back to article Make America, wait, what again? US Army may need foreign weapons to keep up

Making America great again may require foreign-made weapon systems, a possibility that would contravene the Trump administration's stated goal to "buy American and hire American." A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report published last week, "Selected Foreign Counterparts of U.S. Army Ground Combat Systems and …

  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    O'Rly?

    It's not because someone who's willing to throw absurd amounts of money at the military has just got the job? I'd have thought they'd have just said, "no thanks, we're good after 60 years of military industrial complex, spend it on people who need it like the unemployed".

    1. NoneSuch

      Re: O'Rrly?

      Nope. Not with El Trumpo in office.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: O'Rly?

      Or we could spend it on the children! Think Of the children!

      In any case, unemployment in the US is - barring some "emergency bill" - paid by the individual states, not the federal government.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    F-35 Su-35

    Perhaps they should consider buying the Su-35 from Russia, it already works and apparently doesn't need a patch Tuesday each month.

    1. Innocent-Bystander*

      Re: F-35 Su-35

      Perhaps they should consider buying the Su-35 from Russia, it already works and apparently doesn't need a patch Tuesday each month.

      And in case of a conflict, be dependent on your adversary for munition and parts supply?

      1. AbeSapian

        Re: F-35 Su-35

        With Trump as Putin's sock puppet, I don't think we'll be opposing Russia for at least the next four years.

    2. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: F-35 Su-35

      Not to mention the phone-home telemetry.

      Wow, it does sound like windows 10, MS isn't the prime contractor for the software is it?

      1. Ol' Grumpy
        Coat

        Re: F-35 Su-35

        "Wow, it does sound like windows 10, MS isn't the prime contractor for the software is it?"

        BREAKING NEWS: F35 falls out of the sky after being unable to reach a licensing server.

  3. Brian Miller

    Beware the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

    The military procurement system is based on waste. If there is no waste, then corruption can't be sustained. The procurement model isn't geared for getting the most bang for the buck, but to move money in a system of under-the-table deals. The Pentagon spends money, and then makes up excuses for its expenditures.

    Sure, it would be nice to have sensible military spending. Unfortunately, we get things like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, $165 billion over budget.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: Beware the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

      The UK's system is far simpler and more transparent: BAE Systems tell us what we want and we pay them huge amounts of money for it. Sometimes they might suddenly tell us they need even more money to finish a job, and often the end product doesn't actually work, but it's OK because it's a British company.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beware the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

        If you don't like it, start your own Military contractor.....

        With hookers and blackjack...

        Hell, forget the military contractor

    2. My other car is a Stryker LAV

      Re: Beware the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

      F-35? I though we were talking GROUND combat systems. Those of us in the engineering trenches are doing what we can with Abrams and Stryker upgrades, and rather cheaply, thank you. (Although I will admit we BLED cash on the Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicle program, and some were proud of that.)

      Some history from the last 2-3 decades: European Piranha 8x8 --> Canadian LAV --> US Stryker. And all (now) owned by the same US corporation. Taxes go to Uncle Sam -- that makes it okay, right? (Never mind it's publicly traded so profits go to ALL shareholders, regardless of country.)

  4. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    But ... I thought we were going with the All Drone, All The Time doctrine ...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That XM-93 Fox must be good if the Germans give 60 Fuchs.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Well, they still give a Fokker.

      (yeah, yeah, I know, but they *started* in Germany and who cold forget the Red Baron and his Fokker Dreidecker?)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      60 Fuchs sounds like an ideal dogging vehicle.

    3. tony2heads

      Translations

      'Fuchs' in German means 'Fox' in English

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Translations

        Bet you're fun at parties.

        1. AceRimmer1980

          Re: Translations

          So *that*'s what the fuchs says.

      2. Alumoi

        Re: Translations

        Spoilsport!

      3. Sweep

        Re: Translations

        Oh fuch off

  6. MNGrrrl

    Military-industrial 101

    It never ceases to amaze me how Europeans denegrate the military-industrial complex, without really understanding why it exists or what fuels it. Who supplies most of the EU in weapons? We do. You're paying for our industry. Yes, we have the largest military in the world; Beating out the next ten combined. But we're the biggest because of economy of scale; We have surplus upon surplus because it's *inventory*.

