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Buy Russian! (We don't make helicopters in America)

specklebang

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Yes, cheaper. Think of what we could save by getting rid of our entire weapons industry and letting Russia and China supply us. Makes perfect sense. Damn overpriced, overpaid Americans.


How much the american same type helicopters cost? ... maybe it's simply cheaper?

Cheers,
Fallen.
 

head of joaquin

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Capitalism is a gas, isn't it?
 

Redress

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Yes, cheaper. Think of what we could save by getting rid of our entire weapons industry and letting Russia and China supply us. Makes perfect sense. Damn overpriced, overpaid Americans.

Why do you assume that the relative price of all military hardware is the same as helicopters?

Another possible reason for this decision could simply be availability.
 

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Yes, cheaper. Think of what we could save by getting rid of our entire weapons industry and letting Russia and China supply us. Makes perfect sense. Damn overpriced, overpaid Americans.

Oh well.... at least you still have your own coke and cheeseburgers.
:lol:

Cheers,
Fallen.
 

Lord Tammerlain

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The Russian helicopters are simpler, easier to maintain and afghani pilots have experience with them.

A chinook is useless if it is grounded, the Russian helicopter would most likely be flying even with the probable poor maintenance done by the afghanis
 

azgreg

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We need to get Congressman Charlie Wilson in on this.
 

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I found some more info about this deal:

Afghan personnel have flown the MI-17 since the 1980s and are deeply familiar with their operation, Pentagon officials have said previously.

The helicopters function well in “the extreme environments of Afghanistan” and are easy for the Afghans to operate due to their “low technical complexity,” making them a key part of the U.S. exit strategy from the country...

Pentagon to Keep Buying Russian Helicopters
 

poweRob

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specklebang

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OK. I suppose that's a reasonable explanation but doesn't it irk you that we seem to be suffering a shortage of jobs, a shortage of money, a very sad balance of payments deficit and then when there's a market for something we actually make, where the money would stay "in the family"? This isn't a liberal/conservative issue in any way. It's a government who cares and a government so detached they don't get why this might annoy at least a few citizens of any persuasion.

I'd like to think those helicopters will do some good somewhere but instead, they'll probably ferry opium shipments for....nah, just kidding.






I found some more info about this deal:

Afghan personnel have flown the MI-17 since the 1980s and are deeply familiar with their operation, Pentagon officials have said previously.

The helicopters function well in “the extreme environments of Afghanistan” and are easy for the Afghans to operate due to their “low technical complexity,” making them a key part of the U.S. exit strategy from the country...

Pentagon to Keep Buying Russian Helicopters

Which is bizarre now that McCain got his wish and now we have a proxy war with Russia in Syria, with us funneling arms to the insurgents and Russia funneling arms to the Syrian administration.
 

specklebang

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I'm embarrassed to tell you that when you want a good Coke, you ask for Mexican Coke. How lame is that? The Mexican Coke is still made in the old formula and does (IHO ALERT) taste better than American Coke.




(first they come for your choppers, then they come for your coke)



Oh well.... at least you still have your own coke and cheeseburgers.
:lol:

Cheers,
Fallen.
 

specklebang

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I'm just being silly.

I assume nothing. I deny everything.



Why do you assume that the relative price of all military hardware is the same as helicopters?

Another possible reason for this decision could simply be availability.
 

Porchev

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OK. I suppose that's a reasonable explanation but doesn't it irk you that we seem to be suffering a shortage of jobs, a shortage of money, a very sad balance of payments deficit and then when there's a market for something we actually make, where the money would stay "in the family"? This isn't a liberal/conservative issue in any way. It's a government who cares and a government so detached they don't get why this might annoy at least a few citizens of any persuasion.

I'd like to think those helicopters will do some good somewhere but instead, they'll probably ferry opium shipments for....nah, just kidding.

I think Boeing (and/or other American companies) should just learn from this that there is a worldwide market for tough low tech helicopters and make some. That would be more effective than Congress and potentially lobbyists trying to force a buy American sale, instead everyone can learn from this instead of complaining. Then the sales would come naturally.
 

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U.S. says it will buy Russian helicopters for Afghan military | Reuters

Half a billion headed for our good buddies in Russia. I'm somewhat mystified. Can someone explain this?

Simple. American helicopters are expensive and expensive to maintain and break down often.

Russian helicopters are built to last, be cheap to maintain and not break down due to a little dust.... oh and they are way cheaper!

