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United States Military Vehicle General: Guns, G*vins, and Gas Turbines

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2 hours ago, N-L-M said:

It has to do with the Abrams development mostly evolving from a cut down MBT-70. Ending up more expensive than the M-60 is mostly irrelevant because by that time the M60 was entirely obsolete, and therefore could not fill the role required, nor could any vehicle of equivalent cost. For the defined role, the Abrams as designed was a very austere design with few exceptions, and if you think for some reason that the Abrams wasn't designed under some pretty strict cost limits you are sorely mistaken and are more than invited to re-read Hunnicutt.

Also penny pinching in general is a figure of speech for cost cutting, not only the cost cutting associated with small low value details. But choosing a 1-axis gunner's sight stab over 2-axis because it's $3000 cheaper is indeed penny pinching when it comes to a tank.

Not than the MBT-70, to which the comparison must be made.

Yes, also killed were the FCS, GCV, and some other programs which were supposed to replace the Abrams with an autoloaded vehicle. The fact that these projects all got cut and ate up most of the budget, leaving fuckall for Abrams upgrades, is a separate issue.

Also talking facts here, bucko. Compare the estimated price of the MBT-70, M60A1 and M60A3 to that of the Abrams in then year dollars.

Had you bothered to open a copy of Hunnicutt, you'd see that he provides the following numbers in equivalent 1972 dollars:
$422k final Chrysler proposal
$507k RFP design goal
 

$526k XM-1 1978 estimate (including GFE) (from here)

$339k M60A1

$432k M60A3

$611k XM803 (MBT-70)

 

So yeah, Definitely a budget conscious development.
(now if you're going "wait those numbers can't be right how come it's so much cheaper than the design goal", the answer is "competition". Chrysler's bid was $196M to GM's $232M).

 

The Chrysler Abrams was a "clean sheet" tank when it came to the core. 

The one that you're looking for, was the GM X-1 that kept elements of the MBT-70/XM803 program. That one was declined. 

 

Now again this "don't you belive me, read Hunnicutt" non-sense. 

 

Why would I read Hunnicutt when I can read the damn source. 

 

Let's start. 

 

" In 1963, the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany (GE) entered into an agreement for the joint development of a main battle tank (the MBT-70). This new tank was envisioned to be a highly mobile, heavily armored vehicle with substantial protection against nuclear radiation. In December 1969, after six years of effort, the joint program was terminated due to the extremely high unit hardware cost of the system, then estimated at $850,000 (in FY 69 dollars). At the direction of the Deputy Secretary of Defense (DEPSECDEF), the Army proceeded with development of the XM-803, an "austere" version of the MBT-70, which would not exceed a unit hardware cost of $600,000. In December 1971, Congress terminated the XM-803 program because the tank was still considered to be unnecessarily complex, excessively sophisticated, and too expensive. However, Congress also proposed that the Army use 20 million dollars to initiate conceptual studies for a New Main Battle Tank (NMBT)."

 

I would like to extend the audience that the XM-803 was scrapped because its cost was predicted to soar at roughly 650K USD/unit by 1975.

 

Directly after the canceling of the 803 the 815 program starts. 

 

This is the cost factored, derivative of the XM-803 ballooning.

 

"On 18 January, the DCP was signed by the DEPSECDEF. The DCP did not establish performance thresholds but did establish a Design to Unit Hardware Cost (DTUHC) of $507,790 FY72$ based on a procurement quantity of 3,312 tanks produced at the rate of 30 per month."

 

The total program cost was evaluated at just under 5 billion for 3300+ units.

 

Then...

 

https://archive.org/details/DTIC_ADA135524/page/n67

 

The Hardware cost for the LRIP was 2.16 million. 

PAC/Mission Capable cost was almost 2.8 million.

