Thoughts on armaments policy

Post photo: Armor | © Alina Kuptsova on Pixabay 

My premise is that armaments policy serves to defend oneself.

At least since the Phoenicians, the basics of armament policy have been generally known. These bases consist of two imperative necessities, on the one hand military usefulness and on the other hand economic feasibility. Both must harmonize with each other and ultimately determine one's own military-political assertiveness.

Weapons, equipment and equipment must not only be of the best possible quality, but also in the necessary quantity and, moreover, must be able to be maintained and replaced at any time. For your own success, it is imperative to note that you can always produce more weapons, devices and equipment than a possible opponent can destroy.

Both quality and quantity are always subject to economic feasibility.

The cornerstones of armaments policy are thus named; Armament must be militarily sensible and economically affordable. Efficiency and sustainability are the key keywords here.

I would like to illustrate this with five examples: aircraft carriers, submarines, airplanes, helicopters and tanks.

A modern aircraft carrier (USA) costs a good 10 billion euros each and has to be maintained for more than 30 years. It can also be assumed that at least 10 of them must be present in order to be able to ensure presence and replacement.

The complexity, production time and maintenance costs of an aircraft carrier are examples of how such an armament project can only be economically guaranteed by its own production and maintenance cycle; This means that special shipyards are required, which ensure nothing more than producing and maintaining aircraft carriers for decades. This in turn requires a sufficient number of aircraft carriers to organize this cycle in an economically justifiable manner.

In terms of armament policy, it would be completely absurd to only want to build one or two aircraft carriers. It makes more sense to bring the production and maintenance of aircraft carriers down to the highest common denominator if possible; NATO would be a good point of reference here.

Submarines are a lot cheaper to produce and maintain. On the other hand, quantities that are justifiable in terms of armament policy are already in the hundreds, and these also have to be maintained and replaced for decades. Here, too, it makes sense to achieve as much standardization as possible and to use the corresponding production facilities exclusively for your own production and maintenance cycle.[1]

From a military point of view, airplanes, helicopters and tanks are classic “bulk consumer goods” and must therefore be produced and repaired in the largest possible quantities in order to be able to meet military and economic requirements at all. That's why one can certainly speak of production figures here, which each go into the thousands. And here, too, it would make sense to organize a production and repair cycle and to optimize it to meet your own requirements.

In my opinion, the five examples listed above can be extended to all weapons, every piece of equipment and all equipment and clearly suggest that armaments policy - at least in essence - always involves the development, production, maintenance and disposal of weapons, Device and equipment is what must be brought together at the highest possible common level, since it not only makes economic sense, but also from a security policy point of view.

Defense is always a big expense. Attempts to minimize these costs by overriding a viable armaments policy through "individual solutions", "peace dividends" or even "arms trade" always fail overall and especially in the periods of responsible armaments policy and also endanger one's own security.


[1] To build a submarine every few years and this for all those customers who want to afford one is not armaments policy.

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)

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