Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, September 24, 2004

This is coolbert: No one ever said the military was cheap.

Here is an amazing statistic that bears this out. For the better part of at least two decades, the Chieftain was the main battle tank [MBT] of the British Army. And had a big main gun, of caliber 120 mm, with a very long rifled tube. Click here to see a site about the Chieftain. The amazing statistic is that each and every time the main gun was fired, the cost was $4,000 per shot???!!! No wonder the crews of these tanks maybe get to fire only about fifty or so practice rounds from the main gun per year. And perhaps a goodly portion of those fifty or so rounds are in qualification or what is called familiarization?

What exactly does this cost of $4,000 per main gun shot consist of?? Well, it presumably consists of ALL costs related to the gun itself, the round being fired, the developmental costs of the gun, the round, the propellant [the Chieftain had a unique firing system. The round to be fired and the propellant were not one item, they were two separate pieces. In practice, the Chieftain gun would have a round in the breech, but no propellant. Propellant would be loaded at the command of the tank commander prior to firing. NO shell left over after firing], the training of the crews, the time operating the tank, the cost of operating the firing range, etc. A whole lot of factors perhaps figure into the cost of firing each and every round.

This is the type of thing that seems to drive the civilian sector just crazy about the military. The cost seems just so disproportionate for the function. Like the $800 hammer or the $6,000 fax machine. Etc. These costs are taking into consideration a whole lot of pricing factors the public is just not aware of.

Again, no one ever said the military was cheap. Especially if you want modern, war-winning weaponry that gives you an advantage over the enemy.



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