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Jordan Defence and Security Report 2013

Jordan defence market: New market research published

Jordans defence expenditure is set to grow, despite austerity measures. In the increasingly volatile region where Jordan has begun to face an active threat from the civil war in Syria, the government is committed to increasing its defence budget. A total of JOD1.1bn (US$1.6bn) spent on defence in 2012, and by 2017 we expect this to rise to JOD1.87bn (US$2.43bn). The Jordanians are particularly concerned with modernising their military, something that offers expanded opportunity for the US and UK defence firms which traditionally provide much of the countrys advanced weaponry.

The political situation in Jordan has continued to deteriorate, prompting the King to call for early elections on October 5 2012, though a date for the elections themselves was not fixed. Mass protests took place after the announcement, with protesters demanding reform of the regime while still disavowing a popular uprising. The new electoral law being protested failed to enshrine a key demand of the protestors, who have called for the prime minister to be appointed by parliament and not by the king. The elections are set to be boycott by Islamists and leftists, while voter registration drives have proved harder than the government had hoped. The new elections come as the country faces increased political instability and the appointment of the third Prime Minister since the beginning of 2012.

Jordanian intelligence foiled a major terrorist plot in October 2012, according to reports from CNN.

Eleven suspected terrorists were arrested by security forces, having allegedly planned to attack a range of targets within the country. The targets included foreign nationals and diplomats as well as shopping centres and residential areas. It is understood that all those arrested are Jordanian citizens and that the eleven men have recently travelled to and from Syria regularly. The explosives and weapons for the attacks were to be sourced from Syria, highlighting the impact that the civil war on the country is having on neighbouring states.

In October 2012 the Jordanian military received a small US force to help deal with the fallout from the Syrian civil war. The soldiers will be setting up a headquarters near the border in order to provide a range of as-yet-unknown assistance to the Jordanian military. It is understood, according to reports from The Guardian, that the soldiers are focused on helping Jordan develop contingency plans to secure the chemical and biological weapons currently in the possession of the Syrian government. Jordan has been planning special forces missions to secure the weapons in the event of government collapse for some time, but has been undoubtedly aided by this US assistance. The move was announced by the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, though the Jordanians have denied the move saying that the Jordanian military is more than capable of defending Jordan from all threats.

The King Abdullah II Design & Development Bureau (KADDB) has formed a new joint venture with a Turkish defence firm Aselsan. The new firm, ASELSAN Middle East Company, will produce night vision and thermal-imaging equipment. Aselsan is a major Turkish electronics manufacturer. The JV will be 51%-owned by KADDB. Initially the company will manufacture single lens night-vision equipment and thermal-imaging equipment for vehicles. The production will take place in Jordan and may potentially expand to include other products.

The Royal Jordanian Air Force will be receiving a new air control system from Lockheed Martin. The company was chosen by the Jordanians and the US Air Force to provide the next generation system for the Jordanians. The FMS contract will allow the Jordanian military an integrated, real-time view of the countrys airspace and air assets, using information from multiple command centres. The system to be installed is known an Omnyx. The system collates data from existing radar infrastructure. The system is also intended to improve cooperation between the Air Force and other branches of the military. Lockheed Martin is being paid US$26mn under the terms of the contract.

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