    And war makes for good business. It also has knock-on effects: The factories that build humvees also build automobiles. When we make advances in tank warfare because of metallurgy, we advance the state of the art in other areas like lighter-weight vehicles (the unibody design common to almost every car since the late 90s came from this) and lighter weight spacecraft. We have a budding private industry for launching satellites because of our military. We landed on the moon because the same technology that can launch ICBMs can launch people too. There is a multiplicative effect, a reciprocity, between military advances and private sector advances. The internet was created out of military need; It was not, contrary to popular opinion, slapped together by academics in a garage. Things like WiFi and spread-spectrum signalling came out of rapid-frequency shifting systems put on our stealth bombers that would resist jamming and tracking. The encryption that makes eCommerce possible was pioneered by us during WWII when we cracked the German enigma cipher.

    So understand that when you complain about the military-industrial complex... your country helped make America what it is today.

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      er, who cracked the enigma code? ivory tower academics and employees of govt owned utilities come to mind.

      minor snits apart, reading what the first supreme commander of allied expeditionary forces in Europe had to say regarding the military industrial complex is interesting and educative.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      The encryption that makes eCommerce possible was pioneered by us during WWII when we cracked the German enigma cipher.

      Sorry to break it to you but U-571 was not historically accurate.

    3. Clive Harris

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      <<we cracked the German enigma cipher>>

      Strange. I always thought Bletchley Park was in England.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        Strange. I always thought Bletchley Park was in England.
        That's because it was. Until the Merkins invaded...

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          The Merkins tried but got lost in the Roundabout(rotaries for you left ponders) maze that is Milton Keynes.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            " Merkins tried but got lost in the Roundabout(rotaries for you left ponders) "

            True.

            Most Merkins think IED's kill most of them abroad.

            In fact it's traffic accidents.

            They're not very good at driving on anyone elses roads but their own.

            I wonder if that's sign those are the roads they should stick to?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            rotaries for you left ponders

            Never heard them called rotaries over here. I believe we usually call them traffic jams, where the faint of heart enter and never come out.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        As far as I remember, Polskie Biuro Szyfrow was in Warsaw. And yes, (polish) government employees and ivory tower academics...

        1. David Beck

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          Thanks, I was waiting for someone to give the Poles's their due. You might add the French lot as well as they did quite a lot of work.

          The English contribution (Bletchley Park) was to solve the problem quickly enough to be useful. Most of that work was done by the PO engineer Tommy Flowers with direction from Turing.

          Don't consider films, even English ones, as a reliable source.

      3. tony2heads

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        Don't forget the Poles, who did the earliest work on cracking Enigma (before they were invaded)

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          "the unibody design common to almost every car since the late 90s came from this"

          I could call you on that one then lay down the Trump card of the 1959 Mini ... not only 'unibody' but also a massively successful car with a transverse engine configuration which didn't have tracks, weighed less than 30 tons and, forgetfully, omitted a large turret ... Issigonis will be turning in his grave ...

          1. bitten

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            Unibody is American through Joseph Ledwinka (Austrian) Citroen went to them for its Traction (1934).

            1. Lotaresco

              Re: Military-industrial 101

              "Unibody is American through Joseph Ledwinka (Austrian) Citroen went to them for its Traction (1934)."

              No, unibody is Italian, starting with the 1922 Lancia Lambda.

          2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            Mini wasn't the first unibody car, by a long way..

            Honours for developing the unibody are split between Lancia of Italy and US automotive contractor Budd (who provided designs to first Citroen for the Traction Avant, and then Chrysler for its Air-Flow). Lancia used the techniques first, but as their application was an open-cockpit racing car ("torpedo"), there was never an opportunity to create a fully closed cell.

            Mini also wasn't the first transverse, front-engine, front-drive car, as this configuration dates from the late 1940s, with DKW and SAAB both using this layout. Issigonis's design was revolutionary for combining many modern design ideas into a single, affordable and usable car. Unfortunately, some of these didn't really work out, and later Mini models moved away from them (going back to steel-spring suspension, for instance). The honour of "creator of the modern front-drive car" probably has to be shared with Dante Giacosa at FIAT, who developed the Autobianchi Primula, then the FIAT 127 and 128, which between them set down the architectural pattern for nearly every FWD car that followed afterwards. But these designs built on what Issigonis had done with the Mini (as well as his earlier work on the FIAT 500 of 1957)

          3. Lotaresco

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            "I could call you on that one then lay down the Trump card of the 1959 Mini ... "

            Whereas you are right to call him on his stupidity, the 1959 Mini wasn't the first or even an early unibody car.

            The first unibody car was the 1922 Lancia Lambda, Citroen were also pioneers in unibody construction with the Traction Avant in 1934.