 

And as for your Rand paper...it wasn't even up to date when it was produced as by 1976 the Unit Cost had been already risen to 700K+ FY 75 (Inflation of 20% from 72 to 75, leads to 615K theoretically, while the calculated cost soars to over 40%  ). https://books.google.be/books?id=ZQI-AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA1766&dq=XM-1+tank+1976&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=snippet&q=XM1 cost&f=false

 

The US designed a tank that was to replace the M60. It was conservative in many aspects but not in price. Price wise the XM-1 program is one of the first in a series of the US MIC absolutely raping the US taxpayer. 

 

 

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20 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

The Chrysler Abrams was a "clean sheet" tank when it came to the core. 

And yet the RFP it was designed to meet was a cut down MBT-70 spec, and the design incorporated a lot of lessons learned from the MBT-70. The main difference was a flexible spec with Design-To-Cost as part of the RFP, allowing the active trading of performance requirements for cost reduction. Because the Army was really not happy with the cost of the MBT-70 and was out of both time and budget.

 

20 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

The Hardware cost for the LRIP was 2.16 million. 

Yes. For  LRIP. In 1983 dollars. The very paper you quote mentions that inflation in that interval is nearly 300%, (239% according to this), which is the most significant chunk of that, and LRIP lots are always more expensive than mass production lots- for reference, the LRIP lot 1 F-35A was approx $200M a pop, and LRIP lot 11 is down to $89M per.
20180914_F35.jpg

So yeah, LRIP costs are not entirely indicative of mass production costs, which is what 3000 units most definitely is.

Also you should be comparing apples to apples, that is hardware costs. Comparing hardware costs of the M60 to total costs of the M1 is disingenuous, as the M60 also needs those extras you are not factoring in.

20 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

Unit Cost had been already risen to 700K+ FY 75

Same source, page 3217:
C7SxXEt.png

Your own sources disagree with your opinion, the Abrams is not "the MIC raping the taxpayer".

Another interesting snippet from page 1882:
xaYxqTw.png

Seems like the Abrams is actually really close to the M60A3 in costs despite being a much better platform. If that's a sign of "raping the taxpayer", what would you consider a reasonable price to be, for that performance?
xC81x7A.png

And again, page 1910.

This source you posted does not in any way support your claim that the M1 project ended up, and I quote, " producing a tank that costs 6 times the price of the M60 in its mission capable form ". Much the opposite, in fact.

The M1 was extremely cheap compared to the M60 for what it was, and was the result of an extremely cost-conscious development, having learned the lesson of the failed MBT-70.

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Oh boy.

 

Even with Inflation at 300% the cost would have been roughly 1.6 million. It wasn't. With real inflation the cost should have been about 1.2 million, it was almost twice that.

 

If you had read the actual "Lessons Learned" source you would have seen that the Cost factoring in constant FY72 Dollars had jumped from 507K for 3000+ tanks to 595K (always in FY72 Dollars) for...7000+ units (which meant that the initial unit price in Constant dollars factored for the budget was TWICE the 507K FY72; 

 

Quote

So yeah, LRIP costs are not entirely indicative of mass production costs, which is what 3000 units most definitely is.

Also you should be comparing apples to apples, that is hardware costs. Comparing hardware costs of the M60 to total costs of the M1 is disingenuous, as the M60 also needs those extras you are not factoring in.

The Extras are factored in at 440K/unit. However that's chump change to the 2.5 million dollars per M1 in 1981.

Quote

Representative RICHMOND. The M-2 cost $600,000 per copy. Now what's the cost of the M-1? Colonel AGUANNO. The M-1 is, I would say, in current dollars about $2.7 million for the M-1 at this point in time. That is unit hardware cost. Representative RICHMOND. The General Accounting Office says $2.5 million. Colonel AGUANNO. I said, sir, in current dollars. Representative RICHMOND. The M-1 is going to cost $2.5 million per copy. I wouldn't mind spending the $2.5 million per copy for a superior tank. But what I see here, you know, my mind is totally boggled.

https://www.jec.senate.gov/reports/97th Congress/The M-1 Tank and NATO Readiness (1179).pdf

 

 

Quote

Seems like the Abrams is actually really close to the M60A3 in costs despite being a much better platform. If that's a sign of "raping the taxpayer", what would you consider a reasonable price to be, for that performance?

