DNI Launches Manufacturing NIE

DNI Launches Manufacturing NIE

A National Intelligence Estimate is the highest expression of long-term institutional worry that the US government possesses and the Director of National Intelligence has ordered one on America’s manufacturing capabilities.

This isn’t simply a look at the defense industrial base, though that will certainly take up a signficant portion of the work. This should be a comprehensive examination of the national security implications of an economy undergirded by industries that do not produce something you can touch.

The news was first reported by Manufacturing & Technology News on February 3 and was spotted by Loren Thompson, defense consultant and head of the Lexington Institute. Why is this a big deal, you ask? Thompson points out that: “China and America began the decade each producing about the same amount of steel. By the time the decade ended, China was producing ten times as much steel as the United States. Such trends have important consequences for national security. When defense secretary Robert Gates launched a crash program to build armored trucks for U.S. troops in Iraq, it was discovered there was only one plant left in the nation producing steel tough enough to meet military needs — the old Lukens steel plant in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, which has been bought by European steel giant Arcelor Mittal. The same plant supplies high-strength steel for other military purposes such as submarine hulls, but the fact that there is only one such plant in the whole country suggests that FDR’s “arsenal of democracy” is running out of steam. After decades of pressure from subsidized foreign producers, the U.S. steel industry is only capable of meeting two-thirds of domestic demand in a normal year.”


For those of you with an historical bent, you’ll remember that General Motors retooled and built tanks during World War II (photo above). The other auto builders pursued similar courses, building virtually no passenger cars for the duration of the war. While we may not need the sort of surge capability made manifest during that late war, we surely must possess the basic technologies and manufacturing tools (and workers) to make weapons in time of war — let alone maintain a vibrant and creative economy that has been the world’s envy.

Thompson ticks off other manufacturing losses: “Bristol-Myers Squibb closed the last U.S. plant producing key ingredients for antibiotics in 2004… When Toledo boosters decided to build a museum tracing their community’s long history in the glass industry, they ended up buying specially shaped glass for the exterior from China. The new World Trade Center is using Chinese glass too.”

Then he warns against the policy establishment or other groups trying to use this to warn off China or to highlight China as the only threat.

“Big changes in national policy will be required to reverse current trends, beginning with better enforcement of U.S. rights under trade treaties. But let’s not make this just about China’s transgressions. There are plenty of other countries that have taken advantage of America’s open-market policies to pursue mercantilist ends, from the South Koreans with their exclusionary policies on U.S. auto exports to the European countries who have given Airbus $20 billion in prohibited trade subsidies,” he writes. “If Washington doesn’t finally put its foot down with all these offenders, then America’s economy will never recover to what it once was.”

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Hopefully some useful ideas come out of this study. A robust industrial base is key to far more than just national security, and the recent story where Chrysler workers were caught getting drunk and high on lunch breaks doesn’t say good things about the direction we are heading.

Well atleast it isn’t from China… yet… prepare for massive reports of lead poisoning in our beer when that happens!

Has DNI seen the USAF tanker RFP?

Part 1 / 7

Text excerpt: “European steel giant Arcelor Mittal”

Sorry, but Arcelor is as European today as curry, a turban or as a rickshaw. (The former Jaguar luxury cars are now manufactured in rickshaw factories, too. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer people, heh heh)

(Continued)

Part 2 / 7

Text excerpt: “…you’ll remember that General Motors retooled and built tanks during World War II (photo above). The other auto builders pursued similar courses, building virtually no passenger cars for the duration of the war.”

U.S. car companies “built virtually no passenger cars after the duration of the war”, either: In 1980 the inferior U.S. American “Abrams” tank was only preferred over the obviously superior British “Challenger” (1) tank and German “Leopard” (II) tank… to save the CIVILIAN , PRIVATE car-maker Chrysler with large ESTATAL orders of ANYTHING , even in deep peacetime!
And the decline of the U.S. American car industry in general (except for the brand Ford) had NOTHING to do with “subsidized foreign producers” (“the Japs” = the sorriest excuse of all… You should have told them to build the F-35 !), but with utterly sclerosed U.S. American management, fatally unable to adapt to the post-oil-crisis reality. Up to this day!

