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WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. In previous episodes, we explored the two largest military platform markets: ground combat vehicles and tanks, and fighter planes and bombers. This time, we’ll take a look at the third market for big iron: warships and submarines. I’m going to throw a lot of numbers around in this composition but don’t take them as absolute. Warships sink all the time (Ukraine has sunk or damaged 17 Russian ships in the war so far), and shipyards are launching a new warship now and then. So, look at these numbers as estimates. Let’s start from the top.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. Last time, we looked at the market for ground combat vehicles and tanks. Now, it’s time to look at the second largest volume platform market in the military: fighter planes and bombers. Let’s start at the top. According to Flight Global, there were about 53,250 military aircraft in the world in 2021. The U.S. flies about 25% of that total (13,250), Russia flies 8% (4,170), and China flies 6% (3,280). This includes fighters, bombers, tankers, cargo planes, ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) planes, and helicopters. Keep in mind that these numbers move around. Military aircraft crash all the time, and Russia has lost about 175 aircraft in Ukraine in 16 months.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. In our last adventure, we explored the worldwide military markets using three recent reports, and integrated those into the TAM-SAM-SOM model (total addressable market, serviceable addressable market, and serviceable obtainable market). That expedition gave us a macro-view of things. Now, it’s time to put on our rubber gloves, get out the sharp knives, and carve the military market into edible segments. The most objective way to dismember this massive creature is to cut it up by platform, so we’ll start with the largest volume segment: ground combat vehicles (GCV) and tanks.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. As previously promised, we are fearlessly embarking upon a challenging project here, to integrate the demand-side and supply-side data about the world military markets. The best method to attack this problem is from the top-down. Going from the bottom-up would create debilitating confusion, misconceptions, and illusions.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. As I was putting together my notes about all the Army’s Project Convergence Exercises, I got a notice that the planned PC-23 exercises had been cancelled and rescheduled for 2024. That’s a great disappointment, so let's drown our sorrows in a vintage bottle of data from the three previous exercises: PC-20, PC-21, and PC-22.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. Let’s take a break from studying the Kill Web and explore something else. Back in the late 1940s, Harvard linguist George Kingsley Zipf picked up a copy of James Joyce’s novel “Ulysses” and read it. Although it was acclaimed by the pompous literary pundits in rumpled suits as a masterpiece, Zipf could not believe how incomprehensible and boring it was. In case you were not exposed to it in college, reading “Ulysses" is like being mercilessly waterboarded with the English language by shallow characters, in a dull story with no detectable plot, for an unbearable period of time.
WARFARE EVOLUTION BLOG. If you have been a fervent reader of these Kill Web articles, you know that the Army has been connecting their sensors and weapons together into a tactical network under their IBCS initiative (Integrated Battle Command System). The Navy has been secretly connecting their ships and planes together with their CEC program (Cooperative Engagement Capability). The same goes for the Air Force’s planes under their ABMS initiative (Advanced Battle Management System) and the Space Force’s satellites (SF-ABMS).