Defense industry’s life preserver

Defense industry’s life preserver

The U.S. defense industry has reached out to developing nations’ to supplant domestic and European defense spending losses.

U.S. arms transfer agreements tripled in 2011 compared to 2010, rising from $21.4 billion to $66.3 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report. Out of that total, $56.3 billion worth of arms transfer agreements were made to developing nations.

The U.S. isn’t alone. The amount of arms transfer agreements to developing nations globally rose from $32.7 billion in 2010 to $71.5 billion in 2011, according to the CRS report. Of course, the U.S. made up for a significant portion of that increase.


It’s clear when attending the major international defense shows like Eurosatory and Farnborough that the focus for defense companies is targeting the growth markets — namely Saudi Arabia, India, and the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia purchases have been especially kind to floating defense industries coming down off the U.S. defense spending spree of the past five years. A U.S. agreement to sell 84 new F-15SA fighter jets and upgrade another 70 of the Saudi’s F-15S fleet made up a chunk of the 2011 arms trade agreement increase. Along with associated weapons and long term logistics, the deal was worth $29 billion.

U.S. defense industry leaders have pleaded with the Pentagon to loosen restrictions on foreign military sales. This growth could be a sign the Pentagon is making progress.

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Why don’t we increase domestic sales by cancelling the F-35C and letting the US Navy buy 600 more Super Hornets as well as all the upgrades Boeing is marketing?

Unless you build advanced aircraft with leading edge design and using new technologies your aircraft industry will decline. The F18E is a rehash of a design from the late 70s and the upgrades from Boeing are more a marketing approach than a serious design .

“Unless you build advanced aircraft with leading edge design and using new technologies your aircraft industry will decline. The F18E is a rehash of a design from the late 70s”

True. Equally true is that the F-35 is a rehash of a design from the mid-90s.

A bad design to start with, one that hasn’t improved with age. It is hardly “leading edge design” circa late 2012.

And yes, the US military aerospace industry is in decline. Definite and sharp and possibly terminal decline. Competitors overseas are coming on line and up to speed faster than the sclerotic American defense procurement mechanism and its corrupt industry leeches are able to respond and react.

This will have eventual consequences. Unpleasant ones.

Do you think that when the Europeans get a foot hold in the us markets that they are going to turn down the rich creamy milk that is that fat Washington cow — NO! they are going to exactly what are defense contractors do. It is DOD’s fault they would not get get taken advantage in they didn’t want to. The politicians let that kind of stuff go on it’s all politics. We ( politicians ) let you rape the taxpayers and you fund my next campaign for office and a second house in Maine. When it is election year they make a big show about reforming defense spending and after they get elected , it’s business as usual ( rape the taxpayers give us are cut in the form of campaign funds) meanwhile if anything gets in the way (environment , export laws , ect…) then we will clear the way. It is very unfortunate but that is what happens, there should have never been any lobbyist allowed ever. As soon as you let business pay politicians for there vote the whole process is doomed, and if and when the Europeans break into the US defense markets the only thing that will change is the politicians will be getting paid Euros instead of dollars, THAT’S IT !

The US military is not at risk on any front. The threat comes from the puzzle palace in DC that fuels the military industrial complex. Take a hard look at the numbers in Russia, and China. There are several impressive air show demo aircraft that have no utility beyond a knife fight at 250 kts or less, and one ex Russian carrier for China. And we’re now funding the NGB? A B-2 on steriods? Hardly. Open your eyes and take a hard look for the enemy. You’ll find them in the A-E ring in DC.

It’s not quite true. Radar of the T-50 is said to be made from nanotechnology; we are not talking of technology from the 70s here. Same for missiles, including. While they may or may not be as good as the latest one, they are not far behind. Apparently European now got missile with a precision capable to rivalize those made in USA. Having anti-tank missile that got a precision of lets say 14cm instead of 4cm, both will get the job done.

If you were talking about countries like Iran, I would agree; but they remain dangerous. They got an impressive engineering capability but still far from occident, unlike countries like China, India or Russia

Part missing: Same for missiles, including Europe.