 

Have you read the title of the source? Focus on the date. Check exactly when those hearings were held. Let me help you. That's 1976. The cost of operating an Abrams was ... purely hypothetical.

However thanks to the wonders of Internet, you can see what it looked like IRL.

Quote

The Abrams tank is faster, more survivable, and more lethal than the M60 tank. However, it is not cheaper to operate and support than the M60. The Abrams tank is currently three to four times as costly as the older M60 tank, although the Army had expected the Abrams to be cheaper to operate. The Army has begun several projects to reduce these operating and support (O&S) costs.

https://www.gao.gov/assets/220/213784.pdf

Date 1991. 

 

 

However the program itself chewed through a supplemental 1billion USD on 1 year alone just to keep with LRIP

https://books.google.be/books?id=WdhLAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA1415&lpg=PA1415&dq=M1+Abrams+price+1981&source=bl&ots=MVJTBwifwV&sig=ACfU3U29bAc8q6nVW5xk0PgJQXAhcBKp0w&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjD55rvluDjAhVCK1AKHWBxBoA4ChDoATALegQICBAB#v=onepage&q=M1 Abrams price 1981&f=false

 

 

 

F-35 really? With the 1.5 trillion sunk costs? What is this? 

 

 

 

 

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To be clear, we are comparing the M60A3 TTS to the M1 (LRIP or full production), right? I think it would be a little unfair to compare an M60 (first production model) to any model of the M1; that would be like comparing a T-72 to a T-34-85, respectively :D 

 

Anyway, I would ask for you, @XhaxhiEnver, to clarify (at least, for me) which M60 you’re talking about, since there’s several different versions. 

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7 hours ago, Walter_Sobchak said:

Modern tanks are expensive.  Comparing the Abrams to the cost of earlier tanks is not very useful.  Perhaps a comparison of the costs of the Abrams versus other third generation post war tanks would be appropriate? 

 

I have never said the contrary.

 

My whole point was to deny that the "Abrams" was a cost conservative program. It was a different program that had to adress issues with then "current threats" and "shortcomings". That means, the M1 was tank that would fall in line with the M60. It wasn't supposed to replace or one-up the MBT-70/XM-803. Those two programs were still going to get used as templates (the GM XM-1 used large component design from the XM-803 and tried to adapt them for the wholly different approach required fr the XM-1).

 

However the comparison, was made by both the US military itself and another poster. The US military maintained this delirious illusion until it was both too late and self-defeating.

 

The issue with the cost comparison, especially in a fully market driven global economy, is also not that interesting.

 

For instance the alleged cost of the T-14 (Hardware cost of 3.7 million) is still a pittance compared to the converted cost of a LRIP Abrams in 1980 3.39 million as a Mission Capable Unit (that would be around 9 million USD FY2018).

This is due to the discrepancy in labor cost, currency convertibility, export convertibility and tigher/conservative spending policy on the Russian side. All these have reasons, that do NOT denote a BETTER procurement system, just a different situation. 

9 hours ago, Lord_James said:

To be clear, we are comparing the M60A3 TTS to the M1 (LRIP or full production), right? I think it would be a little unfair to compare an M60 (first production model) to any model of the M1; that would be like comparing a T-72 to a T-34-85, respectively :D 

 

Anyway, I would ask for you, @XhaxhiEnver, to clarify (at least, for me) which M60 you’re talking about, since there’s several different versions. 

 

The comparison regards the average price calculated for the M60 series (which went from as low a 178K USD for the first series to 1 million USD for newly built TTS delivered last in 1982). I don't want to discuss the average price of an M1, that sits around 4.7 million USD (thanks ironically to the first dip in production). These are also unfair to the M60A3 TTS that is MCU/PCU counted, while the Abrams isn't. For reasons I have pointed out earlier (running costs for the M1 would explode as much as the production costs). 