Look at this way.... had it been US helicopters, it would have cost at least double that, or they would only have gotten half the amount they need..
 

CanadaJohn

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U.S. says it will buy Russian helicopters for Afghan military | Reuters

Half a billion headed for our good buddies in Russia. I'm somewhat mystified. Can someone explain this?

Since Russia was/is? part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the UN/NATO backed effort to rid Afghanistan of terrorists and the taliban, why aren't they simply supplying the helicopters to Afghanistan as part of their relief efforts? Why is the US buying them? Is it payback for joining the effort after 9/11?

If you're concerned about this, I'd have to wonder how much of America's military funding it provides to Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, etc. goes to purchasing supplies and equipment from countries other than America. Isn't it about time your President started playing a little hardball with President Putin in order to get some cooperation on issues like Syria, Iran, etc.?
 

rathi

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OK. I suppose that's a reasonable explanation but doesn't it irk you that we seem to be suffering a shortage of jobs, a shortage of money, a very sad balance of payments deficit and then when there's a market for something we actually make, where the money would stay "in the family"? This isn't a liberal/conservative issue in any way. It's a government who cares and a government so detached they don't get why this might annoy at least a few citizens of any persuasion.

Buying cheap Russian helicopters saves the taxpayers a hell of a lot more money than buying expensive American ones. Our economy is not going to be fixed by defense contractors getting even more pork to feast on. In addition, we have no business fighting a war in Afghanistan if we would sabotage our allies for domestic political favors.
 

rathi

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Since Russia was/is? part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the UN/NATO backed effort to rid Afghanistan of terrorists and the taliban, why aren't they simply supplying the helicopters to Afghanistan as part of their relief efforts? Why is the US buying them? Is it payback for joining the effort after 9/11?

Russia is not actively participating in the conflict, they mostly provide logistic support in return for various forms of compensation. There is no public evidence the helicopter deal is part of the pay-off, but it wouldn't surprise me if that were the case.

If you're concerned about this, I'd have to wonder how much of America's military funding it provides to Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, etc. goes to purchasing supplies and equipment from countries other than America. Isn't it about time your President started playing a little hardball with President Putin in order to get some cooperation on issues like Syria, Iran, etc.?

What exactly is Obama going use as leverage with Putin to make a deal? Playing "hardball" diplomatically is nothing more than insecure bluster without the power to coerce compliance.
 

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U.S. says it will buy Russian helicopters for Afghan military | Reuters

Half a billion headed for our good buddies in Russia. I'm somewhat mystified. Can someone explain this?

What is there to explain? The Pentagon is not the Department of Commerce. Its job is not to promote sales of American aircraft around the world, but to provide defense solutions for defense problems. On a given budget. They look at the problem (the Afghan military being underequipped), they find a solution (the cheap Russian choppers, in sufficient numbers).

I mean, virtually all American police force is packing Glocks. They are not the best weapons ever made, but they are easy to use and maintain, and they are relatively cheap. Also, they are (mostly) Made in Austria. So what?
 

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our defense industry used to make weapon systems geared for our less sophisticated allies back in the hot spot cold war days.

Guess the profit wasn't in it once we 'won'. Guess too the DoD got a little nervous thinking THEY might have to build cost effective weapons rather then money is no object ones.

Oh well, can't corner every market and it does make for strange trade relationships...
 

specklebang

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A lot of good answers and I do see some explanation for this. Better product, better price. But I still wonder why this should be so. We spend a fortune on our military. Something like 700 billion and that's probably not everything since they have lots of hidden classified stuff in the background.

Someone objected to bloating defense contractors. Sure, who loves them? They have enriched themselves beyond measure. But aren't we just bloating a Russian defense manufacturer?

Instead of giving away deals and freebies only to the very rich and very poor, wouldn't this have created jobs and kept those dollars circulating in America? Why do they buy $3000 toilet seats and then suddenly decide the Russians offer a better price? So what if our helicopters suck? They'll probably be used to fight us 10 years from now anyway. At least we would control the parts supply.

When I was in Thailand in 1967, I wrote to Lyndon Johnson complaining (very politely) about the same problem. Staff cars made in Germany. Generators made in Czechoslovakia (sp?). Hammers from China? Assistant Managers (for the contractor I worked for) from the Philippines. They had a justification for every point I addressed. The cutes one was if we hired Filipinos, they would go back to the Philippines and buy lots of American products there. Huh? As thanks for my interest, the State Department called my employer (Philco-Ford) and asked them to fire me. I threatened to sue (I had a one year contract) and they backed off. But the point is that they really like to buy foreign and they don't want to hear no stinkin' complaining. Hasn't changed much in 47 years.