(Continued)

Part 3 / 7

Text excerpt: “…we surely must possess the basic technologies and manufacturing tools (and workers) to make weapons in time of war”

When you need even ≥ 30 years to finish the first prototype of ANY completely new weapon? Or did you just mean weapons in general, not NEW weapons?

To my knowledge, the last war in which it was still possible to design entirely NEW weapons (including new means of transport) from drawing board to test site to mass-production & front-line service was World War II.
Since then, the weapons grew too complex and the wars too short in duration for that.

(Continued)

Part 4 / 7

Text excerpt: “…let alone maintain a vibrant and creative economy that has been the world’s envy.”

Oh oh, somebody is confusing quaNTity with quaLity…

Nobody envies a country for producing lots of tons of steel alone (“industrial capacity”). It may look like a sign of prosperity (idiotic rubbish: The Soviet heavy industry constantly outpaced the U.S. American heavy industry – did it save them? Did it even make them moderately rich? Can you really imagine many young, “true blue” U.S. Americans working in coal mines and foundries?), it may even be strategically important (what happened to any strategic RESERVES ? Only a few oil deposits?), but a surge capability isn’t really something economically “enviable”.

(Continued)

Part 5 / 7

People only envy a few VALUE-ADDED products like for example the F-22, not because of their anti-Americanism, but because nowadays hardly anything new and fascinating is still being manufactured in the U.S.A. .
It’s okay if an unemployed cook forgets with time how to turn eggs into omelettes (“lost skills”), but what’s the point of being unemployed AND of making omelettes, but not to sell them to anyone (F-22s, again) ?

The last truly enviable, potentially record-profiting industries in the U.S.A. remind me of a brilliant cook who opens his restaurant NOT to sell meals, but only to be envied for his restaurant’s menu card…

He might even get envied. But he’ll never be pitied.

(Continued)

Part 6 / 7

Anyway: What (capitalistic, on top of that!) government WORRIES about a “a vibrant and creative economy” ? Is the private, civilian Economy ANY of its responsibilities, or even its mission? Why does it even bother with the market criers’ noise?

If most U.S. Americans naturally prefer superior and / or cheaper (imported) foreign products over inferior and / or more expensive U.S. American products, who is this “National Intelligence Estimate” to force them to think otherwise?! Some years ago even the Soviets quit forcing their people to buy only their own products, knowing that this meant the death of their whole ideology, including régime change!

Or do you think that Capitalism is forever, too?

————————————————

Text excerpt: “If Washington doesn’t finally put its foot down with all these offenders, then America’s economy will never recover to what it once was.”

Typical, hysterical U.S. American reaction…

(Continued)

Part 7 / 7

When somebody is caught pickpocketing, you don’t drop a nuke on him. When a child does something forbidden, its parents don’t shoot it. When a country like the U.S.A., that presides (and even INSISTS on presiding!) over COUNTLESS international free trade organizations and agreements, etc., catches a foreign company importing too much or producing unsafe stuff, or violating its workers’ and clients’ rights, dodging taxes, receiving illegal subsidies, etc., etc., then it doesn’t scream for instant, total isolationism and protectionism, etc., no: It investigates that company, sues it, fines it, confiscates its contentious goods, and only extremely rarely bans that company or a specific product altogether. That’s one of its missions.

If necessary, it repeats this process a 100.000 times. It certainly never loses A SINGLE CENT doing this, so whom does Loren Thompson defend, if not the consumers’ best interests, nor the government’s ability to pay salaries to its economical inspectors… whom?

Having spent over 4 months in the last 14 in China at a number of different small and medium size factories. Not just in the big cities, but in the heartland: some cases eating in places where I was literally the first non-asian that ever eaten there! Core to the Chinese success is not low labor costs: It is low capital costs! Long term working capital was 2 percent for many years, even now it is just pushing 6 percent. No small American firm has been able to borrow at those rates since the 1950’s! The giant companies can borrow at those rates right now. Any small firm is looking at 8 to 12 percent.