 

In ANY case, the M1 wasn't economical, cheaper or a budget tank. It was a more CONSERVATIVE DESIGN, not a more COST CONSCIOUS DESIGN. As facts show...

 

11 hours ago, Ramlaen said:

 

You really aren't helping yourself.

 

This is Irony 101.

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17 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

If you had read the actual "Lessons Learned" source you would have seen that the Cost factoring in constant FY72 Dollars had jumped from 507K for 3000+ tanks to 595K (always in FY72 Dollars) for...7000+ units (which meant that the initial unit price in Constant dollars factored for the budget was TWICE the 507K FY72;

I did read the document, and your conclusions from it are so off-base that I'm not sure you read it.
Consider, for example, the closing remarks, on page III of the document (page 6 of the PDF):
D8Nel0l.png

"small real cost growth" is not at all the situation you describe.

Kr7wFBG.png

A growth of 19%, mostly because extra features were added in? say it ain't so!
ViljXgp.png


And again, 19% growth for features, mainly the strengthened powertrain, is literal taxpayer rape. wew.

Also, the 507k is hardware costs for a single vehicle. Doubling the order for what is pretty much the same hardware cost per unit does not mean that the hardware cost per unit has doubled, and indeed the paper only talks about an estimated price increase if 19%. I really don't know how you could even reach that interpretation.

18 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

https://www.jec.senate.gov/reports/97th Congress/The M-1 Tank and NATO Readiness (1179).pdf

You know, that's a fascinating source, but once again your source does not say what you claim it does.

To wit, the Army's response to that claim:
B1n4AJE.png

Page 89 of the very PDF you posted. If you're gonna cherry pick quotes from sources, at least bother to read your entire source. Cause it firmly disagrees with the conclusion you are trying to draw from it.

BoLeaDk.png

Fun for the whole family!

And a bit more, just to get the point across:
z1jKY9h.png

tijgCDq.png

Oh no muh poor taxpayer getting ripped off for squillions of dollars oh no

19 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

Date 1991.

It's almost as if getting sent to an active war zone in the sandbox leads to greater wear and therefore need for spare parts, as well as high fuel consumption, while the M60A3s are left at home or in Europe, who'd a-thunk it?

The cost of the M1 exceeding the M1A1 is interesting, wonder what led to that.
You do have a legit point that in practice it appears that the M1 has turned out to be expensive to operate, but that's a far cry from it being a case of the US MIC "raping the taxpayer".

19 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

However the program itself chewed through a supplemental 1billion USD on 1 year alone just to keep with LRIP

aZ4YP5B.png

1-800-come-on-now

19 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

F-35 really? With the 1.5 trillion sunk costs? What is this?

Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.

for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production.

7 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

My whole point was to deny that the "Abrams" was a cost conservative program

All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.

7 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

replace or one-up the MBT-70/XM-803

It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?

7 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

delirious illusion until it was both too late and self-defeating.

So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.

7 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

(which went from as low a 178K USD for the first series to 1 million USD for newly built TTS delivered last in 1982)

Inflation is a hell of a drug, and the extras in the TTS don't help.

 

But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.

7 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

This is Irony 101

Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.

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16 minutes ago, N-L-M said:

Words.

 

 

The 595K (FY72) was factored for 7000+ tanks produced within the program time-span. But This was again hypothetical and a highly creative and controversial tactic to HIDE the real cost. 

It cannot have been for the unit. Why? Because we have procurement numbers. 

 

From 1979 to 1987 11.25 Billion USD have been spent on the M1 procurement program. For a total of under 4800 tanks. 7000+ tanks at 600K that's 4.2 billion on 1982's cash. 

The unit rate went down thanks to some tricks that the US DOD did (like procurement deferrals, paying tanks with funds appropriated for other items), but the first series established a unit price of 2.4 million USD. 

