In the same week UK courts declared British arms exports to Saudi Arabia to be unlawful, a large shipment of Australian-built remote weapons systems left Sydney airport.
Secret photographs, obtained by Guardian Australia, confirm the identity of the buyers – the Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates governments, whose forces are currently waging a devastating war in Yemen. Also marked are the suppliers of the equipment, which the manufacturer boasts is “significantly enhancing lethality” in combat.
Labelling on pallets destined in June for Saudi Arabia’s ministry of interior, specifically the general department of arms and explosives, identify the seller as ATK Alliance Techsystems Operations (Orbital ATK), a US-based company which sells the equipment manufactured by an Australian firm, Electro Optics Systems (EOS).
The weapons systems shipped to the UAE armed forces’ joint logistics command from Sydney’s international airport were supplied by EOS.
The R400s remote weapons station allows small cannons, guns or missile launchers to be mounted on military and light vehicles and operated remotely.
There has been long-running concern over arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition of countries waging war in Yemen.