Here is some quick math: Chinese factory labor rates are about 1.00 to 1.50 per hour fully loaded. Chinese labor usage is between 4 and 6 times greater than American labor hours used in all the but the most modern plants. So at best the Chinese company is paying 4 dollars for what we pay 12 dollars for: In most cases the number is more like 9 dollars for what we pay 14 dollars for. That 5 dollars per hour is quickly eaten up in transport time, delays, inspection and a lot of other costs. And the gap is narrowing; The Chinese understand they need labor saving machinery and will soon be purchasing it. The other strong advantage they have is easy access to investors. Here in the USA it is roughly 100 to 200 thousand dollars to do a public offering_ even if you only want to raise a million dollars. The Chinese costs are a fraction of that, and they have a history of small investor groups as well a huge access to goverment investment groups (something I dont reccomend we do!). See next comment for more thoughts on how to fix this.

We can easily compete, with tax law changes that will not cost the goverment a dime: First: A single federally approved form for creating a public company. This way any firm can go into the public markets. These firms would be required to have the top 20 employees and owners bonded by a AAA rated insurance company against fraud or theft up to the value of the public offering for 10 years. This would keep out the crooks and make it easy for company to raise equity capital. Second, we need to drive bank loans to where the money is needed: We create a special class of tax exempt loan : When the banks or loan company loans at a rate of 5 percent or less (no points or fees allowed) for 10 years to a business with a net worth of under 10 million the profit to the bank or loan company is exempt from state and federal taxes. In addition, to create a pool of funds for these loans; Investors who purchase certificates of deposit limited to funding these loans (the certificates are for a minimum of 3 years) have there income from these CD’s tax free. This creates a pool of money that will go directly into growing USA businesses.

All you would create would be another junk bond bubble.

The overwhelming willingness of Americans to build up such bubbles is the root cause of why capital is malinvested. It’s simpler and gets a much better return to invest at the casino than in the real economy. The effects are not only a lack of capital but a distortion of the real economy, where to keep up with the casino the real economy has to fake it.

There are plenty of examples of economies that compete well with the Chinese but Americans are not interested in learning anything from them.

Two things. The picture shown is actually the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant building Sherman tanks. The plant was built and operated by Chrysler, not GM. Second, most of the MRAP steel from ArcelorMittal actually came from Mexico, not PA. When it came to ramping up for MRAPs, most of the material and technology came from outside CONUS.

We also are continuing the trend to nationalize manufacturing and repair efforts in the national depot network under the guise of industrial base. DoD has never made any sense of the strategy on operation of government depots.

I liked the statement “…national security implications of an economy undergirded by industries that do not produce something you can touch.”

He wasn’t saying the steel came from PA, just that PA was the last location in the US to be capable of manufacturing armor grade steels… that the MRAP program was only the impitus for that discovery.

The thing I think we should be concerned of aside from domestic steel production is the capability to build industrial manufacturing equipment, which has become increasingly built abroad. That said we should consider using more and more composite armors and reduce our dependency on steel for armor.

You DO realize of course that a majority of composite armors are laminates are made of of various metals and ceramics, right?
They’re not talking solely about plastic (polymers, to be more accurate).

Until we, the US, return to a stronger manufacturing base that provides the quality refined metals (homogenous or alloys) and ceramic materials used in these laminates, we’re sadly going to continue being tied to foreign sources for these refined materials.

Don’t even get the avalanche started about our dependence on foreign petroleums to feed our growing desire for plastics (too many imports out there are still manufactured with non-bio plastics made from petroleum base, not from natural (plants & animal leftovers) oils.

And to think people are all fussing and whining about NIH military hardware from Europe.…

Most Americans are willing to work.
Problem is, unions as well as corporate greed are what drove these manufacturing jobs out of the US and into countries where labor, operating costs, and eco concerns are far lower.
Nobody will invest in a strong American industrial base if the profit margin is too long term to mature.

