believe that these initiatives will flourish. The Middle East is one of the largest markets for weapons in the world. It makes sense that we should try and take advantage of our knowledge of the nature of the region and its needs. I wish I knew more about how many people are employed in these initiatives, and the amount of money involved. In any case, reading some of these web sites made me proud.

16 Comments:

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous hamede said...

Are we suppose to be happy for that
It is bad investment the shold focus in the important issues like poverty and high price,social developement.
we have our priority mixt up.

 
At 8:46 PM, Anonymous hareega said...

well many of the aids that Jordan gets are conditional-they should be used for military purposes. that's why we pay a lot on military although it doesn't seem we'll be involved directly in any war anytime soon and i hope i'm right

 
At 9:13 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Hamede: Poverty reduction and economic development are achieved through the creation of useful employment. These budding industries have the potential to help substantially in these goals.

Hareega: It is a fact of life that countries spend a lot on weapons, even if they have no obvious need for them. It is smart to get a piece of the action. Israel makes billions selling weapons.

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Firas said...

Actually many Arab countries are buying a lot of their products, specially the Desert Iris and UAVs.

Well, most of their staff are Jordanians, though army personnel!
His Highness King Abdullah recently turned it into a private firm, and he asked them to employ civilians.
So it really does help the economy. Their products are very professional and affordable!
It is a true sucess story. They encourage scientific resreach in universities and support many students in their projects.

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Firas: Thanks for the extra info.

:-)

 
At 1:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you construct through destruction?

Does Jordan really need a weapons manufacturing capability? Or the Royalty need it to protect their throne?

In all cases, KADB is rumoured to be His cash cow.

Plus, having weapons production capability beyond US legislation but under US control (yeah doubt that if you are brave) is just another node in the rogue system the USA has built around the world, offering it "plausible deniability". The USA can now send weapons to war-torn Africa, and pay us in return. Did America support warlords in Sierra Leone? Of course not!

 
At 6:28 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon: Here are my thoughts:
1- "Does Jordan really need a weapons manufacturing capability? Or the Royalty need it to protect their throne?"

I would suggest that you look at a map. Hell yes we need weapons. This is one of the most volitile areas of the world. As for protecting the throne, it is Jordanians who do that gladly.

2- "In all cases, KADB is rumoured to be His cash cow."

I don't deal with rumors. I suggest you read sandmonkey's recent post about his aunt.

3- "plausible deniability".

I seriously doubt that the US cares about what anybody thinks any more. They don't need Jordan to sell or give weapons to whoever they want.

 
At 7:06 PM, Anonymous KP said...

They have been doing for themselves, selling products that range from pistols, light airplanes, Bullet proof vests ( soon) Army boots ( soon) to holicopters , speed boats , military vechiles and truks.

A friend who works for them told me that they signed deals worth 60 million jds during Sofex !!! dont know if that is true but similar figures have been ciculating in Amman the last two days alone another friend who used to work for them used to be paid 1500 jds per month and he was a civilian as is a lot of their staff.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Khalaf,

"As for protecting the throne, it is Jordanians who do that gladly."

Wonder what the British Marines were doing in Jordan a few times in the past 50 years, or the Israelis moving their tanks to Syrian border, or indeed the Pakistani Air Force doing in Amman (one being shot down in 1970). Any ideas?

Let's not hide behind our fingers.

 
At 1:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so Khalaf, no answer to my post? lol, I think its unanswerable on your behalf :)

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous Habchawi said...

Anon 2: In 1967 that Jordan was dragged to war because of Egypt (Nasser) and the rest of the Arab world and their propaganda. And if I remember correctly Egyptian media kept calling Jordan government and the king traitors because PM Wasfi Altal said that Arabs are not equipped and not ready to engage the Israeli forces yet. To be more specific, in 1963 a joint Arab forces were created under the command of Lieutenant-General Ali Amer of Egypt the Jordanian forces was a part of those forces and headed by Egyptian command. And after Nasser’s decision to move the UN forces form the Israeli borders in 1967, Jordan signed a mutual defense treaty with Egypt stipulating that Jordan forces were to be placed under the command of Egyptian General Abdul Moneim Riad. The treaty included a special clause to provide air support for the Jordanian forces in the west bank. Furthermore, the Iraqi’s were responsible for providing any shortage of ammunitions to the forces in the area. The Jordanian forces were asked to take a defensive position until they are instructed to attack after the Egyptians wane the Israeli Air forces.
As you might know, the Egyptians Air Force was put down by Israeli Air Force in the first couple of hours of the war. Even though Egyptians were not able to provide the aerial support required to any offensive in the west bank the Jordan forces were ordered by the Egyptian General to attack. As a result of the Egyptians inability of providing aerial support and ammunitions, the Jordanian forces were intended to lose the war. There are conflicting stories about why the Jordanian forces were asked to attack. However, I’ll leave it to you to research it, and draw you own conclusion. But I would like to mention that after the war the Jordanian forces in 1967 war were regarded by all parties as well trained and the most organized forces in that war.
In 1970 the Syrian forces were conquered because the Jordan forces were provided the needed support from their allies. And as far as I am concerned, I could care less who the allies were. I think any Jordanian with some sense of patriotism would be proud of what Jordan army have accomplished in the 1970.
I hope this answers you question

 
At 9:12 PM, Blogger khalid said...

dear Anonymous

i like to tell you one thing why on earth are you talking under the name of Anonymous why cant you log in and say your name any way other than that i like to say im Palestinian i live in Jordan i have Jordanian papers and im praued to have them and yes KADDB is one of the smartest things i have seen your way of thinking ends worlds and ends lives if we keep telling are selves we dont need a weapon's manufacturer we dont need guns and all that ok i will go with your happy story what will we use to defend are selves (spoons and happy tree friends) every country needs its weapons manufacturer and i find it silly that you say that why need to protect there crown i cant seem to find a reason for anyone to go and attack them unless its for greed and i dont wont to live in a country that has a greed driven leader im happy with the way things are and will do what ever i can to keep it this way so pleas if you have nothing good to say then just dont say a thing

 
At 1:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i am glad as jordanian to hear that, It is really good step to be part of this huge buisness. Look to
Isreal and India, their economy depend on the military industry, so why we dont follew the current and be one of the best soon. I love this king because he is open minded and knows what he is doing. May be it is not smooth and easy to be sucesful in short time, but so far he has done pretty well.
Abu sarar, mutah, karak

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger sociologue_geneve said...

Lies !! Jordan suffers many economic troubles and there is absolutely no place for any weaponry industry, even Jordan had a project of a nuclear reactor but USA and Israel refused and threatened Jordan.

 
At 1:33 AM, Blogger truthman said...

Ok it is an old post, but i think Jordans wepoans development and manufacturing is the best they have done since the creation of Jordan. I think they should create muche more and state of the art weaponry which they could sell to lazy Saud-Arabia, :-D

 
At 4:35 AM, Blogger Ammer Khouri said...

Now now. Let's not get worried about arming Arabs. After the 1967 war, Jordan went on a humiliating plunge. 1973 put Israel back in their place, although they pouted and still occupy parts of Old Jordan. An indigenous weapons program is an excellent idea to provide jobs, pride, and an overall sense of security, not only for Jordanians, but for the entire Arabophonic world. Jordan needs nukes to balance out the weight of the Israeli military industry. They also need to counter the threats posed by rogue African militias. In addition, they face threats of Islamic radicals, who are already threatening to overthrow the kingdom. They face three major axises of terror, and need an indigenous military industry to combat the threats posed against them.

 

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