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Weapons fair eyes more bang for buck

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 02:24

June 12 - The global arms trade is suffering from the downturn in state spending in the West, according to experts at an international arms fair in Paris. Sonia Legg reports

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There's no sign of a weapons downturn in Syria. This video from a social media site apparently shows Syrian rebels threatening to fire surface-to-air missiles at the Presidential palace. But globally the arms trade is suffering. An international arms fair is taking place in Paris. Matthew Bell from Jane's Industry Magazine says there's been a significant reduction in state spending in the west. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEFENCE INDUSTRY REPORTER AT IHS JANE'S INDUSTRY MAGAZINE MATTHEW BELL SAYING: "The U.S. and U.K. and Europe are seeing either flattening or falling defence spending which means that defence companies are looking to other markets. So you've got Latin America, the Middle East, Asia in particular. The main trend is governments, countries, working out that in the West they can't spend as much money as they have been. So anything that's hugely sophisticated, for example fighter jets, that can't be afforded anymore." Procurement spending in Europe's 21 largest markets fell by six percent between 2009 and 2011 And the UK has just sent redundancy notices to a thousand of its armed forces. Those left could soon be helped by this. The Hercule Exoskelton is made by RB3D - Serge Grygorowicz is the company's CEO. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CEO OF RB3D, CREATORS OF HERCULE EXOSKELETON, SERGE GRYGOROWICZ SAYING: "It's an exoskeleton consisting of two mechatronic legs and two arms. With this system you can carry loads of up to 40 kilos on your back or 20 kilos on the front." New technology is the focus at the Eurosatory Arms Fair. Police forces could well benefit from owning a few Millicam cameras. Nicolas Vellas is its creator. (SOUNDBITE) (French) CEO OF MC2 TECHNOLOGIES, CREATORS OF MILLICAM, DR NICOLAS VELLAS SAYING: "It's a camera which is designed to detect the presence of people behind walls. For example in a military context if someone had been taken hostage, you would be able to find out where the hostage-taker was." Some governments are still spending - this Argos II camera has been snapped up by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It works by day and night and is capable of seeing up the 20 km. That's the secret, say exhibitors - making technology multi-purpose. Investors want products that can be used for civil or military purposes. Gone - for many countries - are the days when troops were supplied with the latest equipment just in case. Sonia Legg, Reuters

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Weapons fair eyes more bang for buck

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 02:24