 

So 4.2 billion were predicted to be budgeted in FY82 USD's (according to you, although I say it was for FY72 and I'm going to prove you why) for over 7K tanks. But in reality the cost was 11.2 billion for little under 4800 tanks. Now where the US Army was clever was to always confuse FY72 USD with current USD. Why? Because the 11.2 billion USD over 1987 are exactly the 4.2 billion on FY72 once the inflation is taken to account. Again, this doesn't take into account the little cheating done on the numbers by the DOD or the fact that 33% of the tanks weren't procured yet.

 

Once factored the price per unit is 2.4 million in average and with inflation that's just under 910K in FY72 when converted from FY87.

 

 

From 1988 the procurement price would start to rise ABOVE 3.3million/unit. That is the SECOND Procurement timeline. That's for the next rant. 

 

 

Quote

The Material System Sustainment Factors for use in the fiscal year 1993 O&S Costs Are Much budget show that the Ml and MlAl tanks cost 4.2 times and 3.2 times as much per mile, respectively, to operate and support than the M60A3 Higher Than Those for t ank. The individual comparisons are shown in table 2. the M6OA3 Tank The Army maintains several data systems that accumulate O&S cost information. None include all O&S costs.

This means that the tank isn't impacted on hourly cost. The cost per hour is higher. For various reasons that are self-explanatory when the ammo cost case is raised. A difference in cost of roughly 10 times for ammo. 

 


 

Quote

 

Ah, a clear sign that you indeed don't know what you're talking about, thanks for playing.

for reference, the 1.5 trillion is a lifecycle cost for the entire fucking fleet. Not a sunk cost. And that's a really shitty way to dodge the point, which was that early LRIP costs are not indicative of full scale production


 

 

 

It is sunk cost in the sense that's what they pretend it is going to cost over 55 years. They do not know the real cost (as seen with the M1) and given the current PFH (30K USD) the projected Airforce jets alone will be sinking a Trillion for 250/300 hours yearly. As in the case of the Abrams, the hourly cost will go up (inflation alone will insure that). 

 

Also, again, you strike me as someone who doesn't do his homework and expect to get out of trouble by pure sophistry. LRIP is indicative of the cost as the hardware never becomes cheaper, it can be dipped for a while by economies of scale, but the slightest upgrade makes it usually go back up. Case in point M1A1...

Quote

 

All the congressional testimony you've posted says otherwise, the design to cost was largely successful and the tank was delivered on time and mostly on budget, a great achievement for any development program, let alone one run by the US Army.

 

They don't...the Army says so. But even then they are forced to reckon the issue. 

 

Quote

So the US Army disagrees with you on the cost issue, and by all accounts the Abrams program has been a resounding success. You don't scale up a 3300 tank buy to 7000 if the cost balloons out of control, and sufficient evidence has been posted in this thread (ironically, by you) to disprove that notion.

 

The US army doesn't disagree with me, because the numbers I have are ... from their Procurement. Yes. They failed to meet the 7K goal and they failed to make it at 4.2billion of FY82 USD. 

It's you who IGNORE the reality. And this is the beauty of this. You don't know about this. 

Quote

 

But anyway, TL;DR there's plenty of evidence that the Design-To-Cost of the M1 Abrams was by and large successful, and that it was successfully limited to a unit hardware cost significantly below that of the MBT-70, thus backing up the claim that started this whole discussion, ie that the Abrams was a budget tank born from the failure of the MBT-70 project.

 

 

So far you have provided ZERO evidence that the M1 did cost less than the projected MBT-70. As a matter of fact a serial production M1 from the first run cost in average 900+K in FY72 dollars. About 50K more than the MBT. 

 

Quote

It was absolutely the successor program to the failed MBT-70, what are you on to?

No it really wasn't. It was a far more conservative tank on its design. The choice of the Chrysler variant made sure of what ever was remaining of the MBT-70 went largely to the trash-bin. 

