Procurement: June 19, 2001


If you are willing forego the latest weapons, you are in the midst of a golden age of weapons procurement. Not only are many surplus weapons still on the market (like F-16s from the U.S., submarines from Israel and anti-aircraft systems from Russia), but there are also enormous quantities of spare parts. Israel, in particular, had to maintain large stocks of spare parts because of the short, intense wars that is has to fight. Israel is trying to unload $3.5 billion in spares for older aircraft (U.S. A-4, Israeli Kfirs, Etc.) and is having a hard time moving the goods. Spares for more modern aircraft, however, are in short supply. Astute nations are cutting their defense spending considerably by buying "good enough" weapons rather than the state of the art variety. In many parts of the world, this makes a lot of sense. The only military threats are neighbors who also cannot afford the most modern stuff. 


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