      4. Norman Nescio Silver badge

        Re: Dayton Codebreakers

        While it is well known that the Poles, and subsequently the British 'cracked' Enigma, what is not so well known is that the Americans manufactured 120 (!!!) of the 'Bombes' and used them at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory, Dayton Park, Ohio to decode Enigma-encrypted messages during the Atlantic (U-boat) war.

        http://daytoncodebreakers.org

        http://daytoncodebreakers.org/brief/bombe/

        The enormous amount of resources the USA could deploy made a significant difference.

        It's also instructive to read about the 'Tunny' code and the development of the Colossus; some information about which was not declassified until June 2000 in the UK. It's a long read, but well worth it if you are interested in the history of cryptanalysis and computing.

        http://www.rutherfordjournal.org/article030109.html

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: Dayton Codebreakers

          "the Americans manufactured 120 (!!!) of the 'Bombes' "

          Yes, using the designs given to them by Bletchley Park.

          1. Clive Harris

            Re: Dayton Codebreakers

            <<"the Americans manufactured 120 (!!!) of the 'Bombes' "

            Yes, using the designs given to them by Bletchley Park.>>

            Interesting fact: my father, as a teen-aged draughtsman, helped draw up those designs, based on one of the encryption boxes smuggled out of Poland. The work was done under tight security, in a remote building behind armed guards. Everyone was told that they'd be shot if they ever breathed a word about what they saw in that room. He never said anything about it until the 1980's and, even then, he was reluctant to say much.

            Less interesting fact: I was married in Bletchley Parish Church, just at the edge of Bletchley Park. This was long before the place became a tourist attraction.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      "The encryption that makes eCommerce possible was pioneered by us during WWII when we cracked the German enigma cipher."

      Erm...wot?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        "Erm...wot?"

        Does sound rather nonsensical, doesn't it?

        Even ignoring the historical accuracy of the statement.....

    5. Kernel Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      We landed on the moon because the same technology that can launch ICBMs can launch people too at the end of WW2 we grabbed a stack of really clever Germans who showed us how to do it.

      There, fixed that for you.

    6. LaeMing Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Orrrrr. You could have spent a lot of that money directly on developing those things, and had change over to develop more. The 'military spending promotes non-military development' is, while true as far as it goes, a myth in terms of monetary efficiency. At best, civilian spin-offs help ameliorate only a smallish portion of the costs.

    7. Dagg
      Childcatcher

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Things like WiFi

      You mean WiFi as invented by the Australian CSIRO.....

    8. Brian Miller

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Things like WiFi and spread-spectrum signalling came out of rapid-frequency shifting systems put on our stealth bombers that would resist jamming and tracking.

      Quite sorry, but no. Austrian actress Hedy Lamar invented spread-spectrum technology. Yes, a movie actress, whose U.S. patent was awarded in 1941. She was finally awarded for her inventions in 1997.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        I'm ecstatic someone mentioned the lovely Hedy

        1. x 7

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          "I'm ecstatic someone mentioned the lovely Hedy"

          Appeared in my favourite film, "Blazing Saddles"

          1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            "Appeared in my favourite film, "Blazing Saddles""

            She was tired though so give her a break!

          2. Lotaresco

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            "Appeared in my favourite film, "Blazing Saddles""

            "That's Hedley!" to quote Harvey Korman

            Hedy Lamarr sued Warner Bros. The studio settled out of court for a small sum and an apology for “almost using her name".

          3. staggers

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            Don't call me Hedy.

    9. Polardog

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      when we cracked the German enigma cipher?

      Stop watching Hollywood garbage, the UK cracked the code and used it to draw the USA into the war.

      1. Rob Moir

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        IIRC we had some considerable assistance from the Polish with that.

        But not the Americans.

    10. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Who supplies most of the EU in weapons? We do.

      It is less and less actually. With the exception of fighter aircraft and some of their armament where the idiotic F35 programme is a political issue most other continental Eu weapons are now locally supplied.

      If memory serves me right, nobody in NATO imports USA tanks and fighting vehicle. It is either indigenous for the countries which have own designs or Leopard 2E which is German. Same for fighting vehicles - indigenous, German or Austrian. Small arms - indigenous, German or Austrian. Artillery - indigenous, German, Austrian or Swedish (Bofors). Missiles - same as last one + French and Italian (Finmechanica). Ships - nobody in his sane mind outside USA will buy a US built ship today.

      Compare this to 30-40 years ago when most of NATO was using USA tanks, fighting vehicles, etc.

      1. Lars Johansson

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        And don't forget who supplies the main gun for the venerable M1 Abrams (A1 and upwards) - that's right, the Germans.

        Some of us Europeans still build out own fighter aircraft too (Sweden and France)...

