At present, the role and place of armored combat vehicles in the general armament system is being reassessed. The theory has spread that the main battle tank (MBT) in the current war is not needed at all. But the events in Iraq and a number of local conflicts proved that the MBT has both sufficient weapons for most operations and protection. In this regard, we present to the attention of readers of the VPK newspaper a long-term cost forecast tanks and the strength of the armored personnel of the countries of the world.
A reliable forecast of market demand for tanks is the initial basis for justifying, calculating volumes and choosing the conditions for allocating investments when organizing their production. It requires, firstly, determining the range of possible contractual prices, and secondly, the budget possibilities and limitations ensuring the expediency of organizing the production and marketing of armored vehicle samples.
In a number of earlier works, the authors of the article considered a similar range of issues in relation to the aviation industry. On their basis, seemingly universal conclusions regarding any high-tech products were made.
Like objects aviation A feature of the armored vehicles is the high technological level of production, the simplicity of calculating the volume of products, their comparison and the relative transparency of the terms of transactions, reflected in specialized information sources. It is no less important, similarly to the aviation industry, that the release of armored vehicles and the life cycle in general is carried out in the process of intense competition (including on the battlefield), which determines the development of a universal hierarchical list of requirements for products on the international market.
It all depends on the mass and time of release.
By analogy with samples of combat aviation, we assume that the cost of a serial model of armored vehicles is proportional to its mass, which is the first, most significant and perfect base indicator for calculating the cost and forecasting the contract price. The cost is simultaneously related to the actual time coordinate of the sample supply by power dependence (the second basic indicator), that is, the cost of a serial sample of a new armored vehicle is proportional to its mass and is continuously increasing at a constant rate (six to seven percent per year).
The statistical processing of the factual array of contract specific prices of serial tanks, depending on the year of their release, confirmed the alleged and revealed the following regularities.
State - manufacturers of tanks can be divided into two parts. The first group (developed countries) includes the USA, Western Europe, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Israel. In the second (developing countries) - Russia, China, India, Ukraine, etc.
The price growth rate per unit mass of armored vehicles: k = 1,07 for developed (seven percent per year) and k = 1,06 for developing countries (six percent per year).
The trend of the second group of countries is currently lagging behind in terms of prices for 15 years from the trend of price increases of the first group, and this gap, apparently, continues to grow. At present, the level of specific prices for armored vehicles of developing countries is 2,4 times lower, and taking into account the domestic practice of developing lighter samples of main battle tanks, their real prices are lower by 2,9 – 3,4 times.
The law of cost growth proposed by the authors of the article determines its dependence on the mass and time of sample production, while the factual array in general objectively reflects the situation with prices in the armored vehicles market under the influence of historically established supply volumes.
However, from the research of prices for air deliveries, the third factor affecting the contract prices is known - the sample seriality. On the basis of the available information, it can be stated, for example, that traditionally the maximum domestic series (“circulations”) were two to three times more quantitatively than all the series of the first group of countries, which gave domestic producers additional advantages.
Seriality is the factor most weakly affecting the cost against the background of the other two powerful basic indicators - mass and time. Regardless of economic crises and booms, the decline in the total volume of purchases of new armored vehicles in the world (figure) becomes apparent and, therefore, the importance of this factor is weakening even more. Its presence does not qualitatively change the pattern of prices on the market, however, it is necessary for a more accurate forecast of prices, which depend additionally on the “editions”, which, for example, for currently produced samples vary over a wide range from hundreds to 30 thousand pieces.
Analysis of the factual array of contract specific prices of the first production models of tanks, depending on the year of their release, makes it possible to more accurately predict market prices in the presence of at least an approximate serialization forecast. The identified price trend is an objective parameter for the newly created armored vehicles, in the implementation of which the specified TTX of the sample should be performed.
The lower trend of the second group of states is currently lagging behind in terms of prices for 12 years from the growth trend of prices of the first group. As a result, today the level of specific prices for newly created armored vehicles of developing countries is 2,1 times lower than the developed prices, and taking into account the Russian tradition of developing lighter MBT models, their real prices are lower than 2,5 – 3 times.
In contrast to aviation research, data on dollar prices for equipment from the twenties to the forties of the twentieth century appeared in the new factual array. From them it became obvious that the pre-war prices for domestic armored vehicles were at the level of the countries of the first group. And only with the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the cost of production tanks T-34, KV, IP dramatically reduced compared with the German and American armored vehicles. This balance is maintained at the present time.
In total, more than 100 messages on armored prices related to the 90-summer time interval were taken into account.
This work is focused on identifying only some of the patterns of pricing for new armored vehicles, so it does not address the problems associated with the secondary market.
It should be repeated that a similar picture was revealed when analyzing prices for aircraft, and both of these facts together confirm the hypothesis about the universality of the law of change in value - the cost of a serial sample of any high-tech military equipment, including military equipment, is proportional to the sample’s own mass and the cost increases exponentially with time . In addition, it is necessary to make a preliminary conclusion about a stable lag in the price level for any high-tech military equipment developed and produced by countries of the second group from the price level in the first group.
Two segments of the world economy
The factor determining differences in the formation of trends in the value of military products (and not only) of the industry of the first and second groups is the dependence of annual growth rates on product prices on annual growth rates of labor productivity associated with the unit wage in these countries. The rise in prices of products is associated with a general increase in the standard of living and only partially, with an increase in product quality. Such a conclusion “erodes” the generally accepted mutual connection of the concepts “expensive” for “high-quality” products and “cheap” for products of “low quality”. The difference in the terms “developed” and “developing” countries used in the article is primarily due to the level of consumption of the population of these countries, that is, the standard of living.
