Profiting from bloodshed and war:
The NZ Defence Industry Association's (NZDIA) 6th annual seminar 'Cooperation and Integration for a Sustainable Defence Industry' was held at Te Papa on 11 and 12 November 2003. It is the annual get together of the NZ companies involved in weapons or weapons components manufacture and export, or the provision of other products and services for military use; the NZ Ministry of Defence and armed forces representatives; and assorted overseas guests.
It is somewhat ironic that the organisers of the seminar chose to open it on Armistice Day - the anniversary of the end of "the war to end all wars". One wonders if any of the seminar participants, or any among those gathered to celebrate the industry ‘Awards for Excellence’ on the last night, considered their role in the sad fact that the promise of an end to war has never been realised.
This Update focuses on the 'defence' industry and some of the companies involved. It has five sections:
The NZDIA and the NZ 'defence' industry
Promoting a 'defence technologies' industry was part of NZ government strategy in the late 1980s to increase overseas earnings. They were keen to follow the Australian government's 'success' in developing an industry to produce a range of Australian-made military equipment including weapons systems, military and paramilitary vehicles, warships and submarines.
The NZ Defence Technologies Joint Action Group Inc (DTJAG) was one of several Joint Action Groups set up through Trade NZ in the early 1990s. Trade NZ's role included being "part of a wider government strategy to increase New Zealand's economic prosperity."
DTJAG (which later became New Zealand Defence Technologies Inc, then NZDIA) was set up to push for the involvement of NZ companies in the ANZAC frigate project, and to generally promote and expand the developing 'defence' industry.
In their efforts to lure overseas support for the NZ 'defence' industry, NZDIA happily describes the NZ economy thus: "Successive governments' economic strategies have enhanced New Zealand's ability to compete successfully in world markets. Far reaching and comprehensive economic reforms introduced in the mid-80s and maintained since, have delivered the framework for the economy's strong performance" ... "Key features of the reforms etc are: the Reserve Bank Act (the Bank's Governor has a contract with the Government to maintain inflation within a band of zero to three percent); the Fiscal Responsibility Act (the Government is obliged by law to publish financial statements similar to those of a listed company); encouraging competition by deregulation of the domestic economy, removal of subsidies, restructuring of the public sector, privatisation of State-owned Enterprises, trade liberalisation and financial deregulation; and the Employment Contracts Act which provides for flexible labour markets." (NZDIA web site, November 2003!)
There are currently around 500 companies included in the 'defence' industry and the NZDIA is their main lobby group. For more information see the NZDIA web site.
NZ 'defence' industry products range from clothes, through shoot-to-kill training and combat simulation equipment, to weapons firing control systems, grenades, and military training aircraft. Their services range from catering, through transport, IT and consulting services, to weapons storage and repair. 'Defence' related products also include the manufacture of non-military materials which are used for military purposes - for example, the ANZAC frigates project involved around 417 NZ companies making various bits and pieces, including furnishings and wiring, for the warships.
Most NZ 'defence' industry companies (local and multi-national) are involved in civilian, as well as military, manufacturing or service provision. Their civilian services include, in some cases, contracts and other involvement with educational institutions. The local companies are considered to be minor league when compared with overseas weapons manufacturers and military contractors. However, as you will see from the examples below, many are fully owned by, a subsidiary of, or linked by contract to some of the worst manufacturers and contractors around the globe.
No matter how small their contribution, NZ 'defence' industry companies are part of an unprincipled and mercenary global industry which takes public money to manufacture products and provide services which cannot be described as socially useful. They are part of a global industry which causes toxic chemical and radioactive contamination of the environment, which depletes non-renewable resources at an alarming rate, which directs human endeavour and knowledge into finding new ways to main, mutilate and kill ... plus, of course, the obvious harm caused by an industry which produces military hardware and software, weapons, riot control and other 'crowd control' equipment for repressive military, paramilitary and police activities; and provides private security forces for an assortment of government, government agency and multi-national company installations around the world.
Global military expenditure last year totalled an average $(US)2,175,342,500 every day. The proportion of that spending which went to the NZ 'defence' industry may be miniscule in comparison to the amount which went to some overseas companies - but any involvement is involvement, regardless of the scale. NZ 'defence' industry companies are among those who profit from bloodshed and war.