        1. MrXavia

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          "Some of us Europeans still build out own fighter aircraft too (Sweden and France)"

          Dont forget the Eurofighter, the worlds most advanced combat aircraft, BAE systems has a big chunk of that! (so Us brits still build fighters!)

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            "Dont forget the Eurofighter, the worlds most advanced combat aircraft, BAE systems has a big chunk of that! (so Us brits still build fighters!)"

            Although to be fair, BAE seem to be in the process of emigrating to the US.

        2. My other car is a Stryker LAV

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          Regarding the M1 Abram's 120 mm smoothbore main gun: I believe the US licenses the design and builds their special version in New York state. American workers, after all.

      2. My other car is a Stryker LAV

        Re: Military-industrial 101

        While you have a point about the Leopard, ships, and most everything, a lot of the European combat vehicles are made by subsidiaries of a US corporation. Taxes to Uncle Sam (profits to shareholders). (Even the Spanish division takes a German Leopard and converts it into a Spanish one... or is it builds it from licensed design -- I forget.)

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: Military-industrial 101

          "a lot of the European combat vehicles are made by subsidiaries of a US corporation."

          The all-American Eurofighter (BAe, Airbus)? The all-American SAAB Gripen (SAAB)? The all-American Rafale (Dassault)? The all-American Eurocopter (Airbus)? The all-American Leopard MBT (Krauss-Maffei)? The all-American Challenger II MBT (BAe)? The all-American C1 Ariete MBT (Iveco Fiat)? The all-American B1 Centauro tank destroyer (Iveco Fiat)? The all-American Heckler and Koch MP5 (Heckler & Koch)? The all-American Airbus A400M Atlas transport (Airbus)? The all-American Goalkeeper CIWS (Thales Nederland)? The all-American Starstreak MANPADS (Shorts/Thales)? The all-American Rapier SAM (BAe)?

          1. My other car is an IAV Stryker

            Re: Military-industrial 101

            In regards to "all-American" vehicles in Europe:

            First, I was referring to GROUND vehicles, so put the ships and planes away.

            Second, I didn't say the following platforms were "all-American" -- they are definitely Euro-born-and-bred from "local" subsidiaries -- just that the taxes on the profits come to the US via the parent corporation.

            Here's the list:

            General Dynamics Corp. -- parent, traded GD on NYSE, HQ near D.C. (incorporated in Delaware)

            - General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS)

            -- GDELS-Steyr: ASCOD AFV (Ulan), Pandur II

            -- GDELS-Mowag: Mowag Duro, Mowag Eagle, Mowag Piranha (--> Canadian LAV, US Stryker)

            -- GDELS-Santa Bárbara Sistemas: Leopard 2E, ASCOD AFV (Pizarro)

            - General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited: Scout SV

    11. hplasm Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Those who fail to learn from history tend to sound rather silly when they spout off about it..

    12. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Umm you are claiming credit for some British things there.

      Leader in tanks, that is us

      Bletchley Park is here

    13. Lotaresco

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      "Who supplies most of the EU in weapons? We do."

      Where do you get that idea, Junior?

      The all-American Eurofighter? The all-American SAAB Gripen? The all-American Rafale? The all-American Eurocopter? The all-American Leopard MBT? The all-American Challenger II MBT? The all-American C1 Ariete MBT? The all-American B1 Centauro tank destroyer? The all-American Heckler and Koch MP5? The all-American Airbus A400M Atlas transport? The all-American Goalkeeper CIWS? The all-American Starstreak MANPADS? The all-American Rapier SAM?

    14. Lotaresco

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      "The encryption that makes eCommerce possible was pioneered by us during WWII when we cracked the German enigma cipher."

      A statement of such monumental stupidity that it fails at every level.

      As others have said it was Polish Cryptographers who first cracked the Enigma code. The British who developed their techniques of cryptanalysis and who enhanced their Bombe design and eventually invented the stored programme electronic computer to crack the much more difficult Lorenz code.

      However cracking the code means that it wasn't invented by the people who cracked it. Hence whoever cracked the code did not "pioneer" it. The Enigma machine was originally used for encryption of commercial data (i.e. e-Commerce) in the 1920s. That was what it was designed for.

      As to the encryption that makes e-Commerce possible, that isn't the Enigma code, it's public key cryptography. Public key cryptography was invented in Britain by GCHQ in the 1970s.

      The foundation of public-key cryptography is work done by the British economist William Stanley Jevons in 1874 when he described the Jevons' number (8616460799) which was not factored until thirty years later.

      The roots of encryption being used in commerce go back at least as far as the Roman empire a mere two thousand years before the birth of the USA.

