Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Defense Writer was talking Korean arms industry but explained the Terrex 3 problem!

via Asia Times.
Most important of all, the global arms business is not an equal-opportunity marketplace. There is no level playing field, even if market leaders like the United States, Europe, Russia and a few others (Israel and China, for example) were not fixing the whole affair. Countries buy arms from certain suppliers for many reasons other than cost or capability.

In the first place, buyers often exhibit what can only be termed as “brand loyalty.” My dad was a “General Motors” guy: His entire life he bought only Buicks or Pontiacs; purchasing a Ford would never cross his mind. It is the same with weapons: Countries will acquire US weapons, for example, because they always have, and they are content to go on doing so.

Politics is also critical. Countries buy from the US or Russia in order to build friendly relations or show that they are reliable allies. That is why Poland bought F-16s from the United States, for example. The joke goes that when a country purchases US weaponry, Washington throws in the US Marines for free.
Story here. 

I consider this a must read!

Think about this.  Have you wondered why the Terrex 3, a vehicle I consider to be at the very least equal too if not better than others in its class has received no offers?

Let me take it a step further.  Have you wondered why the BAE SEP from a couple of decades ago, a world beating vehicle that was so far ahead of its time that if it was updated with additional armor and power pack would still be competitive, but never even got a nibble of an order?  Ever wonder why BAE and other corporations are flooding into the US (well defense firms anyway) so that they can get the stamp of the US DoD on their products?

It is as we've always suspected.  Nothing to do with the quality of the vehicle. I don't even think it has anything to do with the Not Invented Here syndrome that Europeans always complain about (you guys have lost a step on innovation...sorry but it's the truth).

It comes down to military power, industrial base, foreign policy and the desire to maintain relations.

This has been obvious all along but it took this guy to actually spell it out for me to lock onto it.

Going by his playbook what can we expect?  If things continue as they are and the world doesn't change drastically then we can expect to see more and more Chinese weapon systems worldwide.  Have you not noticed that Africa is starting to look like a Chinese weapons bazaar?  We can expect them to continue to saturate that market, probably flow over to N. Africa, attempt even more inroads into S. America before they make a big push into the Middle East.

Before that happens we'll see a few more bases that will make American policy makers uncomfortable and we'll see more treaties to make it stick.

In this light the Russian intervention in Syria was just good business practice to ensure that they preserved a market for their goods!

What does it mean for countries like Singapore, Japan, S. Korea and others that want to make inroads?  They will fail.  Not because they make shoddy equipment.  In many ways they make world beating gear.  They'll fail because they lack the other levers of power to make big arms deals a reality.

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