"Odyssey Dawn", European Showcase

There is a "fresh" on impressions coverage Odyssey Operation Dawn, which was held to escort the no-fly zone in Libya since last week. News shows on the television screen is no longer dominated by the drawings made in the United States of sophisticated weaponry.

In the last two major wars involving coalition forces, ie, Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan, 2001, and Operation Iraqi Freedom to Iraq, 2003, almost all media featuring the U.S. military valor.

Image of F/A-18 Hornet aircraft taking off from aircraft carrier deck super, Tomahawk missiles shot from the destroyers, and M1 Abrams tanks milling about in the deserts of Iraq, repeatedly aired either on screen or page newspaper.

However, since the French led the attack on Libya on Saturday (19/03/2011) night, the weapons that the U.S. pledge as "disappeared" from the glass screen. Except for the classic show that Tomahawk missiles shot from the ship, not many major tool of weapons systems (defense equipment), US-made visible.

Instead, CNN is now more frequent displays of the French Rafale aircraft take off from air bases on land and from the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. On the other hand, looks sophisticated European-made fighter aircraft today, Eurofighter Typhoon, owned by Royal Air Force (RAF) United Kingdom was getting ready to take off at an airbase in Italy.

Name Tomahawk also got a new rival, the missile StormShadow. Air-to-ground missiles made in England, Italy, and France is carried by the planes of the RAF Tornado GR4.

With a variety of justifications, this time appearing on the European front, leading the largest allied forces military operation since the invasion of Iraq 2003. France, in particular, looks very aggressive by appearing as an opening attack and send the weapons in the capacity and a significant quantity.

GlobalSecurity.org defense news portal called, in the operation of France held a single aircraft carrier, four frigates and Mirage 2000D aircraft fleet and the Rafale F3.

Some observers said France wanted to improve the image in the Arab world after it is considered not active enough during the crisis in Tunisia, which triggered a wave of revolutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including in Libya today.

Effective Promotion

However, beyond all reason, it is no secret that every major military operation into a kind of "window dressing" a very effective way to market the capability of various types of sophisticated weapons to the world.

U.S. weaponry, ranging from F/A-18 aircraft, Abrams tanks, Blackhawk transport helicopter, Apache helicopter gunships, heavy transport aircraft to C-17 Globemaster III, sold well since they look often appeared on television, both in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In fact, the Humvee military jeep into a kind of new lifestyle icon for lovers kemachoan, after a versatile vehicle that appeared in Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991.

Mark Edward Schwan, a U.S. Marine Corps officer, wrote in the thesis of his S-2-1995, that the Gulf War in 1991 became extraordinary promotional event for a variety of U.S. weaponry. "Increased demand for U.S. weapons, especially thanks to the superiority of the weapons (artificial) used Soviet Iraq," he wrote in a thesis published Schwan at GlobalSecurity.org.

Schwan's estimate, the value of arms sales thanks to "showcase" the Gulf War when it reached 40 billion U.S. dollars. "The effectiveness of weapons systems that have been tested in war (combat proven) is one aspect of global demand from the U.S. arsenal," he writes.

No wonder the alleged Operation Dawn Odyssey into the European opportunity display their military products. At the time of European countries is still low in an endless recession, buying high-priced weapons it would be very helpful to economic recovery.

Dr Paul Holtom, Director of the Arms Trade Program at the research institute Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said European countries compete to fight arms market in Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America.

Last year, for example, the five leaders of the UN Security Council permanent members, namely the UK, U.S., France, China, and Russia, after another visit to India, to persuade the country to buy their homemade weapons (Kompas, 24/12/2010).

SIPRI said, France, Germany, Italy, and England, competing for naval equipment orders from Algeria. While Britain, France, Italy, and Sweden, fighting over contracts to buy the aircraft from Brazil.

Potential Market

In particular, the Middle East and North Africa is seen as a potential market for products of this defense equipment. Windfall from high world oil prices in recent years, and relations between countries in the region as well as internal tensions within the country, a key driver of the heat of defense equipment market in the region.

One example of how great market potential in this area are signing contracts to buy weapons from Saudi Arabia to U.S. $ 60 billion U.S. dollars, October 2010. The contract includes, among others, the purchase of 86 F-15 Eagle aircraft and 70 combat helicopters AH-64 Apache, Saudi Arabia required to deal with an increasingly aggressive Iran.

However, as extensive as any campaign that made the European arms manufacturers, they almost always lose with U.S. products. The aircraft manufacturer Dassault Rafale made from France, for example, has been promoted since 2000, but has never even won a contract for the purchase.

In Morocco, Rafale lost with the F-16 Block 52 made by Lockheed Martin, USA. While South Korea and Singapore Air Force prefers the F-15 Eagle Boeing production than the Rafale.

Likewise, the Typhoon, a fighter aircraft developed jointly by Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain in the Eurofighter consortium, it just got two customers outside the manufacturer states, namely Austria and Saudi Arabia.

One factor is that European weaponry was "losing campaigns" than the U.S. in terms of proof on the battlefield. Typhoon is not never used in actual warfare.

Rafale is already involved in missions in Afghanistan since 2002, but barely known to people because rarely appear on the TV screen like its rivals from the U.S..

That is why, chance featuring real combat capability in Libya, this time a golden opportunity for them. Bloomberg business news portal called, operating in Libya would encourage the sale of Typhoon aircraft, worth 106 million U.S. dollars per unit.

Eurofighter own party openly called the operation in Libya has become an important test for the Typhoon. "Interoperability is essential for combat aircraft, because the planes in the air data exchange, especially in operations like this," said Marco Valerio Bonelli, a spokesman for Eurofighter.

Amid the wave of change that swept North Africa and the Middle East today, the U.S. may never again be a dominant force in the region. It is time for Europe to show o

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