    15. Lotaresco
      FAIL

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      " Who supplies most of the EU in weapons? We do. You're paying for our industry."

      Oh, look at all those handguns the US Army uses, the SIG Sauer P320. Made by a partnership between Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft of Switzerland and Sauer & Sohn of Germany.

      Is your face red yet? It should be.

    16. AIBailey

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Yes, we have the largest military in the world; Beating out the next ten combined.

      Sorry sunbeam, if you count military size as the number of active personnel, then China roundly beats you, and India is only slightly behind.

      If you also include reserve soldiers, you're down at number 6, behind Vietnam, South Korea, Russia, China and India.

    17. HausWolf

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      You also realize ICBMs came from German technology right?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "You also realize ICBMs came from German technology right?"

        Except the Atlas ICBM's pressure stabilized tank design, which originated in the fertile mind of Karl "Charlie" Bosshart

        He was from Belgium.

    18. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      "So understand that when you complain about the military-industrial complex... your country helped make America what it is today."

      Others have addressed the nonsense preceding this more than adequately already, but this last part seems particularly strange to be. Sure, my country helped make America what it is today. My country helped make pretty much every single country in the world what it is today. That doesn't mean I must think all the actions that "help" took the form of were good, or that I think the final product must be perfect. What our countries may or may not have done in the past is utterly irrelevant when it comes to complaining about the problems of today. My country helped make yours what it is today, and the military-industrial complex is a problem; those are two entirely unrelated statements.

    19. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Chobham armour on US tanks? Developed in the UK.

      ICBMs and Moon shots,... Project Paperclip, Werner Von Braun, German import,...

      Spread spectrum signalling,... Hedy Lamarr, Austrian import.

      Package Switched Networks, ... invented In the US, also invented in the UK, perfected through collaboration.

      Enigma decryption,.... Alan Turing, Bletchley Park, UK. The capture of the Enigma Cipher machine was made by the British Royal Navy.

      The US supplying the EU with weapons? The UK, Germany and France are next in line of top arms exporters after the US and Russia, with recent figures suggesting that the UK has slipped into 2nd place as an arms exporter. Most of the UKs weapons systems are home grown, developed by BAE.

      Being an arms exporter means we export misery. It doesn't make a nation great. It makes 3rd world countries worse off as we fight proxy wars.

    20. FriendInMiami

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      "War makes for good business" for only some of the world. Own a war materials company, own the stocks of war-making companies, yes. Live where manufactured components are "materials-heavy, labor-light," or where the waste from the factories gets dumped or spewed, or where the bombs and missiles are landing now - not such good business, in fact terrible for business. Our world is too interconnected now for all the destruction of a disintegrating nation not to spread across borders and inconvenience every other nation ultimately. And if you are in a land under the gun, it is more than an inconvenience, it is the destruction of the next generation, and maybe the one after that. When will Afghanistan, former British Empire country, reclaim what has been pounded out of it? But the billionaires of blowing up infrastructure and smashing history to rubble will not ever pay the taxes to rebuild cities, universities or hospitals, let alone pay the reparations due.

    21. AbeSapian

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Military spending is the most wasteful spending there is. Built for destruction, once it is used all you have to show for it is a hole in the ground.

      Our military budget is greater than the next 10 highest military budgets combined. Yet the sad fact is our performance is not ten times greater than any of those countries. The case might be made for some that we perform worse.

      I know it will never happen, but we need a complete, top to bottom overhaul of our military budget. More importantly, we need a complete, top to bottom overhaul of our foreign policy, both political and economic.

      I'm not holding my breath or giving up sex in the mean time.

    22. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      > (the unibody design common to almost every car since the late 90s came from this)

      'Unibody' design has nothing to do with the military, it originated in the 1920s and the first mass produced car using it was a Citroen.

      > was pioneered by us during WWII when we cracked the German enigma cipher.

      I don't know who you think 'we' is. The enigma code was originally worked on by the Polish academics and then this was moved to Britain.

      > Things like WiFi and spread-spectrum signalling came out of rapid-frequency shifting systems put on our stealth bombers

      """Frequency-hopping may date back to radio pioneer Jonathan Zenneck's 1908 German book Wireless Telegraphy although he states that Telefunken was using it previously. """

    23. Potemkine Silver badge

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Who supplies most of the EU in weapons? We do

      Not true. Most of our equipments is made locally.

      Yes, we have the largest military in the world

      Not true. China or Russia are largest armies. You have the military who spend the most, that's different. And it's not enough to win a war, cf. Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan.

      The factories that build humvees also build automobile

      No kidding, you make cars in the US? If they are so good, I wonder why so few of them are exported?