Companies Sponsoring the 2003 NZDIA Seminar
Since 1993, Tenix has expanded its presence here with various divisions including Tenix Datagate and Tenix Solutions (formerly LMT New Zealand Limited) which provides parking infringement services to the Wellington City Council.
Tenix Pty Ltd produces military vehicles including Light Armoured Vehicles, Armoured Personnel Carriers, the Heavy Barricade Remover, High Pressure Water Cannon, and the Police Internal Security Vehicle; and has produced more than 200 military and paramilitary specialist vessels including an assortment of Patrol Craft, and Fast Attack Craft. Their services include surface combatant ship systems installations and upgrades, and "they can bring together sensor and communications systems and weapons from different national suppliers and integrate them into a fully operational combat system."
Tenix Defence has an Electronic Systems Division which specialises in total system solutions for command, control, communications and intelligence; surveillance and reconnaissance; electronic warfare; simulation and hydrography.
Tenix Defence has a Land Division which provides design, manufacture, modification and repairs to all major in-service military vehicles in Australia. Their operation at Wingfield (South Australia) is described as "Australia's largest privately-operated military vehicle facility". Their operation at Bandiana, Victoria, provides logistic and garrison support services to Joint Logistics Command - including warehousing and heavy grade maintenance of artillery, guided weapons, armoured and non-armoured vehicles and other Army weapon systems.
Tenix Defence is one of six companies short-listed to supply a multi-role warship, and offshore and inshore patrol vessels for the NZ navy's 'Project Protector'.
Then there is the Tenix Defence Aerospace Division ... For more information see the Tenix web site.
Air Affairs (Australia) manufactures navy and air force targets under license to the Hayes Corporation (USA) for the Australian Defence Force and for export to New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, India, Sweden and the US.
Air Affairs (UK) supplies training needs analysis (TNA) and related activities to the UK Ministry of Defence, the British air force, navy and army; and has recently been involved with training support for British Nuclear Fuels Limited.
One of Babcock NZ's projects was to produce containerised support shelters for the army's Relocatable Field Surgery. They state their "task was to take a basic concept from the customer and turn it into fully operational support shelters which would integrate with the Army's other field hospital units." Alas it seems the "fully operational" bit was missing, the army is currently trying to sell the mobile hospital - purchased for $(NZ)12,000,000 - because "it has never been deployed in its entirety, has not been used outside NZ and the army does not have sufficient medical personnel to staff it. While it could be moved by air, sea, road or rail, it would need twelve to fifteen C-130 Hercules flights. Some of the containers also need careful handling because of their construction." In addition to the purchase price, it will have cost an additional $(NZ)10,000,000 in holding costs between its construction and its 'nominal life' expiry date of 2008. (Dominion Post, front page, 8 November 2003).
Babcock NZ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Babcock International. Babcock International describe themselves as "a leading supplier of support services to the armed forces". In their 1999 'Review of Operations', they describe the fitting of a Tomahawk cruise missile system to a British frigate as one of their 'key achievements'.
Babcock International manages Faslane which is the base for British Vanguard class nuclear powered submarines (each of which carries 48 independently-targeted 'Trident' nuclear warheads), nuclear powered hunter/killer submarines and mine-warfare vessels; nearby Coulport where the nuclear warheads are stored when the submarines are not on patrol; and Rossyth, the naval yard where the rotting radioactive hulks of out-of-service British nuclear submarines are moored because no-one knows what to do with them. Their ten year contract to manage Rossyth is worth 1.5 billion pounds sterling. In 2002 the British Ministry of Defence agreed a 5 year partnering contract, with an option to extend, with Babcock for the provision of support services at Faslane and Coulport which is worth 300 to 400 million pounds sterling. For more information see the Babcock International web site.
A sample of recent news headlines from L-3 includes: "L-3 Communications Awarded $63.2 Million in Orders by US Special Operations Command", 3 November 2003; "L-3 Randtron Antenna Systems Wins $65 Million Contract to Provide Next Generation Airborne Early Warning Radar Antenna For US Navy's E-2C Hawkeye", 17 October 2003; "L-3 Communications Awarded $48 Million Contract by the US Navy to Refurbish and Maintain P-3 Aircraft", 14 October 2003 ... all that in less than three weeks. For more information see the L-3 Communications web site.
