Sunday, May 29, 2011

Force Multiplier

A simple, cost effective and could be produce for masses this is called force multiplier for the forces around the world and they are constantly looking for this sort of equipment. Perhaps one of the best example is AK-47 rifle. The best part for this sort of equipment is that they have long span of life and they seem to exist in one way or another without compromising their lethality. At some times they are so effective that they even beat their advance counterparts.
In 1960s when United States was looking for air superiority fighter and selected McDonnell Douglas(now Boeing) F-15 the major problem was how to make them in numbers because the cost was too high. Soviet Union military programs at that time were based on the idea that "you could counter any high tech force if you have numerical advantage at your side". This ideology was in her mid-30s and it had seen World War I & II in his lifetime where about 85,000 T-34 tanks rolled out from the factories to counter Nazi Panzers III, IV & V. T-34 production started even before it passed the safety requirements. Similarly in 1960s Soviet Union was mass producing Mig 21. To counter such low cost planes F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-18 Hornet evolved. F-16 was selected for US Air Force and F-18 was selected for US Navy and Marines. Developing countries who could not purchase high tech fighter planes and had sore relation with Soviet Union because they supported NATO agenda were given the option to purchase Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighters which were never used for combat by US Air Force itself and the program was totally based on building air forces of less developed nations such as Turkish Air Force, Iranian Air Force, and Republic of China(Taiwan).
Numerical superiority has always remained the backbone of Chinese empire. Generals wanted their soldiers to be equipped with weapons that have good record. For example Tupolev Tu-16(Tupolev NATO name: Badger) has been flying for 50 years now and it is still being actively produced by China as Xian H-8. It provides China the capability of strategic bombing.
Countries such as North Korea and Zimbabwe find many favors in numerical strategy because this help them keep low running cost and give them capability to project more. North Korea still flies Mig-17(NATO name: Fresco) as attack fighter which had its first flight in 1956.
This strategy often sacrifices emerging warfare developments and thus makes nation apply defensive strategy rather than offensive. Despite Pakistan's doctrine of being a defensive nation it is still widely debated that you should possess such technology to infiltrate deep and destroy major targets before they become active against you. Ballistic missile are not always the option. JF-17 Thunder is based on giving Pakistan better defensive position rather than offensive where as India on the other hand is using Su-30MKI as force multiplier which are air superiority fighters and their job is offensive. Pakistan cannot imitate China and keep going with the force multiplier strategy because it will drain resources and will give less advantage in real combats because India has already got numbers. The only way to counter is through investing in high tech. For example when Pakistan Navy purchased Agosta 90B submarines the strategy was to counter the expanding Indian Navy through high tech equipment but due to delays in production and delivery it lost some of her advantage. Whether you purchase or upgrade from China or any other western supplier time is the essence for bringing down the numeric advantage of any aggressor. For example Singapore invest in high tech systems to reduce the imbalance between her small forces and other forces in the region such as Malaysia, Indonesia etc. Though Pakistan is not that small but it still need to maintain pace with highly advance technology to keep aggressive options available at his disposal.