Thursday, February 16, 2017

NATO allies to jointly buy planes, set up HQ

European NATO allies agreed on Thursday to jointly buy planes and submarines and possibly open a new command headquarters for elite troops as Europe seeks to show the US it is serious about its own security.


In signing ceremonies at NATO, defense ministers from France and Germany said they will buy Lockheed Martin C-130J transport planes, while Germany, Belgium and Norway will join a Netherlands-led fleet of Airbus A330 tanker planes.

"This multinational cooperation through NATO is a clear way for countries to significantly improve their armed forces while ensuring the greatest value for money for their taxpayers," said Rose Gottemoeller, NATO's deputy secretary general.

The letters of intent, although not legally binding, are the latest sign that European allies are starting to end years of competing national strategies that have left Europe reliant on the US to provide basics such as refueling combat planes in the air.

New US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned NATO allies on Wednesday they must pay more towards their own defenses or potentially see less support from Washington.
  [kaos.gr/AFP]
16/2/17
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