Thursday, 05 August 2021
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issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

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......but we couldn't resist this story.

Icon Polymer of the Midlands has just received a 79,000 order for rear mudflaps for the Warrior upgrade (tank guards in the parlance)

AND they are going to finish the job by the end of February

AND they are the only people in the UK who can do this sort of thing

AND their customer, the Defence Support Group, says "they will bend over backwards for us. We can't ask any more of them"

AND managing director Tim Pryce led a management buyout earlier this year

AND he came back from 14 years in Massachusetts in 2006 to merge three companies into Icon

AND his team turned an "extremely underperforming" group into a successful one (20 million turnover this year)

AND they are about to stop being an SME as their workforce rises above 230

AND 10% of their sales go to China

AND they are part of the BAE Systems supply chain which has just landed an order for Viking 2 from France

AND their components are on Warthog and Challenger and CVRT and other armoured vehicles

AND they pride themselves on meeting customer requirements "in days not weeks" when required

So who says the Brits can't make things any more?

AND we can't compete with China

AND we can't grow manufacturing industry

AND the defence industry is in decline

AND we can't be innovative and responsive to customers?

Eat your hearts out you spivs, speculators and know-it-alls!


The medium term trend in arms export continues to be downward. The real value of global arms deliveries fell by 9.9% in 2007 to US $ 31.0 bn after rising by 7.7% in 2006. The real value of deliveries has fallen in three of the seven years between 2000 and 2007 the peak value was US$ 40.6 billion in 1999. These figures are in constant 2007

In 1987 the USSR accounted for over one third of the value of arms deliveries. By contrast, Russia accounted for just 6.5% in 1998, and its market share has averaged 14% since 2000. It has however just regained the No 2 spot.

The USA accounted for 41.3% of the value of global arms deliveries in 2007. The UK market share fell to 8.4% in 2007, its lowest level for nearly two decades

The top 6 exporters in 2007 were ;

USA 41.3%
Russia 15.2%
UK 8.4%
France 6.8%
China 4.5%
Germany 3.2%

Rest of the world was the remaining 20.6%

data compiled by International Institute for Strategic Studies - Military balance


To judge from the British media, whose reportage sometimes verges on the hysterical, British troops are moving around Afghanistan in an inadequate number of death traps.

While it is true that approaching 100 troops have been killed this year, many of them by innoccuous sounding IEDs landmines to you and me there is a wide range and quantity of kit in theatre and more on the way. So far 500 vehicles have been delivered so far this year.

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