    24. fajensen Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      So understand that when you complain about the military-industrial complex... your country helped make America what it is today.

      Ding, Ding, Ding - *EXCACTLY* we finally have a Winner! I'd even suggest that you lot take the next round of war at home, optimise those logistics trains, expenses and stuff. You know - For Busineess!

    25. staggers

      Re: Military-industrial 101

      Dear Mngrrrl.

      Please go and find out some real history. Almost every sentence you wrote is factually incorrect. And in the case of Enigma, deeply offensive.

      At the time, before the war, the Enigma machine was freely on sale for use by companies to use for security of communications.

      As usual, we in Blighty were very slow to do a lot in the way of realising the potential it held.

      Thanks to the Poles, we did end up in possession of these machines, and then came the fun of trying to decrypt their output, closer to real time the better.

      A lot of that involved a guy called Alan Turing. Perhaps you have heard of him? And along the way this involved building what is considered to be the world's first modern computer. The Americans later thought they had, but this was because the British one was so secret that US companies had no need to know, and so they didn't. And everyone in Britain who worked on it was forbidden to ever mention it. It's mainly because, should it ever happen again, Churchill didn't want anyone to know how we did it, so we could do it again.

      That computer, incidentally, was built by a genius Post Office engineer by the name of Tommy Flowers.

      As for your Military Industrial Complex, that term was used by the Supreme Allied Commander. His name was Eisenhower. Have you heard of him? He became your president. He warned us all against that Complex, and he was right.

      I'll make 3 predictions. Think of them as a get out clause for you.

      1. You're young.

      2. You're Republican.

      3. You've never read a history book.

      If I'm wrong on any of them, then you have no excuse.

  7. hellwig Silver badge

    Ground Transport? I have the solution!

    We're making Abrams tanks the Army doesn't want, I'm pretty sure those only work on the ground. Take out some weapons, add more seats, and boom!

    And what about all those (110-ish) F-36's that aren't suitable to fly? Put some bigger tires on them and we can turn them into ground vehicles no problem!

    These aren't problems people, these are solutions waiting to be discovered!

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Ground Transport? I have the solution!

      Tanks

      You could always ask the British to supply some.

      1. x 7

        Re: Ground Transport? I have the solution!

        "Tanks

        You could always ask the British to supply some."

        probably not..........Vickers closed the design team and production lines a few years ago.

        The tank plant at Newcastle is now owned by Rolls Royce and used for other things.

  8. JLV Silver badge

    >how Europeans denegrate the military-industrial complex

    Actually, the term was coined by Eisenhower, a Republican president, serving at a time of unprecedented Soviet threat.

    " In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex."

    http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/documents/indust.html

    I don't necessarily always think badly of US military endeavors. And I don't think that there, at least for now, no need for weapon systems development and acquisition. But, with some of the massive gravy train and spending, you can't help but think that, maybe, just maybe, some of it isn't quite as efficient, including to the detriment of US armed forces themselves, as it could be.

    Obviously, a certain VSTOL fighter-bomber comes to mind. Fancy-butt destroyers. There are even more blatant ones, when defense base closures, requested by the armed forces, is vetoed by pork-happy congressmen.

    The case you make for military => civilian research synergy isn't totally unwarranted. But your rather rosy presentation reminds me of the (mostly leftish) advocates of more government spending, where they always claim that "for X dollars spend on Y, the economy grows by cX". Where c is, of course, >1.

    With its very long development cycles, will military technology always lead civilian? I rather doubt it. If you really wanted to make a better point, you'd argue for transferring more $ into DARPA, rather than just claiming military spending in general is an economic multiplier.

    Remember what happened to the Soviet economy. Odd that it didn't bloom with so much useful military spending, no? At that point, Reagan was correct to push on the military budget pedal. Is it really required to that extent now?

  9. thames

    Not Just the Fuchs

    "The US military has in the past purchased foreign-made weapon systems, like German-made 60 Fuchs NBC reconnaissance vehicles"

    Or the "Stryker" armoured vehicle, which is the mainstay combat vehicle of US infantry forces, and which is made in Canada?

    There are also a lot of components which go into American weaponry which are developed in other countries but bought by the Americans for their own systems. Much of this goes unnoticed since the foreign suppliers keep a low profile.

    The main problems the US military has at this time are two-fold. First, is that they've been so focused on colonial adventures (under the label of "anti-terrorism") that they have neglected the art of fighting wars against "proper" capable enemies.

    The other is that when they do try to develop a new weapon, they tend to ask for such "moon on a stick" goals that the whole project collapses when reality eventually sets in. The idea of steady, incremental progress just doesn't sit well with them.

