INCREASING THREAT OF TERRORISM
From a broad perspective, it can be said that the world woke up to terrorism in 2001 when Al-Qaeda carried out its attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, US. Ever since, terrorist activities have been on the rise, and have become the most pressing issue for decision-makers dealing with diplomatic and military operations. On a global scale, Africa emerged as the most vulnerable region to terrorist attacks in 2010, with 879 attacks and 2,137 fatalities.
Especially, the governments in US, the UK, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Australia have prioritised national security. For example, the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is currently eyeing 40 mm (medium) caliber rounds for under-barrel and standalone shoulder-fired launchers, as well as crew-served automatic launchers. Shoulder-fired launchers are usually used for civilian use in riot-control. Whereas, under-barrel are used on battlefields.
The 40 mm rounds will be available at different levels of performance, namely, the 40 mm low-velocity rounds (or LV), which uses 40x46SR (Semi-Rimmed) ammunition for shoulder-fires and under-barrel launchers, and, the 40 mm high velocity (or HV), which uses 40x53SR rounds from crew-served automatic launchers.
The LV rounds are usually used with individual weapons, like M320 and M203 grenade launchers, while HV rounds are used with MK19 grenade machine gun. All of these have been extensively used in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
The contract (by the US government) for the manufacture of LV rounds has been given to General Dynamics, whereas, American Ordnance will manufacture the HV rounds. Both the types of bullets are intended to be fielded by August 2019.
Therefore, the increasing threat of terrorism has led to higher spending by governments, to protect themselves, thereby driving investment into the ammunition industry.
Stringent laws and regulations serve as a deterrent for foreign companies trying to expand into other countries making it a restraint for medium caliber ammunition industry as its supply chains are not confined to a single nation.
Some countries follow a protectionist strategy to protect the domestic ammunition industry against foreign monopoly. For example, as part of the Make in India initiative, the Ministry of Finance, Government of India recently added a provision in the General Finance Rules (GFR) which gives preference to the domestic industry over foreign companies in government procurement contracts. Rule 153 (Reserved Items and other Purchase/Price Preference Policy) of GFR-2017 gives the central government power to provide for the mandatory procurement of any goods and services from any category of bidders, or provide for preference to bidders on the grounds of promotion of locally manufactured goods or locally provided services. The arms trade is one industry that will have a far-reaching impact because the World Trade Organization (WTO) (of which India is a member since 1995) has no regulations against protectionist policies on arms trade (unlike other industries).
Another example is US, which has the Specialty Metals Restriction. It forbids the Department of Defense from buying aircraft, missile and space systems, ships, tank and automotive items, weapon systems, ammunition or any related components if they are made of any specialty metal that is not melted or produced in US.
Key Developments in the Market:
• July 2017: Rheinmetall announced the further strengthening of its partnership with Supashock through the agreement to acquire 49% of the Australian-based company.
• August 2017: Rheinmetall integrated its operations in Australia and New Zealand into a single operational unit, which includes the existing operations of Rheinmetall Defence Australia, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia, Rheinmetall Electronic Solutions Australia, and Logistic Solutions Australia.
• September 2017: Rheinmetall and Rohde & Schwarz formed joint venture to bid for two major Bundeswehr procurement programs: Motako and Motiv.
• October 2017: US Naval Sea System awarded the contract to provide establish cybersecurity and IT services for the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division.
Major Players: RHEINMETALL AG, GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION, BAE SYSTEMS, DENEL PMP, NEXTER SYSTEMS. CBC BRAZIL, NAMMO AS, MESKO SA, ORBITAL AK AMONGST OTHERS.
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