 

Quote

Not really no. What is however ironic is that you're calling out Ram despite you being the one who's incredibly wrong about this. The F-35 cost issue is prime bait and you took it like a champ. Thanks for playing.

 

You sure have been insulting for a moderator. Must be cool to bend the rules.  However, YOU. ARE. STILL. WRONG.

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4 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

 

This makes me laugh. Mostly because you are jumping the shark. Be patient.

"TAS-5 FAR WORSE than the Mulat."

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Just now, Ramlaen said:

 

Please tell me more about the $1.5 trillion already spent on the F-35 to make a sunk cost.

 

The  Program is advertized as costing 1.5 trillion over its lifespan. To me this is conducive of an already accepted reality, and this is cost that is expected to be spent in 55 years. 

 

Then let's calculate. 

 

1.5 trillion USD/2500 planes = 600 million per plane. 

Let's say that the average hardware price is 100 million then the flying costs are 500 million per 55 years. Or a bit over 9 million/year per plane. 

With the current 30K/hour that means 300hours a year. That means that this plane is not exactly cost factored for much action. When you know that active rotations will clock MORE on the planes than that. 

 

This while keeping the PFH at 30K for 55 years. The 1.5trillion of cost is barely adequate for current prices. 

 

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18 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

The 595K (FY72) was factored for 7000+ tanks produced within the program time-span. But This was again hypothetical and a highly creative and controversial tactic to HIDE the real cost. 

It cannot have been for the unit. Why? Because we have procurement numbers. 

 

From 1979 to 1987 11.25 Billion USD have been spent on the M1 procurement program. For a total of under 4800 tanks. 7000+ tanks at 600K that's 4.2 billion on 1982's cash. 

The unit rate went down thanks to some tricks that the US DOD did (like procurement deferrals, paying tanks with funds appropriated for other items), but the first series established a unit price of 2.4 million USD. 

 

So 4.2 billion were predicted to be budgeted in FY82 USD's (according to you, although I say it was for FY72 and I'm going to prove you why) for over 7K tanks. But in reality the cost was 11.2 billion for little under 4800 tanks. Now where the US Army was clever was to always confuse FY72 USD with current USD. Why? Because the 11.2 billion USD over 1987 are exactly the 4.2 billion on FY72 once the inflation is taken to account. Again, this doesn't take into account the little cheating done on the numbers by the DOD or the fact that 33% of the tanks weren't procured yet.

 

Once factored the price per unit is 2.4 million in average and with inflation that's just under 910K in FY72 when converted from FY87.

 

 

From 1988 the procurement price would start to rise ABOVE 3.3million/unit. That is the SECOND Procurement timeline. That's for the next rant. 

Again, conflating hardware costs with program costs. We've been over this, into the trash it goes.

19 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

It is sunk cost in the sense that's what they pretend it is going to cost over 55 years.

That's not what sunk cost means. Words and phrases have meanings, and if you can't be bothered to use the accepted ones you can go peddle your own flavor of semantics somewhere else.

Sunk cost is money put in and not recoverable. And the 1.5T is definitely not that, as most of it is yet to be spent.

And yes, it's an estimate. Like any good forwards-thinking organization, the US armed forces try to estimate how much stuff is going to cost in the future, so as to be prepared for it. More advanced accounting will include a confidence interval for the actual number, based on varying assumptions as to what the future will actually be. This is perfectly reasonable and makes good sense.

26 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

As in the case of the Abrams, the hourly cost will go up (inflation alone will insure that).

Truly, inflation is a hell of a drug. Which is why comparisons are usually carried out in constant value equivalent, as the plain dollar number is not constant value and is therefore meaningless by itself.

27 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

Also, again, you strike me as someone who doesn't do his homework and expect to get out of trouble by pure sophistry

Says the guy who is still trying to make the point that the Abrams is somehow insanely expensive despite his own sources disproving his claim, who has now moved on to insinuate that all Army numbers are fudged to hide the real cost. Riiiiight.

