In May John Eaton, a director of arms manufacturers EDO MBM, spoke on behalf of the company at an arms conference in Washington about work being done in Brighton to develop bomb release units with a footprint “the size of a dollar bill”. In his abstract for the talk Eaton contends that “flexible responses require new approaches to the delivery of small non traditional weapons from non traditional airframes involved in the kill chain.” Continue reading
Arms manufacturer ITT has split into three independent companies. Its arms manufacturing business will be renamed ITT Exelis, its Industrial Process and Flow Control division will keep the ITT name, while the Water and Waste division will become Xylem. The companies will be listed separately on the New York Stock Exchange. There has also been speculation that US arms giant Raytheon may buy ITT Exelis. Continue reading
On January 17th 2009 six people broke into EDO MBM/ITT in Brighton and caused £189 000 worth of damage to computers, servers, lathes and other equipment. The activists, calling themselves the ‘decommissioners’, took their action in response to the Israeli assault on Gaza which had claimed 1400 lives by the 17th. EDO MBM/ITT manufactures the arming unit for the Israeli F16 bombrack. The six were arrested, along with three people alleged to have supported the action. All nine were charged with conspiracy to cause criminal damage. At a month long trial at Hove Crown Court seven of the activists argued that they had a lawful excuse to damage EDO’s property as the company was complicit in war crimes. All seven were acquitted on July 2nd 2010 after the jury gave five unanimous not guilty verdicts and the judge directed that the final two should be acquitted. One activist had been found with no case to answer earlier in the trial due to lack of evidence. Continue reading
ITT, the owner of EDO MBM in Brighton, has announced a new $39.3 million contract to produce the BRU-57/A bomb rack for the F-16 at Robins Air Force Base in the US. Apparently, “these will be installed on F-16 aircraft used by U.S. and allied nations.” Israel is a major recipient of F-16s.
Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3503
The western Welsh county of Ceredigion is home to Danger Area D201, a former RAF missile testing ground, now converted into a 22km x 1.5km restricted airspace for the testing of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The area is the embodiment of the tangled relationships existing between corporate, governmental and private commercial interests. A section of the old RAF land is now operated by arms giant QinetiQ; the runway is owned by the same private businessman who runs the local airport; and at the centre of this hub of UAV promotion is the ParcAberporth facility, made possible, and owned by, the Welsh Assembly. Continue reading
For most consumers, the name GoreTex means water-proof jackets, hiking trousers or maybe skiing gloves. Since 1958, US-based W.L. Gore has pioneered research into fluoropolymer materials, marketing ‘high performance’ outdoor wear under the brand names GoreTex and WINDSTOPPER. However, in the shadows of its more reputable business, W.L. Gore is supplying American arms giant ITT with these specialist materials.
The material is used in ITT’s FRCS ‘umbilical’ release mechanisms, installed in fighter planes to allow the more ‘efficient’ deployment of weapons. The FRCS mechanism is manufactured at the ITT-owned EDO MBM factory in Brighton. The factory has been the focus of a five year long campaign of direct action, aiming to stop the company producing mechanisms such as the FRCS, and to highlight that even supposedly ‘minor’ weapons components play a massive part in the functioning of the military machine (see, for example, Corporate Watch’s www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3199”> Campaign Spotlight on the Smash EDO campaign).
W.L. Gore’s involvement in the development of the FRCS is by no means an incidental one. Unlike some companies who (often falsely) claim innocence because they supply raw materials or services to arms companies as part of their general business, W.L. Gore has actively worked with ITT to produce the FRCS. In a 2008 press release regarding the FRCS, Paul Hills, managing director of EDO MBM in Brighton, spoke of how “closely” ITT has been working with W.L. Gore “for a number of years” and the degree to which this has “strengthened” ITT’s market position.
The FRCS release mechanism is currently in use in the F 16 plane. The F 16 is being used by the US army in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as being a staple of the Israeli Air Force in its attacks in Palestine and Lebanon.
ITT has recently signed a major contract with Lockheed Martin, to supply the FRCS as a component in the F 35 multirole fighter. The IAF has been in talks since 2006 to purchase $5billion worth of F 35s from the US, to gradually replace the ageing F 16. Twenty-five F 35s may be in the IAF’s possession by 2014, continuing W. L. Gore’s complicity in international war crimes.
Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3472
Brighton’s Smash EDO has launched a new campaign against Barclays, with a first picket at the bank’s Brighton branch on North Street on 28th November. Pickets also took place in Wrexham and Falmouth, while in Cambridge anonymous activists wrote “Barclays – £7bn invested in arms trade” in six foot letters above their local branch. The group is calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force it to cease providing ‘market maker’ services on the NYSE stock exchange for ITT Corporation, which owns Brighton-based arms manufacturer EDO MBM/ITT.
Action report: www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/442430.html
Original article at http://www.corporatewatch.org/?lid=3475
A new anti-militarist campaign is brewing in Manchester against Brimar, a company involved in the manufacture of display units for military aircraft and vehicles that are being used by the US and Israeli military. Local activists have set up the Target Brimar campaign, aimed at forcing the company to end production of military components. In September, Target Brimar published a dossier entitled The Case Against Brimar’, which profiles the company and lists the campaign’s demands. Continue reading
Corporate Watch’s new project, ‘mapping the arms trade’, will map the physical locations of arms companies across the UK and examine the UK arms industry. It will also be necessary to unravel the web of contradictory government statements and figures about the arms trade through which the state gives an impression of control on arms exports. In this first article, Corporate Watch focuses on UK arms sales to Israel. Continue reading