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EDO MBM parts very likely to have been used in Saudi war crimes

* | 25.08.2010 18:54 | Smash EDO | South Coast

New revelations by Amnesty International UK, concerning possible Saudi war crimes implicate the Brighton arms company EDO MBM in attacks on Yemeni civilians.

Tornado fighter-bombers supplied by the UK to Saudi Arabia that are equipped with bomb components manufactured in Brighton, are "extremely likely" to have been used in attacks on civilians in Yemen.

According to the Independent, Amnesty International UK have called for the Government to suspend all arms supplies to Saudi Arabia pending a full investigation.

The UK must ensure that any support it has provided for the jet fighters "did not facilitate violations of international humanitarian law, including possible war crimes, by the Saudi Arabian air force," it said.

Amnesty's report, Yemen: Cracking Down Under Pressure, found it was "extremely likely that the Saudi air force deployed UK-supplied Tornado fighter-bombers in the strikes" over northern Yemen in early November 2009.

But the reports "cannot be verified definitively", the charity said.

Oliver Sprague, Amnesty's arms programme director, said: "Our report points to the Saudis using UK-supplied and UK-maintained arms in secret attacks that have left scores of Yemeni civilians dead.

Amnesty said "months of attacks saw heavy aerial bombardments, including from Saudi Arabian forces" last year as the Yemeni authorities, under pressure to confront threats from al Qaida and Huthi Shia rebels, targeted Sa'dah in the north of the country.

"Amnesty has gained information pointing to hundreds - possibly thousands - of civilians being killed in the bombing," the charity said.

It added that in one attack on December 17, at least 41 people were killed, including 21 children and 14 women, when their settlement in al-Ma'jalah in the Abyan district was hit by missiles.

EDO MBM in Brighton reportedly supply patented Field Replacable Connector Systems (FRCS) to the Tornado IDS as part of HDERU and LMERU bomb racks -these are alsoknown as the ERU-119 and ERU-120.

During the recent EDO Decommissioners trial, Sussex Police released photographic evidence that these bomb racks were in production at the Brighton factory as of January 2009.

The EDO Decommissioners were acquitted of charges of Conspiracy to Cause Criminal Damage on the basis that they had a reasonal belief EDO MBM were supplying Israel with military components that were to be used in war crimes in by Israel in Gaza, depsite the fact that the comapny denied supplying Israel.

EDO MBM do not deny that their components are used in the Saudi war planes.

The new information could provide the basis for a legal defence for similar actions in the future at the Brighton factory, particularly if Saudi Arabia continue to bomb Yemeni civilians as the did in 2009.



The HDERU is a 14/30” Ejector Release Unit that was developed specifically for the Panavia Tornado. It utilises the MACE (Minimum Area Crutchless Ejector) suspension system which eliminates swaybracing thereby reducing frontal area and drag. The HDERU is fitted to the centreline, shoulder and inboard wing pylons and can carry stores up to 5000lb in mass. The ERU utilises a standard over centre lock type and is operated by gas pressure from two pyrotechnic cartridges. The store is ejected via two independent pistons which can be throttled to provide pitch characteristics as necessary. (source: removed EDO MBM website)