There is nothing to indicate the Challenger 1 or Leopard 2 were superior to the Abrams. Indeed political and industrial reasons pretty much ensured an American design would be chosen over the proposed American variant of the Leopard 2 (the most serious foreign contender) but the Abrams certainly turned out well enough.

will this be made public?
btw, a lot of those ceramics for the armour (at least personal) comes from israel/ europe as far as i know

There is only one facility with the capability to manufacture heavy steel combat vehicle chassis. It is owned by the government and managed by GD to upgrade the Abrams platform. Production of the M1A2 SEP ends in 2013 and then it goes into mothballs. The skills necessary to fabricate a MBT hull are unique and perishable. If the plant goes dormant, the skilled worker will leave the area because there is no other industry in Lima, OH that requires their expertise. Without a warm production base, the sub-suppliers get out of the tank parts business and eventually the readiness of the fleet will suffer a lack of spare parts. This is a real threat to sustaining our military superiority.

You should see the “airplane factory” I work at. Up until a few years ago, we actually MADE PARTS of the airplanes here! Granted, the machinery we used was all 1970’s vintage, but we actually built parts for the airplanes right here. You could never go down to the factory floor without hearing the tell tale rattatatat of rivets being driven. Today it is totally silent on the floor. All the old hydropresses are gone. The old brake presses are gone. The old waterjets and nc routers are gone. The nc mills and lathes are gone. What was once an airplane manufacturing plant is now a f’ing warehouse with an assembly line where they assemble parts of airplanes sold to us by foreign companies. Hell, they brag about all the countries they’ve outsourced the airplane to. There’s 100 or more flags lined up along the assembly line to represent all the outsourced parts. The company has been gutted. It is nothing more than an empty shell where once a proud aircraft plant stood. Sleep safe, America.

Have you heard of John Hart-Smith? He wrote a paper in 2001 entitled “Out-Sourced Profits — The Cornerstone of Successful Subcontracting.” Everyone should read it.

Did you ever wonder why McDonald Douglas started their own Phantom Works back in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s? It was because of the ATF competition. They found out they didn’t have anyone who could design an airplane anymore. They had to outsource the design of the YF-23! No one in their entire plant could design a decent fighter. Their competitors were no better. The F-22 is crap. It’s got a drag coefficient closer to that of a barn door than to that of an F-14. Thank the aircraft gods for composites and high tech engines or the damn thing would never go supersonic. Even with the Phantom Works, there’s still no one at Boeing who can design a decent fighter. Their Sonic Cruiser was a good design, but their JSF candidate was a damn joke. But keep on sleeping, America.

I’ve only skimmed it so far. The problem is, the way I see it, there is no incentive for CEO’s to reinvest company profits back into the company. Even though John makes a great case for Boeing doing more of the work in-house, it’s not going to happen because it would require the CEO to invest in modern capital equipment. The more he invests in Boeing, the lower the profits for the year. The lower the profits, the lower his bonus, the lower the stock dividend. Everyone (important) is not happy. CEO’s today are slow motion corporate raiders. They don’t take it all at once. They just let manufacturing capabilities go obsolete and then don’t replace them. I’m not sure what we should do about that. It didn’t used to be a problem when CEO’s gave a damn about their company’s line of business.

http://​seattletimes​.nwsource​.com/​A​B​P​u​b​/​2​0​1​1​/​0​2​/04
Here’s a link to the paper.

To the poster “William C.”

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Part 1 / 8

You wrote: “There is nothing to indicate the Challenger 1 or Leopard 2 were superior to the Abrams. Indeed political and industrial reasons pretty much ensured an American design would be chosen over the proposed American variant of the Leopard 2 (the most serious foreign contender) but the Abrams certainly turned out well enough.”

But of course.