25 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

as the hardware never becomes cheaper

LOL. This one line proves that you have no idea how production lines get started, go from prototypes to FSD to production, gain competence or anything else.

It is a well established fact of the industry that as production lines mature, product costs fall due to less productivity losses and higher throughput from skilled workers.
The fact that you even for a moment were willing to put that piece of stupidity into writing for all to see disqualifies you from discussing manufacturing.

32 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

They don't...the Army says so. But even then they are forced to reckon the issue. 

Ok now we're back to simply throwing away the numbers the army supplies for the cost of the things it's buying because you don't like it.

35 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

The US army doesn't disagree with me, because the numbers I have are ... from their Procurement. Yes. They failed to meet the 7K goal and they failed to make it at 4.2billion of FY82 USD. 

You again fail to compare apples to apples and are surprised by it. Hardware costs.

Also:
M1: 2374 produced.

M1IP: 894 produced.

M1A1: 5572 produced.

That's 8840. Now granted quite a few of the M1A1s are rebuilt M1IPs, but still.

regarding costs we've already been over this.

38 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

So far you have provided ZERO evidence that the M1 did cost less than the projected MBT-70. As a matter of fact a serial production M1 from the first run cost in average 900+K in FY72 dollars. About 50K more than the MBT.

Again, see hardware costs vs program costs and so on. Yeah an apple isn't as acidic as an orange. You are now aware that the MBT-70 would also have been more expensive than the plain projected hardware cost, likely by a similar amount.

But again, if you're unwilling to accept the US Army numbers for hardware costs but are willing to accept their numbers for program costs, that's peak cherry picking right there. If reality is what you want it to be, sure the MBT-70 is cheaper because no spares, training, or ammunition were stocked for it. Massive savings across the board!

43 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

No it really wasn't. It was a far more conservative tank on its design.

The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are one and the same. The XM-1 program was the successor to the MBT-70 program, coming immediately on its heels and learning important lessons from it- notably cost control and cutting back on the gizmos.

"follow on program" does not in any way mean "shares technical solutions and/or parts". It means a program that succeeds where the previous one left off.

46 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

You sure have been insulting for a moderator. Must be cool to bend the rules.  However, YOU. ARE. STILL. WRONG.

I'm insulting to people who badpost. Cope. Being insulting is not against the rules, being a shitter however is.

And no, you still not being able to tell the difference between program cost and hardware cost does not make me wrong.

4 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

To me this is conducive of an already accepted reality

which is not however a sunk cost. Words have meanings.

Also lets do some more math, since you're in the mood.

$500M per plane for flight is approx 17,000 flight hours per plane at the 30K CPFH price point. That number is significantly in excess of the plane's current rated lifespan of 8000h, so claiming that the costs are marginal on the basis of flight hours is flat out wrong.

Also this is again why you do all the math in constant value dollars.

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24 minutes ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

 

The  Program is advertized as costing 1.5 trillion over its lifespan. To me this is conducive of an already accepted reality, and this is cost that is expected to be spent in 55 years. 

 

Aside that it isn't advertised as that and the total lifetime cost estimate has dropped drastically in the last few years I appreciate your honesty about incorrectly using the term 'sunk cost'.

 



Then let's calculate. 

 

1.5 trillion USD/2500 planes = 600 million per plane. 

Let's say that the average hardware price is 100 million then the flying costs are 500 million per 55 years. Or a bit over 9 million/year per plane. 

With the current 30K/hour that means 300hours a year. That means that this plane is not exactly cost factored for much action. When you know that active rotations will clock MORE on the planes than that. 

 

This while keeping the PFH at 30K for 55 years. The 1.5trillion of cost is barely adequate for current prices.

 

That is not how the total lifetime cost estimate breaks down, if you would like to continue this I can link you the estimate in the Bash the F-35 thread.

