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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spain Defence And Security Report Q2 2010

Reduced military spending is expected to continue in Spain throughout 2010 and maybe beyond. At EUR11.9bn for 2010, which constitutes a EUR1.3bn fall compared with 2009, the government's defence budget is about the same proportion of total government spending, at 2.61%, and about the same proportion of GDP, at 0.8%. In terms of defence capability, Spain, as with other EU countries, faces a drop in capability in conducting vital out-of-area operations if defence spending falls again. In 2009, there was a slight increase in numbers across all forces following a series of recruitment drives.

However, in December 2009, Spain announced its intention to send 500 more troops to Afghanistan serving under NATO's ISAF. Some 220 soldiers returned to Spain in November, leaving 1,000 deployed soldiers in Afghanistan. In January, the government announced the setting up of a Counter-IED Centre of Excellence and will prioritise the integration within the EU of maritime surveillance to counter terrorism during its tenure of the EU presidency from January 2010.

Regarding the internal security situation, Basque separatist group, ETA - while still nominally active - poses a sporadic rather than constant threat and has been trying to recruit young untrained militants following arrests of several leaders in October. In December, the Spanish interior minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba warned that Madrid's EU presidency period could provide ETA with an opportunity to launch a spectacular' or kidnapping to reassert its aims and prove it is still capable of inflicting attacks. Meanwhile, EADS Defence & Security (DS) in Spain signed a EUR9mn contract in January 2010 to supply the Spanish Navy with fixed-wing maintenance for several military aircraft over a four-year period. The work includes engineering, logistical and technical support for the AV8B Harrier II, AV8B Harrier II Plus and CESSNA aircraft. EADS expects Spain, along with France and Germany, to state their commitment to the development of Talarion, a wholly EU-made, advanced UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Other collaborations continue, such as the Eurofighter Typhoon and the NATO RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), an advanced version of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow. Shipbuilder Navantia is continuing production of the S-80 diesel-electric attack submarine and has produced an advanced design for the CIM-2000 Scorpene class diesel-electric attack submarine, in collaboration with DCNS of France.

EADS' troubled Airbus Military A400M programme appeared to have turned a corner in the autumn of 2009, with the completion of flight tests of the TP-400D6 engines in the UK. The successful conclusion of these tests opened the way for the first flight from Seville Airport of the first A400M aircraft - the MSN001 - on December 11. This formed a major milestone and answers many of the programme's critics. There will be 3,700 flight hours by the five aircraft being built between end 2009 and when they enter service end 2012.

Source officialwire