Is the conflict between Russia and Ukraine affecting how the world spends on weapons?

The war between Russia and Ukraine may force a shift in defence equipment priorities and procurement methods.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine appears to have sparked a worldwide increase in defence spending. Experts also believe that the conflict will change military procurement trends, with interest in new types of weapons and procurement methods.

The Russia-Ukraine war, like many other conflicts before it, may cause changes in the “balance of purchases,” and leaders should be prepared for this. “For example, the deployment of Russian electronic warfare equipment in Ukraine in 2014, and later in Syria, has accelerated the research, development, and adoption of remote communications solutions.”

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV): the “Face” of Modern Warfare?

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were frequently mentioned in Ukraine during the early stages of the conflict.

UAVs are now used to enhance the capabilities of military and intelligence operations rather than to use force. The future impact of UAVs will likely sound like advertising, as retired US Air Force Lieutenant General Dave Deptula told Kathimerini: “We don’t make the things you use, we make the things you use better.”

In general, a UAV’s effects are as follows: Increased efficiency – allows for faster observation, evaluation, and action, or allows for more time to be certain before taking a specific action. Power can be used without exposing vulnerable vulnerabilities like manned systems because it is relatively invulnerable. Precision – use force in such a way that property damage is minimised and casualties are kept to a minimum. Low cost – allows for mass equipping and can overwhelm enemy defences.

Long-distance control of UAVs is also possible. Radio, wifi, or GPS signals are commonly used to communicate between the drone and the controller. The distance this type of device can travel is determined by the type and intensity of communication, but some of the longest-range UAVs can travel tens of kilometres. Therefore, UAVs give users a great advantage over competitors that do not possess them.

With the conflict in Ukraine, Kiev’s successful use of the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) could help Ankara get more orders for similar equipment, while other manufacturers Other military developments in the Western market “weak”.

A senior Pentagon official says Ukrainian forces have successfully used armed Bayraktars to carry out a number of attacks on Russia (reports of Russian military use of unmanned aerial vehicles). appear more later). This drone is also used for reconnaissance and targeting for Ukrainian troops. Such success and media attention with TB2 will benefit the equipment manufacturer Baykar, as several countries are looking to acquire new fleets of UCAVs.

Turkey also has Turkish Aerospace Industries’ Anka drone and Baykar Akinci’s High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) strategic unmanned aerial vehicle (HALE), offering customers the option of UAV/UAV mixes. UCAV is diverse, suitable for their operational needs. However, only TB2 has demonstrated its ability to fight extensively.

Outside of Turkey, before the conflict, the traditional UCAV solution favored by some buyers was the MQ-9 Reaper from General Atomics, USA or similar versions. The United Arab Emirates and Taiwan have attempted to purchase a number of MQ-9 units, but the process of acquiring these advanced equipment is time-consuming and sometimes cumbersome. The US needs State Department approval before selling military equipment to foreign countries, and that could easily raise political concerns. In addition, the security protocols Washington applies to foreign UCAV operators are said to be very complex and can limit operations.

Protection and camouflage system
Another potential “field of investment” emerging during the Ukraine conflict is advanced active protection systems (APS) and advanced camouflage solutions.

The Ukrainian military is said to have defied the Russian armored attack, destroying several tanks and armored vehicles with Javelin missile complexes and “new generation light anti-tank weapons” (NLAW). According to experts, some of these tanks are equipped with old APS, are not capable of resisting modern guided missile systems and are not equipped with suitable camouflage solutions.

So the next wave of tank/mainstream infantry fighting vehicle modernization in some countries may focus on upgrading APS and camouflage, good sign for companies providing camouflage solutions /APS like Rafael and Saab.

Quick shopping, collective defense
The mode of military equipment procurement in Europe is also expected to change due to conflict.

Countries like Germany, which have traditionally favored time-consuming joint military procurement programs, could become more open to immediate purchases to improve their capabilities. If so, Germany may have to look at non-traditional military suppliers and diversify its equipment portfolio. In this case, the Israeli defense industry could benefit and become a preferred supplier, as Israel has leased the drone to Germany.

Another change could come from the Nordic region. Norway and Sweden, which had previously reduced cooperation on joint procurement activities, may re-enter collective procurement activities to improve the interoperability of defense equipment against adversaries. player. Here, suppliers offering more tailored solutions for “collective defense” can win contracts.

Conflicts often cause permanent changes in the supply-demand equation for military assets and related solutions, as nations reassess lessons learned – be it political, economic, or political. economy or technology. The Russia-Ukraine conflict does not seem to be out of this spiral as new developments affect a series of defense spending activities.

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