Media Release. Contributors to nuclear arms industry shouldn’t advertise at Canberra Airport, leading campaign group says. 19 October, 2015

The presence at Canberra Airport of advertisements for companies involved in the nuclear weapons industry has been strongly criticised by a leading group campaigning for the abolition of all nuclear weapons.

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, Founding Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), arrived in Canberra today for talks with parliamentarians to encourage Australian support for a nuclear weapons ban treaty.  He said it is disturbing to see some of the companies that help perpetuate the nuclear weapons problem being permitted to display advertising that hits people as they wait for their luggage at the national capital airport.  Assoc Professor Ruff is also a Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its work in raising awareness of the need for nuclear weapons abolition.

ICAN produces an annual report, Don’t Bank on the Bomb, which identifies companies involved in the nuclear weapons industry and their funders, in an effort to encourage divestment from this industry.  The first such report, in 2012, was co-authored by ICAN Australia’s director Tim Wright.  South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu wrote the foreword to that report, referring to “man’s most evil creation, the nuclear bomb”, and said, “No one should be profiting from this terrible industry of death, which threatens us all”.

Don’t Bank on the Bomb mentions at least 5 companies that are currently advertising, or have advertised recently, at Canberra Airport, and are significantly involved in maintaining and modernising nuclear weapons: BAE Systems, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, ThyssenKrupp and Lockheed Martin (details on page 2).

Assoc Professor Ruff said “Nuclear weapons are the most terrifying and destructive weapons in existence.  It is imperative that they are abolished and never used again.  There is a strong global movement of both civil society, including ICAN, and many governments, that is working for a global ban on these weapons.  Their manufacture needs to be stigmatised, and the companies that contribute to their upgrading should be held to account, not promoted in our national capital”.

 

BAE Systems (United Kingdom)

BAE Systems is involved in the US and UK Trident II (D5) strategic weapons system programmes and US guided missile submarine attack weapons system programmes. It is also the prime contractor for Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) system

Lockheed Martin (United States)

Lockheed Martin is involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons for both the United States and United Kingdom. Among other things, it is responsible for the production of submarine-launched Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles.

Northrop Grumman (United States)

Northrop Grumman is a joint venture partner responsible for maintaining the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), previously known as Nevada Test Site. It also provides ongoing support to the Trident II (D5) Underwater Launcher System and Advanced Launcher Development Program for both the US and the UK.

 

Raytheon (United States)

Raytheon is involved in a project to stretch the lifecycle of the guidance systems of the Trident II (D5) nuclear missiles of the US Navy. It also has a contract to design a communications system for command and control of nuclear-armed bombers.

ThyssenKrupp (Germany)

ThyssenKrupp is building the Dolphin submarines for the Israeli army, according to Israeli design specifications, including, according to various media reports, land-attack and cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.