    1. Kernel Silver badge

      Re: Not Just the Fuchs

      Not to mention a lot of M1A1 Abrams toting the German designed, built in the US under license, Rheinmetall 120 mm gun as main armament.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Just the Fuchs

        BAE M777 Howitzer

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M777_howitzer

        1. Lotaresco

          Re: Not Just the Fuchs

          "BAE M777 Howitzer"

          BAe Advanced Gun System for US Zumwalt class destroyers. A 155mm over-the-horizon gun capable of firing at 10 rounds per second.

          The BAe Mk45 127mm gun fitted as standard to US warships.

          The BAe 57mm Bofors guns fitted to US Littoral combat ships.

          The BAe 32-megajoule Electro-Magnetic Laboratory Rail Gun delivered to the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center. The US tried to build rail guns for years, it took the British to create a practical functional rail gun capable of firing projectiles at Mach 8 at 8 rounds per minute.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    overstating

    "first time since World War I, the US does not have a new ground combat vehicle under development. "

    From after the Great War to late 1920s US armoured vehicle development was more or less a paper exercise. And even in the 30s it was rather low key. Hence the US's poor situation at start of WWII in 1939.

    1. Richard Scratcher
      Trollface

      Re: overstating

      For a ground combat vehicle you could dig up the blueprints of some 70s Buicks, Cadillacs or Lincoln cars. Some of those were built like tanks.

  11. Alien Doctor 1.1

    I have some...

    old bows, sights and arrows if they want, I'll charge the same per item as a "special" spanner

  12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Fake news!

    "German-made 60 Fuchs NBC reconnaissance vehicles, which it rebranded XM-93 Fox"

    With a name like XM-93 Fox surely it must be an all-American vehicle. This is just more fake news put about by our enemies - rant - ramble - rant -

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Fake news!

      It's not fake news... it's alternative facts. It's always been alternative facts. Do keep up or you'll end up in Room 101 and no one wants that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fake news!

      Fox? Sounds like a Volkswagen to me. Wait a minute: Are they trying to pawn off those recalled diesels on us?

  13. Black Rat
    Joke

    So when are the Americans fitting a gun turret and anti-tank missiles to it?

    1. My other car is a Stryker LAV

      I just watched that yesterday! The Bradley really IS a piece of work! And they're STILL spending money to upgrade it.

  14. Emmeran

    Nothing new here

    We've been using foreign technology for centuries and never stopped. How is this news?

  15. FrankAlphaXII

    When I was in the Army still one of my two rifles was made by FNH, which is a Belgian company.

    Same company that makes the M249 and M240 light machine guns that every branch uses as a matter of fact. The Army's recently selected the H&K G28 for the Compact Semiautomatic Sniper System, Delta and DEVGRU use the MP5 and MP7 for CQB. The Army's new pistol is made by Sig Sauer, and the one its replacing is made by Beretta. German and Italian respectively.

    And its not just small arms either, they've used Bofors cannons in the Navy and Air Force for a very long time, and those are Swedish. Sweden isn't even a NATO country. The Marine Corps camo pattern is based on the Canadian CADPAT, which itself is based on the Rhodesian and later Zimbabwean standard pattern, and the Army's hand to hand combat methodology is Brazilian.

    Its not that far out to buy from International vendors to a point, we don't usually buy vehicles foreign anymore (even though the US Navy was exceptionally good at taking Foreign Prizes and integrating them with the fleet in the 18th and 19th centuries) though there are exceptions like the English Electric/Martin B-57 Canberra, the C-23 Sherpa which is British, and the Pilatus PC-12. We also don't usually buy much in the commo or cryptographic arenas from foreign vendors either since we backdoor everything and assume everyone else is too which is a reasonable assumption.

    So really, what's the point you're trying to make? And picking the M93 (its not an XM93, and hasn't been since the 80's) as an illustrative example is an odd choice because of how niche it is and how rarely it gets used.

    Either way, If you think one or two terms of a President is going to change anything like that, you have a lot to learn about the way Acquisitions routinely doesn't work.

  16. Schultz
    Boffin

    Photo: a BFG-9000 variant?

    Seriously, that's some cartoon weapon, right?

    1. foo_bar_baz
      Boffin

      Re: Photo: a BFG-9000 variant?

      Looks like one of those net-flinging drone-catching potato guns featured on El Reg some time back.

    2. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Photo: a BFG-9000 variant?

      Whatever it is, it's not a Kill-o-Zap gun. It' probably has a right and a wrong end, and I don't doubt it's intended to make people miserable with, but it's missing all sorts of spikes and prongs and blackened bits.

