DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets(http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/03887c/spain_defence_and) has announced the addition of the "Spain Defence and Security Report Q2 2011" report to their offering.
The tough reforms pushed through by Prime Minister Zapatero over the course of 2010 may well have saved Spain the same humiliation witnessed in other peripheral European countries, namely Greece and Ireland. However, these have placed great stress on the nation's finances, and as has become the norm throughout the rest of Europe, this has led to a sharp curtailing of military spending. This has caused further accusations from both NATO and the US that European nations are not pulling their weight in the trans-Atlantic alliance, with nations failing to spend the mandated 2% of GDP on defence. Spain has been seen as a particular culprit of this, with around a 9% reduction in the budget of the MoD over the course of 2010 and 1.2% of GDP spent on defence.
However, this process may actually leave both the expeditionary capacity and defence industries of Europe, and so Spain, in a stronger position. One need only look at the 2010 cooperation agreements between France and Britain to see that it is almost inevitable that there will be further defence integration across Europe in the coming years. This would certainly begin to bring to bear the weight which Europe as a whole should be able to bring to the NATO table.
As well as this, cooperation of European defence industry has deepened. While EADS did not win the much vaunted US$35bn air refuelling contract, its long term contention for the project is indicative of the flexibility and strength of the organisation. Additionally, it seems likely that EADS will challenge the contract decision, as has happened twice before in the history of this project. With the potential for follow on contracts worth up to US$100bn, it would appear that whoever eventually does take control of this would be the largest Aerospace company in the US by far.
A combination of both what appears to be an arms race in South Asia, compounded with a slowdown in procurement spending in the region after the economic turmoil of the 1990s, has also offered what looks to be a saving grace to the industry over the course of 2011. In particular, the growth of Chinese military spending (as well as the unveiling of some new defence projects, notably what appears to be a fifth generation stealth fighter and the potential to target carrier groups well beyond what has been traditionally assumed) and an unstable and unpredictable North Korea, stand to highlight new necessities for those wishing to be regional military players. Of particular headline note is the contract for fighter aircraft to the Indian Airforce, in which the Eurofighter is currently being viewed as a leader.
The deal is thought to be worth US$11bn and relates to 126 aircraft. The purchase would be of such a size that India would be at least considered a partner of the project, and would probably actually become one, the Financial Times reported in November. However, high-level visits have been made to New Delhi from Russia, America and France, to promote their weapons platforms as well. If the Eurofighter does win the contract, then EADS would open a new facility in Bangalore, which may act as a sweetener to the deal.
Domestically, ETA continues in its recent vein of a non military engagement. Whilst there has been talk of a revamped separatist movement seeking to act as political representatives throughout the Basque country, with a new party, Sortu, being founded.
For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/03887c/spain_defence_and