Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Global Impact: Germany's Defense Firm, Rheinmetall and Ferrostaal, to Manufacture 980 Armored Personnel Carriers in Algeria

According to AFP, Germany's defense firm, Rheinmetall and Ferrostaal, are scheduled to sign a deal with the Algerian government for nearly 1,000 armored personnel carriers and a manufacturing facility, a media report said Wednesday (June 18).

The business daily, Handelsblatt, said the contract, set to be signed in upcoming weeks, was for 980 Fuchs 2 vehicles worth a total of 2.7 billion euros (US$3.7 billion). 

COMMENT: Comprised of a 99% Sunni Muslim population of some 38 million, Algeria, known officially as the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, a geographical area slightly less than 3.5 times the size of the US state of Texas. 

The contract would be part of a wider agreement between Algeria and Germany, valued at 10 billion euros (US$13.5 billion), to include delivery of two frigates by ThyssenKrupp and industrial vehicles by Daimler, Handelsblatt said.

The spokeswoman for the German Economy Ministry said Chancellor Angela Merkel's previous center-right government had given a green light for defense collaboration with Algeria in 2011.

Berlin saw no reason to call into question discussions that could lead to the Algeria deal, the ministry added, despite criticism of the government for selling arms to countries with questionable human rights records.

Algeria has pledged not to sell the 120 vehicles produced annually on its own soil to other countries.

Merkel's government has in the past approved controversial arms shipments to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

For decades, Germany had declined to sell heavy weapons to Saudi Arabia because of concerns over human rights concerns for Israeli security.