Is METEOR far behind?

forget the super hornet, the navy needs a top-tier carrier-launched fighter with current technology. the f-35 won’t work, it is too specialized toward CAS and low-threat ground interdiction. the navy needs more of a balance between that and air-to-air capability to both support the marines and protect the carriers. something like a navalized f-22 or the “6th gen” naval fighter i read about a few months ago.

This is defense industry code for “let us outsource more of our weapons development.” They already outsource 60% overseas.

The end of production: 2014–2016: f15 ‚f16 ‚f18
Who really will F-35?

That is a load of BS. The vast majority of work and all of the critical technologies are done in the US.
Please give examples of key electronic warfare, stealth aircraft, communications or weapons technology that has been outsourced overseas. Same for imaging/surveillance and night vision technologies.
If 60% of that stuff is now developed overseas, surely you can give concrete examples where this has happened.

There have always been lobbyists in every form of government but they have had different monikers. Back in the ‘good’ old days of monarchies they were courtiers, now they are called lobbyists. In a perfect world such currying for favor wouldn’t work but in the real world this is how it’s always been done. If you make them illegal you’ll just drive them underground. I’d rather have them out in the open.

Congressmen have all day long to make secret deals and the typical citizen has only a fraction of that to watch them so who will win that battle most of the time?

I admit up front that I am not an avionics professional but reports like this make me very concerned about our assumed technological superiority: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2010–01.html

I’d love to see a counter to that assessment.

F-15 production is good until 2019 with the Saudi deal alone, if they land any other deals over the next five years it will be pushed into the 2020’s. Now the F-18 and F-16 lines you are spot on with… sad because both airframes still have huge value and potential.

What is needed for industry is a real development program like F/A-XX could be. As mentioned by Gues, a top line carrier aircraft with range, speed, and firepower beyond F-35C is needed to address the 2030 threats. F/A-XX teamed with an upgraded but still cheap (relative to F-35C) F/A-18 would make a better CAW than what the Navy is going to get stuck with on the current path.

Yep, let’s supply our future enemies with pleanty of weapons systems to use against us. Machine guns for teenagers in Africa when at home people want to take away our handguns.

It is a shame that there is not such demand for primary education, agricultural development, women’s rights, preventive and proactive healthcare, clean water and family planning services. We’d also get a lot more bang for the buck investing more in hearts and minds and using the savings to effectively maintain weapons systems and personnel, national defense and the conduct of warfare when and where absolutely necessary. The perverse sale of military hardware and especially to oppressive regimes (oil supplier or not) brings to mind the old saying that “you don’t have to hang ourself just because you can”. As a former active duty Marine I firmly believe in preparedness, mandatory service and that very few truly want to fight, but somebody had better know how. President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address of January 1961 should be read by all, and especially item 4., in which he warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex.

Lets see what return we have on arming nations “THAT DO NOT SEE EYE TO EYE” We will be giving the persons that will not work with us but sell to groups for freedom from our det for the arms

warmongering is always profitable for those far in the rear away from the danger.

Why U.S. had sell jetfigthers to The Arabs? Selling Aircraft with “leading edege” to them is like a “sleep with the enemy” All U.S. military aid must will go to Israel,because Israel is a REALLY friend of United States
Akiva (Gunrach)

Agreed, but the powers that be won’t/can’t consider anything in the long term. It’s more important for their current quarterly reports to show how effective they are today…especially in an election year. *sigh*

Semper Fi

Dear Jim, I dont want to take away your handguns, or rifles, or AK47 for that matter, I just want you to be held accountable and criminalized if you use it inappropriately, or if you lose control of it and it is used inappropriatly by the person/persons who posess it.

How about you give an example of not just being a mouth for sale first, dumbass?

Appropriately, “Who is John Galt?”

Folks, be sure not to give away too much … intelligence over a blog. Remember, proprietary information should be kept proprietary.

From what I am reading here, you are giving away quite a bit of corporate strategic information that should be considered off limits to online discussions.

Not to mention DOD strategic decision making, what they will be and will not be purchasing.

Remember: “Trust No One”

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