So, while I now understad the rationale, I don't agree with the procedure. Someone brought up the Glock as an example of so what. Good point. We can't make an American gun effective enough to supply ourselves. That's ridiculous! The only country where everybody can buy a gun - a huge market - a huge military - and we can't come up with a decent gun? What's wrong with us?






I think Boeing (and/or other American companies) should just learn from this that there is a worldwide market for tough low tech helicopters and make some. That would be more effective than Congress and potentially lobbyists trying to force a buy American sale, instead everyone can learn from this instead of complaining. Then the sales would come naturally.

Simple. American helicopters are expensive and expensive to maintain and break down often.

Russian helicopters are built to last, be cheap to maintain and not break down due to a little dust.... oh and they are way cheaper!

Look at this way.... had it been US helicopters, it would have cost at least double that, or they would only have gotten half the amount they need..

Since Russia was/is? part of Operation Enduring Freedom, the UN/NATO backed effort to rid Afghanistan of terrorists and the taliban, why aren't they simply supplying the helicopters to Afghanistan as part of their relief efforts? Why is the US buying them? Is it payback for joining the effort after 9/11?

If you're concerned about this, I'd have to wonder how much of America's military funding it provides to Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, etc. goes to purchasing supplies and equipment from countries other than America. Isn't it about time your President started playing a little hardball with President Putin in order to get some cooperation on issues like Syria, Iran, etc.?

Buying cheap Russian helicopters saves the taxpayers a hell of a lot more money than buying expensive American ones. Our economy is not going to be fixed by defense contractors getting even more pork to feast on. In addition, we have no business fighting a war in Afghanistan if we would sabotage our allies for domestic political favors.

What is there to explain? The Pentagon is not the Department of Commerce. Its job is not to promote sales of American aircraft around the world, but to provide defense solutions for defense problems. On a given budget. They look at the problem (the Afghan military being underequipped), they find a solution (the cheap Russian choppers, in sufficient numbers).

I mean, virtually all American police force is packing Glocks. They are not the best weapons ever made, but they are easy to use and maintain, and they are relatively cheap. Also, they are (mostly) Made in Austria. So what?

our defense industry used to make weapon systems geared for our less sophisticated allies back in the hot spot cold war days.

Guess the profit wasn't in it once we 'won'. Guess too the DoD got a little nervous thinking THEY might have to build cost effective weapons rather then money is no object ones.

Oh well, can't corner every market and it does make for strange trade relationships...
 

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Well to be a bit more precise the Russians make a better for the market product than we do. Many decry the AK but it is far better suited for a wide variety of climates and far less training and support than an M4. If we did do actual 'market research' on who we support then a good deal more thought into simplifying the weapons would be useful.

As an aside how did you get Iron Curtain generators in '67? These days contractors are third world and security forces from the former Warsaw Pact but in '67???

Anywho, most warhawks would scream a blue streak if we 'sold' the Afghan Forces our 'better' equipment for the very reason you cite, it soon would be used against us.

If we made a plain jane helicopter instead of the super dooper Black Hawk and Chinook, then we can keep it 'Merican.
 

specklebang

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I wondered about that myself and I'll guess that these items were supplied through overseas contractors who were able to buy Iron Curtain products and sold them to the US military as the item, regardless of origin. I'll try to post my letter to LBJ if this thread is still around in the next couple of days. I have a poor quality scan sent me by an old friend from that era. I'll try to clean it up, black out my personal info.

Since we Americans are the World Police, we should be making cheaper, more basic weapons to sell to our future enemies. Or give away as gifts to the Dictator-Of-The-Month Club. It's ridiculous that the worlds largest arms makers can't be competitive. Of course, I don't know who owns the Russian manufacturers, maybe it's an American company.



Well to be a bit more precise the Russians make a better for the market product than we do. Many decry the AK but it is far better suited for a wide variety of climates and far less training and support than an M4. If we did do actual 'market research' on who we support then a good deal more thought into simplifying the weapons would be useful.

As an aside how did you get Iron Curtain generators in '67? These days contractors are third world and security forces from the former Warsaw Pact but in '67???

Anywho, most warhawks would scream a blue streak if we 'sold' the Afghan Forces our 'better' equipment for the very reason you cite, it soon would be used against us.

