Saturday, July 22, 2006

suprantional defense companies: transcending government

* democracynow:
"FRIDA BERRIGAN: Sure. Well, the largest weapons manufacturer in this country is Lockheed Martin. It’s based in Texas. And it manufactures the F-16 fighter plane, all manner of missiles. It manufactures the C-130, which is a huge transport plane. It’s the biggest weapons manufacturer in the world.

Lockheed Martin and the Israeli military recently went into business together, co-producing a version of the F-16 fighter plane called the Sufa, which means “storm” in Hebrew. It’s built partially outside of Tel Aviv, and then the final work is done in Ft. Worth, Texas. It’s a $4 billion deal with the Israeli military. For the first time, an Israeli military company is contributing in its manufacturing the avionics of the plane. So there’s this -- it’s almost this supranational relationship between Lockheed Martin and the Israeli defense industry. It’s a kind of relationship that weapons corporations in this country would like to see with other countries, where they work directly with -- they sort of transcend government and work directly with the manufacturers of weapons in other countries.

Another major corporation -- you mentioned the missiles -- is Raytheon, which is based in Massachusetts. They manufacture the Tomahawk missile, the Sidewinder, a number of other high-tech missiles that Israel has in its arsenal. These missiles have very sophisticated targeting components -- heat-seeking, they’re interfaced with GPS for very targeted attacks.

Boeing is another major corporation. They manufacture all sorts of planes: the F-18 fighter plane, the F-14. So you have maybe ten weapons corporations in this country that have a stake in -- essentially in Israel using its military arsenal so that it can be replenished again. And the great thing about this relationship with Israel is, Israel doesn’t have to pay for it itself. It comes directly from U.S. taxpayers in the form of foreign military financing, which is transferred to Israel, and then turns right back around and goes to Lockheed Martin or Raytheon.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And as we can see by the votes in Congress this week, both in the House and Senate, supporting the current military actions of Israel, there doesn't seem to be much opposition in Congress to this kind of a continued arms support from the United States for Israel.

FRIDA BERRIGAN: Right, yeah. You have complete silence, and worse than silence from the U.S. Congress. So there's got to be some way to go around Congress and hold the defense corporations, these military corporations, directly responsible for what their hardware and software is doing in Lebanon and Gaza."


Don said...

Essentially correct, from what I know, except that Boeing (having absorbed McDonnell-Douglas) manufactures the F-15 Eagle (and variants) and F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet, not the retiring F-14 Tomcat (once built by Grumman, now part of Northrop-Grumman). NorGrum is also the prime subcontractor on the Hornets. LockheedMartin now has the lion's share of US front line types: the 'gold-plated' F-22 and F-35 are the next step towards monopoly.

Arms manufacturer consolidation in America over the last 20 years makes that of corporate media look like a Sunday flea market.

lukery said...

Arms manufacturer consolidation in America over the last 20 years makes that of corporate media look like a Sunday flea market

and many of the media companies owned by defense congloms.