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Shortages (Potentially And Actually) Affecting Us Weapons Procurement


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#1 Chris Werb

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 1721 PM

Quite detailed article talking about problems in sourcing components, chemicals etc.

 

 


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#2 Dawes

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 2109 PM

On the topic of munitions, it's accurate to say that the US hasn't come up with any clean-sheet-of-paper missile systems in quite a while, as modifications/upgrades of current designs seem to fill the bill adequately. Europe seems well ahead of the US in this regard, with Meteor, SPEAR, Land/Sea Ceptor, etc.

 

Systems such as Paveway, Sidewinder, TOW, and the Standard family of missiles seem to go on without end.


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#3 Corinthian

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 0308 AM

When the current tools seem to be good enough, that only constant updates are done.... Besides, that's just the body of those weapons, the internals can be upgraded etc. I guess that also makes things easier to integrate with current weapons platforms, plus cheaper too.


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#4 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 0315 AM

After F35 and LCS, you can forgive them for trying to be pragmatic.


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#5 Ken Estes

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 1015 AM

Europe is not ahead in buying sufficient numbers of any ordnance, last time I checked.


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#6 Dawes

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 1400 PM

Europe seems to buy in smaller batches since they have fewer platforms, on the whole.


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#7 Dawes

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 1402 PM

After F35 and LCS, you can forgive them for trying to be pragmatic.

 

If it was up to me, I'd have Germany design our M1 Abrams replacement. They have a capable AFV design industry.


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#8 Chris Werb

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 1653 PM

This wasn't meant to be a negative comparison vs Europe. A lot of these shortages must potentially affect European weapons and Euro purchases too.

That said, there are a few apparent gaps in the US arsenal in the form of small, powered standoff weapons, an anti ship missile for internal carriage on JSF, affordable image seeking bomb seekers and a milti mode missile that can be carried in significant quantities, that can autonomously find and kill armour from reasonable standoff ranges..
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#9 Dawes

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 1759 PM

I think the UK's Brimstone would have been a good fit for many US platforms, but that apparently wasn't to be.

 

As far as small, powered standoff weapons go (such as a powered GBU-39 or -53?) the US seems content to rely on glide bombs. Any target more challenging than that would probably receive a Tomahawk or JASSM. 


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#10 Special-K

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 2042 PM

Regarding a standoff anti-ship missile for the JSF, it was my understanding that the NSM was being tweaked to fill that role.


-K
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#11 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 0348 AM

 

After F35 and LCS, you can forgive them for trying to be pragmatic.

 

If it was up to me, I'd have Germany design our M1 Abrams replacement. They have a capable AFV design industry.

 

 

If Europe worked on a reciprocal fashion, id have no problem with cross European cooperation. But it never works like that. We could go and buy a German tank, then put up some really nice Frigates we designed, and everyone will turn their nose up at it and buy German or Italian instead. Or the French go and design a remarkable new fighter, and everyone pats them on the back, and buys American.

 

We are all getting down to such small margins that developing our own weapons is becoming absurd, because we never buy enough to offset development costs. But nobody wants their electorate to lose jobs and hence votes.

 

Personally, Id happily see us building attack submarines or SSBNs for the yanks, not least because our defence industries seem to own large shares in each other. But try getting THAT past congress after the KC767 debacle.


Edited by Stuart Galbraith, 25 May 2018 - 0349 AM.

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#12 Dawes

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 0809 AM

I think the best you could do would be to license a UK design to a US yard. By law, all US warships have to be built in domestic shipyards.


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#13 seahawk

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 0838 AM

 

After F35 and LCS, you can forgive them for trying to be pragmatic.

 

If it was up to me, I'd have Germany design our M1 Abrams replacement. They have a capable AFV design industry.

 

 

That invented the Leopard II which is inferior to the Abrams, the Marder which is inferior to the Bradley, the Boxer which is a cheap copy of the Striker,

 

German tank design lives from stupid WW2 nostalgia, but they never invented a good tank since tanks were invented.


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#14 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 0844 AM

I think the best you could do would be to license a UK design to a US yard. By law, all US warships have to be built in domestic shipyards.

 

Which is fair enough, but their lack of nuclear capable Submarine yards is giving them problems with the wasting of the 688's from the fleet.

 

It does go to show part of the problem though. The US depends on foreign military sales, and there is little if any incentive to get costs down to make them competitive with anyone commercially.


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#15 Dawes

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 1004 AM

 

 

After F35 and LCS, you can forgive them for trying to be pragmatic.

 

If it was up to me, I'd have Germany design our M1 Abrams replacement. They have a capable AFV design industry.

 

 

That invented the Leopard II which is inferior to the Abrams, the Marder which is inferior to the Bradley, the Boxer which is a cheap copy of the Striker,

 

German tank design lives from stupid WW2 nostalgia, but they never invented a good tank since tanks were invented.

 

Well, given the Future Combat Systems and Ground Combat Vehicle fiascos, they certainly couldn't do any worse. Boxer and Puma look like decent designs.


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#16 Dawes

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 1008 AM

 

I think the best you could do would be to license a UK design to a US yard. By law, all US warships have to be built in domestic shipyards.

 

Which is fair enough, but their lack of nuclear capable Submarine yards is giving them problems with the wasting of the 688's from the fleet.

 

It does go to show part of the problem though. The US depends on foreign military sales, and there is little if any incentive to get costs down to make them competitive with anyone commercially.

 

 

No argument that the UK has some talented ship design bureaus. Isn't the US looking at a UK design (among others) for the new frigate?


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#17 TTK Ciar

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 1205 PM

We are all getting down to such small margins that developing our own weapons is becoming absurd, because we never buy enough to offset development costs.


My kneejerk reaction is to blame this on poor business decisions. If companies targeted specifications which were realistically within their ability to design, and designed systems which were realistically within their ability to manufacture economically and consistently, they should have affordable products which worked well and turned a profit.

Some cynical questions mar that rosy picture, though:

First, would such a approach compete favorably against companies which promise the moon and sell gold-plated snake oil?

Second, do traditional business practices make sense in a market where contracts are granted (by and large) for political reasons?

Perhaps those poor business decisions aren't so poor after all, but reflect the realities of a chronically distorted market, and profit margins are small because too few corporate welfare dollars are chasing too many recipients.
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#18 Chris Werb

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 1729 PM

Stuart, I would like to see the US build our subs in exchange for building them some frigates. I'm not sure we have the capacity to build a meaningful number though. Then again US yards have capacity issues too. Particularly with subs.
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#19 Dawes

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 1753 PM

Isn't there planned to be some common components shared between the "Ohio" SSBN replacement and the UK counterpart?


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#20 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 0156 AM

Isn't there planned to be some common components shared between the "Ohio" SSBN replacement and the UK counterpart?

 

Yes, we designed a common missile compartment, albeit I think ours has 4 tubes and theirs 6, or something like that. Barrow in Furness is actually taking the lead therefore in designing components for the US missile boat program. At which point you have to ask, well why not build components for them as well. Our yard needs the work, they need the capacity.

 

 

Stuart, I would like to see the US build our subs in exchange for building them some frigates. I'm not sure we have the capacity to build a meaningful number though. Then again US yards have capacity issues too. Particularly with subs.

 

I think if we lost the SSBN's, then we would have to figure out how to keep Barrow in Furness in work. We could, and i think should, be also building diesel electrics or hybrid submarines, just to give the RN a bit extra capacity in places like the med, and to keep the yard in work. But try and convince the MOD THAT is a good idea. The RN was apparently deeply upset at losing the upholders, even if, from a global reach sense, it was kinda inevitable at the time.


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