DUBAI --- European defense programs should be issued with a single weapons export license so policy changes of an individual state do not affect the supply chain, the CEO of Italian defense company Leonardo said on Tuesday.
Germany imposed a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia in 2018 after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The ban has been criticized by Germany’s European allies since it put a question mark over billions of euros of military orders.
These included a 10-billion pound ($13.27 billion) deal to sell Eurofighter Typhoon jets, built by a consortium of Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain, represented by Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, to Riyadh.
Germany has not formally stopped existing deals, but equipment from other European countries with German parts has been held up.
The ban has highlighted how Europe’s highly integrated defense industry supply chain can be disrupted by a single government.
Currently, each European company involved in a joint program must receive an export license from their respective governments. If one government withdraws or does not issue a license an export can be unilaterally blocked. (end of excerpt)
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