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    Not sure what the big deal is

    The military has always used foreign-made weapons. The French gave/sold us their muskets and cannons in the Revolutionary War. Both North and South used some British rifles during the Civil War--and probably some cannons too. In WW1 the U.S. was so unprepared that all our tanks were French designs, all our light artillery were French 75MM artillery pieces. The Air Corps was entirely British and French aircraft, except for the trainers. In WW2, we pretty much had all American-made vehicles and equipment, but we did fly a few Spitfires and the P-51 Mustang only became a great fighter aircraft once the original Pratt & Whitney engine was replaced with a Rolls-Royce Merlin.

    1. Taprisiot Madness

      Re: Not sure what the big deal is

      "the P-51 Mustang"

      Apparently the British Air Purchasing Commission or whatever it was called, spent a whole lot of time with NAA, passing on some very highly specific operating specifications before they even arranged to order a prototype. So I think you could say that the P-51 Mustang was for all intents and purposes a British-US collaboration. Ironically, the only other two aircraft the US produced that came close to having similar performance - the Grumman Hellcat and the Chance-Vought Corsair: IMHO the best strike fighter US companies developed - were US Navy specifications.

      Also in the Mediterranean the USAAF flew Beaufighters until Black Widows became available.

      1. Lotaresco

        Re: Not sure what the big deal is

        Don't forget the Martin B-57 Canberra a tactical bomber and reconnaissance aircraft famous for having an operating ceiling of 70,000ft the same as the U2 spy plane A magnificent example of American military engineering.

        Oh hang on, it was a built-under-licence version of the English Electric Canberra which first established the 70,000ft record. The Canberra was operated through the Vietnam war in a reconnaissance role because of its qualities as a stable platform for surveillance that could fly out of the reach of SAMs.

        1. IsJustabloke Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Not sure what the big deal is

          well seeing as we've moved onto Aircraft... I don't suppose the Marine Corp know where their Harriers were originally designed and built? And that they were (maybe still are) building under licence?

          1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

            Re: Not sure what the big deal is

            > (maybe still are) building under licence?

            """the delivery of its last refurbished aircraft occurring in December 2003, which marked the end of the AV-8B's production; the final new AV-8B had been delivered in 1997"""

  18. CodeBlaster

    Marvellous

    Where's Tony Stark when you need him?

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      The real world Tony Stark

      just became president.

      What was that about reality being a bitch?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: The real world Tony Stark

        Reply Icon

        The real world Tony Stark

        just became president.

        But not so much iron man as jelly man. (orange flavoured?)

  19. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Time to watch

    "Pentagon Wars" again...

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Time to watch

      here

  20. Lotaresco

    "buy American and hire American."

    Unless of course you are Donald J. Trump. If you are then as far as Americans are concerned "You're Fired!" ask any of his former workers in Atlantic City or just have a look at the products that he sells with his name on them. Caps, Shirts made in China, Shirts made in Bangladesh and ties and other goods from China. But in Trump's mind it's OK for Trump to do this, because they are cheaper in China.

    Not only is Trump an habitual liar and fraud, he's also a massive hypocrite who attacks other UK businesses for doing exactly what he does.

    If Trump brand customers took the same stance against his products as he did against Nabisco, it is clear they would be left with few Trump items to buy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "buy American and hire American."

      Not only is Trump an habitual liar and fraud, he's also a massive hypocrite who attacks other UK businesses for doing exactly what he does.

      And thus he truly represent The People. As anyone who ever did business with Americans and American companies will only be too painfully aware of.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what have the foreigners ever done for us

    to sum up the comments section.

    that said, US have a sizeable, fightable army, most of their suppliers don't :)

  22. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    "Depending on circumstances, however, it might still be the right move."

    If for no other reason than to reduce the possibility of more $400 hammers and $800 toilet seats.

    "Sure, Mr. US-based Defense Contractor, we'd LOVE to buy your Killz-A-Lot©®™ Integrated Weapons System. But, you see this nifty product designed and built by our NATO allies in Europe? It performs better and costs less. Come back to us when you have something with similar performance and pricing. THEN we'll seriously consider 'buying American again.' "

    And that's when I, a US taxpayer, awoke from such a lovely dream...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Military spending

    US military spending is 20% on the hardware and 80% on the documentation to prove they are spending the money wisely...

    1. My other car is an IAV Stryker

      Re: Military spending

      Only because that's part of the program contract: you shall spend WAY too much time worrying about contracts, financials, documentation rather than engineering and testing!

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