Safe Air are particularly infamous for their work refurbishing Indonesian war planes at the time Indonesia's occupation of East Timor ended in bloodshed and flames in 1999. They have been involved in a range of military contracts in the past for assorted air forces, primarily those of NZ and Australia, and have done some work for the Israeli air force. Safe Air "successfully teamed with Kaman Aerospace [manufacturers of the naval warfare SH-2G Seasprite helicopters] on the NZ and Australian naval helicopter programme." Safe Air are contractors for the ANZAC frigates. For more information see the Safe Air web site.
PAE NZ is a facilities management company which specialises in military contracts. They have had the facilities management contract at Trentham Military Camp since 1992 and at Burnham since 1994.
Montgomery Watson Harza (NZ) is part of global Montgomery Watson Harza (MWH). MWH provides "industry-leading solutions to municipalities, government agencies, multinational companies, industrial concerns and military organizations worldwide." They have "proven expertise in a wide array of integrated solutions, including environmental engineering, power generation, facilities development, laboratory services, construction, multi-sector program management, asset management, financial services, IT consulting, government relations and applied science." For more information see the MWH web site.
PAE NZ's parent company is PAE Inc whose customers include the "US government, the oil industry, and multi-national corporations". They describe their history as having "grown from designing bridges to installing offshore oil platforms to supplying entire labor forces to maintaining extensive military installations and bases. PAE applies its knowledge of people and engineering systems to every project, whether developing a country's infrastructure or analyzing the environmental impact of a proposed energy plant." Their contracts range from "the provision of a select service such as power production and distribution to the total maintenance of all US military bases throughout a particular country."
They are a "leading supplier of leased equipment to multinational oil companies, host countries, and U.S. Government agencies." Equipment available ranges from helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to cranes and heavy earth- moving equipment.
PAE Inc has operated in, or currently operates in, the US, Sierra Leone, NZ, Afghanistan, East Timor, D.R. Congo, Singapore, Honduras, Indonesia, Germany, Canada, Russia, Bosnia, Korea, Sudan and Japan. For more information see the PAE Inc web site.
Companies which are NZDIA Members
As if the sponsors weren't bad enough, below is a sample of NZDIA members, for the full list see NZDIA members.
Last year, in an intriguing article headlined 'Public anguish has stopped Auckland's peaceful landmark Mt Eden being used as a test zone for hi-tech military equipment', the Central Leader reported that Oscmar mounted an antitank 109mm gun for field trials, "on Maungawhau's summit last week pointing directly at the Sky Tower and city business district." In explanation of their threatening activities, Michael Stanbridge [Oscmar founder] said "the apparatus "is not a gun" and any shooting mechanism was "disabled" before it was stationed on top of the extinct volcano. Mr Stanbridge says Mt Eden was used because its significant height above sea level makes it easier to tune global positioning satellite equipment into satellites orbiting in Oceania's hemisphere" and "In the future we'll conduct our experiments on defence ranges".
Auckland folks better watch out because apparently military training exercises are permitted in your parks (perhaps they are all over the country!) ... "The Central Leader can confirm that Oscmar did not obtain Auckland City Council's permission to use Maungawhau public land. Oscmar was working on a tight operational deadline and got verbal approval from police by referring to the Arms Act. Under Auckland City's district plan, "temporary military training activities, involving military personnel and transport" are permitted in public reserves. It says nothing about private companies producing for the defence industry." (Central Leader, 15 May 2002)
Initially a NZ owned and operated company, Oscmar International was acquired by the Cubic Corporation (based in California) in 2000. Cubic includes the Cubic Defence Applications group which "provides a broad spectrum of world-class integrated systems, electronic products and high-caliber services supporting the training and operational readiness of U.S. armed forces and allied militaries ... We provide the complete spectrum of training that warfighters need to survive on today's battlefield. This includes live combat training systems, mission support, doctrine and leader development, simulation development and technical support." Their slogan is: 'Helping Our Forces Fight, Win and Return'. They are "exploring new opportunities in the area of Homeland Security." For more information see the Cubic web site.
