Norway weapons sales fall as US budget cuts hit / News / The Foreigner

Norway weapons sales fall as US budget cuts hit. Peaceful Nobel Peace Prize Norway’s arms exports are becoming canon-fodder for tighter US spending as government politicians renew calls for an End User Guarantee. Arms have nothing to do with the Peace Prize, they say. Domestic weapons producers’ 2001 to 2009 sales since the US Afghanistan invasion have been some USD 1.64 billion (NOK 9.4 billion), figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show. These US-driven export values fell in that last year to about USD 211.98 million (NOK 1.7 billion), plummeting further in 2012 to roughly USD 87.67 million (NOK 500 million).

norwayarms, armssalesnorway



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Norway weapons sales fall as US budget cuts hit

Published on Tuesday, 5th March, 2013 at 14:38 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

Peaceful Nobel Peace Prize Norway’s arms exports are becoming canon-fodder for tighter US spending as government politicians renew calls for an End User Guarantee. Arms have nothing to do with the Peace Prize, they say.

HK416
HK416
Photo: Forsvarets mediesenter/Torgeir Haugaard


Domestic weapons producers’ 2001 to 2009 sales since the US Afghanistan invasion have been some USD 1.64 billion (NOK 9.4 billion), figures from Statistics Norway (SSB) show.

These US-driven export values fell in that last year to about USD 211.98 million (NOK 1.7 billion), plummeting further in 2012 to roughly USD 87.67 million (NOK 500 million).

Kongsberg Defence and Aerospace and Nammo are Norway’s weapons producers. Kongsberg’s weapons and weapons systems sales account for about half the company’s earnings.

Flack, but not flat

“We have no extraordinary protection against declining defence budgets, and are seeing reduced demand for arms control stations following reductions in US foreign operations,” states Ronny Lie, vice president for corporate communications to Aftenposten.

US politicians’ non-agreement about the budget last week are predicted to be in the region of USD 85 billion (roughly NOK 495.97 billion) for now until September this year, according to the paper.

Kongsberg Protector mounted on Stryker
Kongsberg Protector mounted on Stryker
TSGT MIKE BUYTAS, USAF/Wikimedia Commons
Nevertheless, Mr Lie thinks prospects for the Stock Exchange-listed company remain good as its advantage is manufacturing niche products.

Amongst other products, it makes the F-35 Joint Strike Missile (JSM). Kongsberg also manufactures advance missiles for NATO navies and air forces in several countries, though these were reportedly the target of attempted purchase by Iran.

The group also assembled Norway’s ageing Ula-class submarines’ combat systems, and produces the Protector remote weapons system.

As well as its defence, aerospace, and Maritime arms, Kongsberg supplies to the Oil and Gas industry as well.

Cutbacks

Meanwhile, Nammo says US cuts will mean 30 of their some 700 personnel in Norway are to be laid off.

The company has about 3,000 employees worldwide and roughly one-third of its sales are to America.

CEO Edgar Fossheim believes the short-term consequences will equate to about a 20 percent fall this year.

This equates to roughly USD 43.72 million (NOK 250 million), according to Aftenposten. The company’s future plans are unaffected, however.

“The US defence budget is still almost twice as large as the combined defence budgets of the rest of the NATO and other countries we are dealing with, even with the latest cuts. We’ll be working to further strengthen our position in the US despite these developments,” he says.

‘No-go’

Alf Egil Holmelid
Alf Egil Holmelid
Stig Marlon Weston/SV
The Norwegian government announced it was to legislate for stricter arms export controls in general amongst rising trade last year.

In the wake of Israel’s Liberal Party (V) leader Trine Skei Grande called for NATO countries to sign a so-termed End User Guarantee for controlling whether Norway’s weapons are used in combat.

This came following Israel’s 2010 action against the Gaza blockade-boundMavi Marmara’.

The Socialist Left’s Youth Party (SU) demanded Norway withdraw its Sovereign Wealth Fund investments in German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, that supplies Israel.

Politicians in traditional anti-NATO Party SV, part of the tri-partite coalition, renew their demands for an End User Guarantee, which the Party has had for a while, long before Trine Skei Grande's calls, according to them.

“We strongly wish this to be put into place”, Alf Egil Holmelid, SV business policy spokesperson tells The Foreigner, “and it’s also unfortunate that Norway as a peaceful country, but with a military is dependent upon the weapons industry.”

“The Party wants to change this,” he adds.

Isn’t it a dilemma for Norway that it awards the Nobel Peace Prize, but at the same time manufactures and sells arms?

“I don’t want to comment on this, it’s a different matter,” concludes Mr Holmelid.



Published on Tuesday, 5th March, 2013 at 14:38 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: norwayarms, armssalesnorway.





  
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