This year Yorkshire CND are working with Trident Ploughshares and other regional CND groups to co-organise an Anti-Nuclear Day at the DSEI arms fair in London.
What is DSEI?
Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) is the world’s largest arms fair, held in London every two years. The fair is heavily sponsored by the UK Government to promote arms sales abroad and each year hosts representatives from countries with a record a grave human rights abuses.
In successive years the fair has been found to be selling weapons that are banned from sale in the UK (such as electro-shock, torture equipment and cluster bombs). In addition to this, the fair’s invite list contains some of the world’s most authoritarian regimes, many of whom are known to use such weapons against there own populations.
Why an Anti-Nuclear Day?
While the majority of the worlds Government’s are coming together to try and bring about a UN Global Ban on Nuclear Weapons, many nuclear states are spending billions upgrading their weapons of mass destruction. Britain is one such country and last years decision on Trident means that spending on nuclear weapons is increasing dramatically and will reach over one third of Britain’s total defence budget by 2020.
Trump’s ravings about a ‘new arms race’ have led to record increases in arms company stocks, which may explain the huge sums arms companies invest in political lobbying to stoke conflict and mistrust around the world. For more on how the arms industry’s political sponsorship and bribes corrupt our democracy check out Andrew Feinstein’s brilliant book ‘The Shadow World‘. The companies below not only help create the ‘dangerous and unpredictable world’ that Michael Fallon believes justifies Trident renewal, they lobby against international agreements and profit from nuclear expansion.
Nuclear weapons companies at DSEI
Exhibitors at this years arms fair are the key figures behind multiple nuclear weapons systems.
Lockheed Martin – is the main partner in AWE-ML, the company that manages the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE). The AWE is responsible for the maintenance of the warheads for the UK’s Trident nuclear arsenal and manages and operates the AWE sites at Aldermaston, Burghfield, and Blacknest.
BAE Systems – the biggest UK arms company and subject of successive corruption and bribery investigations, it will provide the submarines that will replace the current ‘Vanguard’ subs, that carry the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system. It is also the prime contractor for the US Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system and part of the joint venture providing medium-range air-to-surface nuclear missiles for France.
Thales – is part of a joint venture to build the M51 submarine-launched nuclear missiles for the French navy.
Aerojet Rocketdyne – produces solid and liquid propulsion systems for the Minuteman III and Trident II (D5) (UK & US)
General Dynamics – provides a range of engineering, development, and production activities to support to US and UK Trident II Strategic Weapons Systems. It is also involved in the guidance systems of the Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles of the US Navy.
MBDA-Systems – a joint venture between BAE Systems (37.5%), Airbus (37.5%) and Leonardo-Finmeccanica (25%), supplies the medium-range air-to-surface missile system that delivers much of the French nuclear arsenal.
Moog – developed the launch vehicles and strategic missile controls for the Minuteman III (US) and Trident (D5) (US & UK) missiles.
Northrop Grumman – has provided the original launcher system of the Trident II (D5) since the 1980s. In December 2013 it was awarded a US$ 112.9 million (€ 82.5 million) contract for ongoing support to the Trident II (D5) Underwater Launcher System and Advanced Launcher Development Program Support for the US and the UK. Together with partners Babcock & Wilcox, Aecom and CH2M Hill (also exhibiting at DSEI 2017), is a joint venture partner in National Security Technologies (NSTec). Since 2006, NSTec manages the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), previously known as Nevada Test Site.
Safran Electronics & Defense – part of a joint venture to build M51 submarine-launched nuclear missiles for the French navy, which each deliver multiple warheads. Its subsidiaries Snecma and Sagem provide the propulsion and navigation systems for these missiles.
Rolls Royce – worked on propulsion systems for UK nuclear submarines as well as producing nuclear fuel rods at their plant in Derby.
Raytheon – currently involved in a project to stretch the lifecycle of the guidance systems of the Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles of the US Navy. It is also involved in studies in support of the new W80-4 Long-Range Standoff missile for the US arsenal.
What’s the plan?
Following on from a successful strategy at the last DSEI to disrupt the setup of the fair, anti-nuclear groups have committed to stopping vehicles delivering weapons to the Excel Centre on Wednesday the 6th of September. For those who have not taken part in Direct Action before there are a number of vital roles that do not risk arrest, such as legal observation, media work, cooking, fliering and general support. There will be accommodation in London, so do let us know if you’re likely to need it and we’ll be organising transport down to London from around the region. If you’re interested please get in touch.
The next planning day for northern anti-nuclear activists will be in from 11am-1pm Sunday 9th of July in Bridge-5 Mill in Manchester. There will also be national weekend of organising for all groups on the 22-23 July at the Human Rights Action Centre in London.