Ordnance Development was named as an exciting export growth company in a recent Microsoft Search for New Zealand's Most Exciting Companies: "Ordnance Development's turnover is up 30% on two years ago and its blank ammunition is being exported to Australia and the United Arab Emirates" ... "The 30-year-old company invested 18 months ago in a plant upgrade that will better position it for export sales. Its capacity has increased from eight million to 13 million rounds a year. The company is investigating further export opportunities, this time to Asian markets." (National Business Review, 26 September 2003). Ordnance Development also has 'current business' in Australia, Britain, Canada and the US.
Serco NZ is part of Serco Group Plc which provides task management, operational and logistical support service to the British Ministry of Defence, to NATO armed forces, to the US Department of Defence, the Canadian Department of National Defence, and the Australian Department of Defence.
Serco Group (or RCA Services Ltd as it was known then) provided most of the work force for the construction of Fylingdales, and has been the only contractor to have operated and maintained the facility. Fylingdales is the British Ballistic Early Warning Missile Site which operates under the US 'Masterplan for tactical warning and attack' the aims of which include "to enhance the warfighting effectiveness of the strategic nuclear forces". Fylingdales is being upgraded to be used as part of the US Ballistic Missile Defence system.
Serco Group provides the British navy with a wide range of services including the supply of ammunition to British warships, and support for submarine exercises in the Firth of Clyde - an area infamous for the mysterious disappearance of fishing trawlers over the years, generally believed to have been caused by submarines becoming entangled in their nets and dragging the trawlers and their crews down to the seabed.
Serco Group, together with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd and Lockheed Martin are Atomic Weapons Establishment Management Ltd. They manage Britain's nuclear weapons establishments including AWE Aldermaston and AWE Burghfield - which design, test, manufacture and 'refurbish' nuclear warheads. For more information see the Serco Group web site.
Tait Electronics is an example of an NZ company which is not listed as an NZDIA member, but is clearly involved in the 'defence' industry. It was established in Christchurch in 1969 and is a privately owned company with wholly-owned subsidiaries in Britain, USA, Singapore and Australia. Tait has offices in 13 countries, and exports to more than 80 countries. Their aim is "supplying and servicing our customers with world class radio communications equipment and systems", which includes communications encryption devices.
Their customers range from "small private businesses to large multinational corporations, government agencies, emergency services, network service providers and specialist communications agencies." Their multinational customers have included an unnamed "major international oil company [which] has a network of oil wells and a large processing plant deep in the Colombian jungle, together with a pipeline to the coast"; presumably BP who are named elsewhere as one of Tait’s 'significant customers', and who have a network of oil wells etc in Colombia. Tait supplied the radio communications for the Porgera gold mine (75% owned by Placer Dome, Canada) and the Lihir open pit gold mine (owned by Lihir Gold Ltd, Papua New Guinea, which is part owned by Rio Tinto Plc, Britain) - both in Papua New Guinea.
Their current customers include the Australian Department of Defence, Singapore Prison Service, and the California Highway Patrol (The Press, 03 October 2003). Their Australian DoD "multi-million dollar contract" is to provide and install the communications system for the Standard Training Area Range Safety network at 24 military training ranges around Australia, and local service and maintenance support for five years. This includes the installation of Tait base stations using their Quasi Synchronous Simulcast System, which provides inter-operability between commercial and combat net military equipment, at each site.
Attendees at the 2002 NZDIA Seminar
To give you an idea of the kind of people who are attracted to the NZDIA seminars, last year's attendees included representatives from the following companies, or their subsidiaries:
The above is a sample of some of the activities of some of the companies which profit from bloodshed and war. Much of the information came from the publicity material of the companies involved - one obscene aspect of weapons manufacturers and military contractors, aside from the obvious, is the pride they take in their 'achievements'. Other sources of information include previous NO WARP! publications, National Business Review, NZ Herald, Dominion Post, Trade NZ, NZ Trade and Enterprise, Janes, Forbes, Arms Trade Resource Centre and SIPRI.
'Profiting from bloodshed and war: the ‘defence' industry and the companies involved' is available as a printed booklet from NO WARP! (Network Opposed to Weapons And Related Production).
If you are printing or copying this update, please include the NO WARP! (Network Opposed to Weapons And Related Production) web site http://www.converge.org.nz/pma/nowarp.htm If you are putting a copy of this Update on your own web site, please include a live link to the NO WARP! site. Thank you.