EOS’s success points to a deadly dilemma in the defense industry

Analysis by Peter Roberts

The recent success of Canberra’s Electro-Optic Systems (ASX: EOS) in selling deadly weapons overseas has raised a problem that the defense sector has long avoided. Is It Right to Sell Arms to Despots?

For most of our history as a manufacturing nation, there was a tacit bipartisan agreement to sell only non-lethal systems overseas.

That changed when the coalition shifted a new focus to the defense industry and exports after abusing the submarine acquisition.

Since then, there has been a gradual escalation in exports, with various deliveries going to evil regimes in Africa and elsewhere.

But EOS, which makes weapon systems that can be remotely controlled from the protection of an armored car, has broken the deadly taboo.

EOS was criticized last month for a $ 450 million arms sale to the UAE that many believe is being used by Saudi Arabia against rebels in the bloody conflict in Yemen.

And now his weapons are getting bigger and more deadly.

At last week’s Avalon Air Show, EOS announced its new T2000 system that goes beyond machine guns and grenade launchers.

The turret can mount 30-40 millimeter high-performance cannons, 30 mm light cannons and up to two 7.62 mm machine guns.

Dr. Ben Greene, CEO of the EOS Group, said: “The T2000 was designed from the ground up as a new platform to support a wide range of new surveillance, protection and lethal solutions from multiple vendors in a fully integrated environment.

“With this tower, EOS will compete for the requirements of Australia’s allies and partners around the world. In early 2019, over $ 1 billion in competitive bids were submitted for award from 2020.”

Only in the arms industry could death become a “leathility solution”.

The T2000 was developed in collaboration with Israel’s Elbit Systems and manufactured in Australia.

However, the prospect that $ 1 billion worth of Australian cannons may be used in urban combat and even civilian areas takes some getting used to.

Saudi Arabia is a monarchical dictatorship that oppresses women and finds itself in fierce competition with its religious rival Iran. She has been criticized for her brutal tactics in Yemen.

Perhaps this is a policy area that should have been consulted across the community rather than just decided in the Canberra bubble.

Image: EOS

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