If we made a plain jane helicopter instead of the super dooper Black Hawk and Chinook, then we can keep it 'Merican.
 

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A lot of good answers and I do see some explanation for this. Better product, better price.

No, that is wrong. Better price yes, but "better" product ... not exactly. US weapons are better than Russian... IF you have the money and education to maintain them.

But I still wonder why this should be so. We spend a fortune on our military. Something like 700 billion and that's probably not everything since they have lots of hidden classified stuff in the background.

And here comes the issue. A Russian tank, gun or helicopter is technically far behind most similar US weapons, but what the Russians understood long ago based on their experience in WW2, is that when fighting a war you need firepower not technology and certainly not technology that needs maintenance constantly.

Listen the Germans in WW2 had the best tanks on the planet. They had the most armor, best guns and so on, but they were also heavy and required quite a bit of technical knowledge to run and maintain and on top of that they required quite a lot of materials to make.. quality materials. Put such a tank in the muddy or dusty plains of Eastern Europe, and you have a problem.

On the flip side, you had the Russian tanks, which were inferior in pretty much every single aspect to the German tanks. But they did not require much maintenance and were easy to fix. They were also not as heavy, required less fuel, and could work in all sorts of weather. And on top of that they were easy to manufacture so they Russians out produced the Germans quickly. So what if Russian tank crews died far more often than Germans... plenty more where that came from... unlike the Germans.

And this is the attitude you need to have in a place like Afghanistan. You need machines that can easily be fixed by practically anyone with a little knowledge and machines that dont need 30 people to keep it going in a dust storm. This is the problem with the US military machine.. it is expensive because it is high tech and requires a lot of maintenance... something the Afghans cant afford or frankly due (lack of qualified people). A good example is the Apache helicopter. Fearsome piece of machinery, but when it went to Saudi Arabia in the first gulf war, they basically were grounded for weeks because the dust got into the filters and broke them. Once they got the right filters then they were fine for a while, but still required regular maintenance because of the dust. You see the Apache was designed for non-dust areas of Europe... not the dusty Middle East. Russian helicopters dont have that problem, because they were designed to fight in whatever area of the world that the Russians needed.

Someone objected to bloating defense contractors. Sure, who loves them? They have enriched themselves beyond measure. But aren't we just bloating a Russian defense manufacturer?

Not really. Russian "tech" is not bloated per say... the American is though.

Instead of giving away deals and freebies only to the very rich and very poor, wouldn't this have created jobs and kept those dollars circulating in America? Why do they buy $3000 toilet seats and then suddenly decide the Russians offer a better price? So what if our helicopters suck? They'll probably be used to fight us 10 years from now anyway. At least we would control the parts supply.

That is a good point. Look at Iran, they bought American weapons... had a revolution and had problems getting spare parts cause they hated America now. However chances are those "jobs" you think you are creating are not actually there but around the world.

When I was in Thailand in 1967, I wrote to Lyndon Johnson complaining (very politely) about the same problem. Staff cars made in Germany. Generators made in Czechoslovakia (sp?). Hammers from China? Assistant Managers (for the contractor I worked for) from the Philippines. They had a justification for every point I addressed. The cutes one was if we hired Filipinos, they would go back to the Philippines and buy lots of American products there. Huh? As thanks for my interest, the State Department called my employer (Philco-Ford) and asked them to fire me. I threatened to sue (I had a one year contract) and they backed off. But the point is that they really like to buy foreign and they don't want to hear no stinkin' complaining. Hasn't changed much in 47 years.

A very good question. You are forgetting the cold war. One of the main ways the US fought the cold war was via trade. By building up the allies economically, they kept those allies "in the bag" so to say. They pushed trade into countries, that also benefited US companies. Coca Cola is only big today because of it. Had Coca Cola not had a military contract to supply their stuff to US troops, then Coca Cola would have been nothing. They basically got cheap factories world wide on the US tax payers dime.

So, while I now understad the rationale, I don't agree with the procedure. Someone brought up the Glock as an example of so what. Good point. We can't make an American gun effective enough to supply ourselves. That's ridiculous! The only country where everybody can buy a gun - a huge market - a huge military - and we can't come up with a decent gun? What's wrong with us?

Look at the M16. Why did the AK-47 become the gun of the world? Because the M16 (early on) was unreliable and expensive. The AK-47 was made to last, easy to clean and repair ... and cheap.

American's tend to think that expensive = great product... and that is often far from the truth.
 
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