Tags: arms race | US | South Korea | Hyundaization

US Facing Global Threat from 'Hyundaization' of Arms Race

Monday, 06 April 2015 12:38 PM

The United States has led the way for decades in military superiority by developing and building advanced precision weapons and aircraft — but now the rest of the world is fast catching up.

Foreign countries are manufacturing and exporting reasonably priced guided missiles and fighters that could be a potential threat to the U.S. in the future and weaken its influence, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Calling it the "Hyundaization" of the global arms industry, the newspaper compares it to the success of South Korea's Hyundai Motors, which with its cheap labor is now able to compete with American car manufacturers after an initial slow start in 2001.

NATO allies Turkey and Poland, for instance, recently bought self-propelled howitzers from Japan's Samsung, instead of arranging deals with either the U.S. or Germany, as it had in the past.

South Korea's Daewoo is building Britain's next naval supply ships, and Korea Aerospace Industries is exporting TA-50 and FA-50 fighter jets to Iraq, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Although the F-16 is America's cheapest fighter, the new Korean, Pakistani and Indian fighters cost about 33 percent to 50 percent less, the Journal reported.

And Brazil's A-29 Super Tucano has become the global standard for counterinsurgency, with a 67 percent savings over the cost of the F-16. The United Arab Emirates, in fact, is set to use them in Yemen in the near future, the paper said.

Although Russia and China have been exporting precision-style weapons for some time, Turkey has jumped on the bandwagon and is now also exporting guided weapons, including a stealthy cruise missile.

India's Mach 3 Brahmos anti-ship missile is available for export, along with the country's GPS-guided equivalent to Boeing's JDAM, while the UAE/South African Al-Tariq and Brazil's Acauan are also attainable. And Pakistan recently purchased Brazil's MAR-1 radar-killer missiles for its JF-17 fighters.

In response, the Pentagon has launched the "third offset" strategy, designed to develop new technologies, as a follow-on to the first two "offsets" — nuclear weapons and precision-guided munitions, the Journal said.

The Pentagon plans to invest in fields like cyberwarfare, robotics, autonomous weapons, advanced manufacturing techniques like 3-D printing, and electromagnetic weapons like railguns and lasers.

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The United States has led the way for decades in military superiority by developing and building advanced precision weapons and aircraft – but now the rest of the world is fast catching up.
arms race, US, South Korea, Hyundaization
362
2015-38-06
Monday, 06 April 2015 12:38 PM
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