In 1976, the intellectually super-honest, incorruptible, technically-minded U.S. Army evaluated the “Abrams” tank and an “Austere Version” (!) of the “Leopard II” tank, which took 18 months to “develop” (to downgrade) and which had NOTHING to do with a real = perfectly normal “Leopard II” tank.

The specs of both tanks types were / are:

(Continued)

Part 2 / 8

“ABRAMS” :

Weight(s):
61,4 (metric) tons for the original M1 / IPM1 version (in 1976)
69,5 (metric) tons for the latest M1A2 SEP version

Speed(s):
Road: 72 km/h
Off-road: 52,8 km/h

Range: 479,24 km; 567,24 km with N.B.C. system

Gun calibre: 10,5 cm (today: 12 cm)

Price(s) :
In the 1990s: 4,3 million $ unit price
Today: > 5 million $ unit price

(Continued)

Part 3a / 8

“LEOPARD II” :

Weight(s):
< 52 (metric) tons empty
62,3 (metric) tons battle weight of the latest version, the A7

Speed(s):
Road: 80 km/h (loss of steering control on flat asphalt at: 116 km/h)
Off-road: 68 km/h – 72 km/h

Range: 550 km (with internal fuel)

Gun calibre: 12 cm, optionally 14 cm, to counter the latest Russian 15,2 cm tank gun calibre

(Continued)

Part 3b / 8

Price(s) :
1) In 1973: 2,3 million DM unit price ( = 1.599.370 $ . I repeat: Only 1.599.370 $ !!! 1 Deutsche Mark = 0,695378 $ ; 1 $ = 1,43807 Deutsche Mark)
2) The latest version, the A7, in 2007: 3 million € ( 4,079 million $ ) unit price
3) The latest version, the A7, in 2007: 5,74 million € – max. 12 million € ( 7.806.042 $ – max. 16.318.174 $ ) complete life cycle price = including all kits, spare and repair parts and technical assistance, etc., for its entire life
4) The most widespread version, the A4 version, in 2007, SECOND-HAND price: In 2007 Chile bought 172 second-hand “Leopard II” A4s for only 511.627 € ( 695.661 $ ) apiece

(Continued)

Part 4 / 8

During that 1976 contest, the crippled “Austere” “Leopard II” version easily humiliated the “Abrams” in the categories of
1) agility,
2) first hit probability at 2 kilometers, while driving over rough terrain = THE most important criterium for any modern battle tank!
and
3) general system reliability.

And I won’t even elaborate on the difference between the “Leopard II”‘s 12 cm gun & rounds in relation to the “Abrams”’ (early) 10,5 cm gun…

My arch-Gallic, deeply anti-U.S.-American suspicions tell me that initially, between 1980 – 1990, the U.S. Army only equipped its “Abrams” tanks with these ridiculous 10,5 cm guns to advertize a smaller total weight for the “Abrams” than real, for export purposes. (Guns with intelligent calibres have heavier barrels, ergo heavier barrel counter-weights, suspensions, loading mechanisms and elevation mechanisms, bulkier and therefore heavier turrets, too, heavier ammunition, etc., etc., etc.)

(Continued)

Part 5 / 8

The U.S. Army can’t possibly be that stupid to have trusted the obsolete 10,5 cm gun more, even for a second!

Or can it?

So, I’m forced to deduct that in the end it was only the mature, easy-to-use, highly convertible, best-selling “Leopard II”‘s inferior price (inferior = badder, as you know) that led to the “Leopard II”‘s “natural” defeat against the newborn “Abrams” type in the U.S.A., and only there…

That, and because you’re real U.S. American patriots, too: You would NEVER accept 50 years of German tank-building know-how delivered at your doorstep, and for a cheaper price than yours!