Two coexisting world systems of pricing for military products are generated by the presence of two rather isolated markets for it, and therefore, the preservation of the delimitation of two (at least) types of economic systems in the world.
The market with the prices of the second group of countries now occupies a significant position in the world and there are all the prerequisites for its expansion because the exponential increase in prices for expensive armored vehicles from the USA, Canada, Western Europe, South Korea, Israel and Japan forces customers to look for an alternative or refuse to acquire the necessary number of samples.
The overall decline in the purchases of armored vehicles in the world is due to the growth rates of their economies, national military budgets (NRF) and the well-being of the population (ultimately paying for the purchase and operation of military equipment) in those countries that, as a rule, always lag behind seven percent annual increase in prices for armored vehicles.
A lower price level for domestic armored vehicles would seem to create favorable opportunities for our manufacturers to export. However, at present, most of the market for military products (cash flows) is under the control of the countries of the first group and high prices for Western armored vehicles are transformed into a smaller number of purchased new MBT.
Against this background, it can be assumed that the purely professional failure of the Russian foreign establishment was a failed attempt to supply T-90 tanks to Malaysia, when all the advantages of the proposed contract did not appear to have been brought to the buyer, and when addressing issues of obligations for offset, costing and engineering support his wishes were probably ignored. As a result of this failure, our potential customer, instead of the T-90, acquired the more expensive tank RT-91 - the Polish modification of the T-72 tank.
Four main operators
OBT parks are formed from the appropriations for the relevant expenditure items of the NRB. Thus, the prediction is based on the principle of assessing the financial capacity for manning the armed forces of the countries of the world. The predicted number of new tanks planned for delivery in the army for the 2025 year was calculated using a method tested on data from military aircraft and built on the hypothesis of the proportionality of changes to the NBR and the cost of acquiring armored vehicles.
In the forecast of changes in the number of tanks of a number of countries in the table presented, data on the NWB and supplies of armored vehicles up to 2010 were used. The conditional year (2016) of the supply of new tanks in reality permits an increase in the number of units of equipment purchased from earlier years of production and vice versa, as well as their replacement with modernized tanks. In addition, the predicted number of supplied tanks can be increased inversely with the decrease in their mass. After taking all the factors into account, it turns out that in many cases, the Armata tank in the first place can be replaced by almost double the number of new T-90s or at least three times the number of previously released and modernized T-72s.
In the forecast period, the presence of four major operators of the international armored market is assumed: Germany with an upgraded Leopard-2 tank of early releases and with a new Leopard-27, the USA with an upgraded M1, China with an upgraded and new tank, Type 96, with new "Type 99" and, possibly, a tank of the type "Armata-K", Russia with a modernized T-72 and with new tanks T-90 and "Armata". Thus, based on the analysis of the presented forecast, by the 2025, the real capabilities of countries (Germany, Spain, Greece, Canada, Saudi Arabia) in terms of the purchase of new German tanks of the “Leopard-2А7” type are estimated to be no more than 1250 units (more than 40 percent - for Germany). However, due to the ongoing financial crisis in Spain and Greece, about 30 percent of these shipments are questionable, at least in the coming years. The presence of a large number of MBT "Leopard-2А4" release of the eighties, without a doubt, will allow to supply to the foreign market at least 400 samples upgraded to the level of "practically new" tanks "Leopard-2А6 / 2А7".
Opportunities for the purchase of modern American tanks (or upgrades of previously released samples to the level of “practically new”) are estimated to be no more than 2300 units (more than 60 percent for the USA). The number of M1 tanks of the eighties of release currently in storage is estimated at about the same amount. To date, the production program of these machines is almost complete. Thus, the likelihood of deliveries to the market of armored vehicles of new American tanks is small. Undoubtedly, the modernization of previously released samples will continue.
The likelihood of purchasing new modern Chinese tanks is estimated to be more than 5000 samples (almost all of them are for the armed forces of the PRC and the DPRK). China's industrial and scientific successes, the financial capacity of the budget, the dynamics of the emergence of new designs and, among other things, the undisguised ambitions of the general designer of the 99 Type tank Ju Yushena confirm the high probability of creating and adopting in the foreseeable future a promising competitive Chinese tank of the Armata-K type .
The forecast of the demand of countries of the world in terms of purchases of new and modernized (restored) Russian tanks is the most multivariate and volumetric in quantitative terms - from 1600 to 3000 samples of Armata tanks (up to 45 percent for Russia), from 1500 to 2900 T-90 and not less than 7000 modernized (restored) T-72 (up to 40 percent - for Russia). The ratio of new and modernized MBT will depend on the timing of the development, financing of production, the rate of development of production of promising Russian tank type "Armata".
Armored forces or aircraft
The presented forecast is probably overly optimistic. In accordance with it, a number of countries will at least preserve the current strength of armored forces by the year 2025. These are Australia, Great Britain, Hungary, Venezuela, Germany, India, Canada, China, Kuwait, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Sweden. However, budget allocations can be seriously redistributed (or are already redistributed) contrary to historical practice - in favor of the preferred construction of the aviation component of the armed forces. Currently, it is believed that the armored forces of most countries are quantitatively too large and even unnecessary for a modern war and burdensome for national budgets. On the other hand, for economic reasons, there is a rapid decline in the aging national fleets of national air forces, with the result that a number of small countries will encounter insurmountable difficulties in self-recruiting at least one full-fledged combat squadron, which can not but cause concern to the government circles of such countries and attempts to counter this process by redirecting financial flows from all possible sources, including the proportion of the budget spent on armored vehicles.