(Continued)

Part 6 / 8

And of course: The fact that Chrysler, which built the prominent “Abrams”, was constantly the smallest of Detroit’s “Big Three”, saw its sales volumes drop even BEFORE the 1973 Oil Crisis, failed to produce a single fuel-efficient, safe car model, produced mostly shoddy cars, collapsed in Europe and Australia, lost all its compact, large car and truck lines, had Lee Iacocca (whose favourite ad slogan was “If you can find a better car, buy it”) beg President Jimmy Carter for lots of bail-out Bill uh money, managed to convince the U.S. Armed Forces to buy tons of Dodge trucks while simultaneously selling “Chrysler Defense”, got boycotted by gay right groups and was handed around from one disappointed investor to the other, like all those inefficient British car brands still are, before filing for Chapter 11 protection, etc., etc., etc., had “nothing” to do with the adjudication of the “Abrams” production to Chrysler. Nooo, not in the meritocracy U.S.A. !

(Continued)

Part 7 / 8

Same goes for most other U.S. arms since then, from the 5,56 mm rifle calibre (your enemies’ best friend) to all the disgraceful Colt rifles (your enemies wouldn’t want them in any calibre) to the F-18s (which lost against the F-16s and should have been recycled into non-recyclable beer cans) to “both” L.C.S. types (which of them does the U.S. Navy need less?), etc. .

I guess that that’s why the U.S. American military-industrial complex doesn’t sell its few truly admirable weapons abroad, like that cook in my metaphor who only makes wonderfully looking menu cards for himself, but not to make meals for sale: If everybody else (at least your own richest allies) could have the best weapons which you produce, then the U.S. Armed Forces would end up being the WORST equipped armed forces in the World! The scandal about the majority of your arms purchases would simply become to big to conceal…

(Continued)

Part 8 / 8

We foreigners even like some of the more expensive items on your menu card, but how can we, the foreigners, help your stagnant arms industry like that? No, first you make some of the best weapons in the World, then you content yourself with 30 years of applause from the global arms market.

Like the talented artists that you are!

I thought the DoD was working on the M1A3 ??

To ffb you wrote :
During that 1976 contest, the crippled “Austere” “Leopard II” version easily humiliated the “Abrams” in the categories of

Thats funny, the M-1 Abrams didnt even enter service until 1980. In fact, the first prototype was made in 1976. Production didnt start until late 1979. So this 1976 contest of yours wtf are you talking about ???
The first production models and prototype both had the 105mm gun and later versions with the 120mm
German gun. In 1983 the M-1 and its 105mm gun took 2nd in the Canadian Army Trophy and 1st place
in 1985 against Belgium, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, West Germany. Most American tank companies still used the M60A3 Patton tank at the time. In early war games in Germany I heard of many reports on how the Americans snuck up on opponents because of how quiet the engines where compared to the LEOPARD II’s, and others, diesel engines. Of course range was an issue.

And what about our F-18 Super Hornet : unit cost 55 million fly away cost in 2011
Rafale M : 90.5 million fly away cost 2008

To ffb you wrote : In 1976, the intellectually super-honest, incorruptible, technically-minded U.S. Army evaluated the “Abrams” tank and an “Austere Version” (!) of the “Leopard II” tank, which took 18 months to “develop” (to downgrade) and which had NOTHING to do with a real = perfectly normal “Leopard II” tank.

Again, WTF are you talking about. Since only a prototype was developed in 1976

I have come to realize that you are so blinded by hate for America and Americans there is no way to have
an Intelligent banter with you. You just spew French arrogance.

The defense industrial base grows and shrinks in direct proportion to the DoD’s demands. If the DoD wants to preserve industrial capability, then it needs something for that capability to do; otherwise you’re paying a bunch of engineers and technicians to stand around and drink coffee, which leads to snotty stories in the Wall Street Journal about “jobs programs”.

what kind of airplanes are you assembling? military?

will the result of the inquiry be made public?

To the poster “praetorian”

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Part 1 / 3

You wrote: “Thats funny, the M-1 Abrams didnt even enter service until 1980. In fact, the first prototype was made in 1976. Production didnt start until late 1979. So this 1976 contest of yours wtf are you talking about ???”

I’m dumbstruck. (Literally, LOL)

1) Please “Google” the following combination of search words:

“1976” + “trial” + “Abrams” + “tank” + “Leopard 2”

(Continued)

Part 2 / 3

Here, an excerpt from some totally haphazardly chosen search result on the Internet. Coincidentally or not, it also includes a (another…) hint at the “famous honesty” of that particular U.S. American “contest” :

“The prototypes were delivered in early 1976 and tests were conducted through until April.
The issue was clouded by the Department of Defense requiring testing of the German Leopard 2 to compare it with the contractor designs. It was judged that it would be too expensive to build the Leopard 2 in the United States but the two Governments agreed that they would try and standardise on individual components.”
http://​www​.historyofwar​.org/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​_​m​1ab

(Continued)

Part 3 / 3

2) And for your information: The year of 1980 comes only AFTER the year of 1979, which in turn comes only AFTER the year of 1976. At least here in France (because we invented the metric system).

3) Sooo yes, the prototype of the “Abrams” was indeed built in 1976, precisely in the same year when that evaluation contest was held. WHAT ON EARTH SURPRISES YOU ABOUT THAT ??

Did you want to hold a competition against foreign tank models only AFTER the “Abrams” was well into serial production?? Because it seems that that’s what you’re implying.

Following this line of thinking, how about we also field a competition today to see which plane type is better and therefore goes into serial production in the U.S.A.: The F-16 or the “Eurofighter”?

I think you severely underestimate the intelligence of us ferociously anti-American French, because that’s what I must obviously be, with every single word I write…

P.S.:

You also wrote: “In early war games in Germany I heard of many reports on how the Americans snuck up on opponents because of how quiet the engines where compared to the Leopard II’s, and others, diesel engines.”

I guess that a tank waiting in ambush is silent, yeah. (Because it has its engine turned OFF , or on idle, in case you encore nix capito) German tanks, on the other hand, traditionally had to learn how to survive in the cover-less Russian and North African plains. Although sometimes they also met U.S. tanks in plains.

I truly wonder: Would it really have made such an economical, finantial difference in the ‘80s if Chrysler license-built or produced one design OR the other…? Any ECONOMICAL difference at all?? At best, both tank models cost the same, or approximately so (license fees already included) – but in fact the “Leopard II” was always cheaper than the “Abrams”, and still is!

(Continued)

P.P.S.:

And from the purely military point of view – the only one which really matters to me:
1) Thanks to the U.S.’ gigantic Defense budget and especially to their military R & D expenditure, even in peace-time
and
2) since the U.S.A. are constantly embroiled in wars, accumulating battle experience much faster than any European country,
these two factors should theoretically influence all U.S. tank designs quickly to the better. (Does that happen?) So, any U.S. Army “Leopard II”s – had they ever been built – would quickly evolve into a completely different direction, away from their older German “Leopard II” “brothers”, and also much faster so, probably even besting them soon in the shape of U.S. AMERICAN “Leopard III”s!

(Continued)

P.P.P.S.:

But AT LEAST the U.S. military-industrial complex would have had the opportunity to build the FIRST World-class tank in U.S. American History departing from the best possible point of departure ( = an extremely rare situation, to be honest, except if you defeat a country and capture all its scientists), instead of discovering all the DISadvantages of autodidacticism (self-tuition) by reinventing the wheel (the tank) ! What was the possible intelligence or the possible patriotism of forfeiting this incredible headstart for your own Armed Forces?

And there really aren’t sooo many comparable, equally elating offers which the U.S.A. could do in return to Germany, except maybe allowing it to license-build the F-22s fighters and the “Virginia”-class S.S.N.s … what else? (And I don’t mean gadgets)

Yep.

The DIB and the DoD are conjoined twins connected at the head. The DoD will never, ever let one of the primes go out of business now because they’re “vital to national security.” Ash Carter says they can’t merge anymore either to “preserve competitiveness”, but what does that even mean if these companies are guaranteed business? Calling it a “jobs program” misses the point; it’s a money pump straight from the taxpayers to the defense contractors. Not a damn one of these contractors can compete in the free market anymore (if you say “Boeing”, I say “787”), and why should they try?

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