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3 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

This makes me laugh. Mostly because you are jumping the shark. Be patient.

 

Patient to what, selective reading? You cherry picking quotes from the same sources you post, makes me laugh too.

 

3 hours ago, XhaxhiEnver said:

... which is exactly how it was. 

 

Oh wow, you still believe that.

You don't have any problems in comparing the TAS-5 and the Mulat-115?

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8 hours ago, N-L-M said:

Again, conflating hardware costs with program costs. We've been over this, into the trash it goes.

That's not what sunk cost means. Words and phrases have meanings, and if you can't be bothered to use the accepted ones you can go peddle your own flavor of semantics somewhere else.

Sunk cost is money put in and not recoverable. And the 1.5T is definitely not that, as most of it is yet to be spent.

And yes, it's an estimate. Like any good forwards-thinking organization, the US armed forces try to estimate how much stuff is going to cost in the future, so as to be prepared for it. More advanced accounting will include a confidence interval for the actual number, based on varying assumptions as to what the future will actually be. This is perfectly reasonable and makes good sense.

Truly, inflation is a hell of a drug. Which is why comparisons are usually carried out in constant value equivalent, as the plain dollar number is not constant value and is therefore meaningless by itself.

Says the guy who is still trying to make the point that the Abrams is somehow insanely expensive despite his own sources disproving his claim, who has now moved on to insinuate that all Army numbers are fudged to hide the real cost. Riiiiight.

LOL. This one line proves that you have no idea how production lines get started, go from prototypes to FSD to production, gain competence or anything else.

It is a well established fact of the industry that as production lines mature, product costs fall due to less productivity losses and higher throughput from skilled workers.
The fact that you even for a moment were willing to put that piece of stupidity into writing for all to see disqualifies you from discussing manufacturing.

Ok now we're back to simply throwing away the numbers the army supplies for the cost of the things it's buying because you don't like it.

You again fail to compare apples to apples and are surprised by it. Hardware costs.

Also:
M1: 2374 produced.

M1IP: 894 produced.

M1A1: 5572 produced.

That's 8840. Now granted quite a few of the M1A1s are rebuilt M1IPs, but still.

regarding costs we've already been over this.

Again, see hardware costs vs program costs and so on. Yeah an apple isn't as acidic as an orange. You are now aware that the MBT-70 would also have been more expensive than the plain projected hardware cost, likely by a similar amount.

But again, if you're unwilling to accept the US Army numbers for hardware costs but are willing to accept their numbers for program costs, that's peak cherry picking right there. If reality is what you want it to be, sure the MBT-70 is cheaper because no spares, training, or ammunition were stocked for it. Massive savings across the board!

The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are one and the same. The XM-1 program was the successor to the MBT-70 program, coming immediately on its heels and learning important lessons from it- notably cost control and cutting back on the gizmos.

"follow on program" does not in any way mean "shares technical solutions and/or parts". It means a program that succeeds where the previous one left off.

I'm insulting to people who badpost. Cope. Being insulting is not against the rules, being a shitter however is.

And no, you still not being able to tell the difference between program cost and hardware cost does not make me wrong.

which is not however a sunk cost. Words have meanings.

Also lets do some more math, since you're in the mood.

$500M per plane for flight is approx 17,000 flight hours per plane at the 30K CPFH price point. That number is significantly in excess of the plane's current rated lifespan of 8000h, so claiming that the costs are marginal on the basis of flight hours is flat out wrong.

Also this is again why you do all the math in constant value dollars.

 

...

Wow, is this an elaborate joke? Those are procurement numbers. It's how much money is being procured to produce n-many tanks. As it stands the First run of only 4800 tanks used the equivalent FY72 budget of 4.2 billion. Only by 1982 the US armed forces were still busy pretending they were paying 600K FY82 USD for 7000 tanks. It's on your own quotes of my own materials.

Quote

Also:
M1: 2374 produced.

M1IP: 894 produced.

M1A1: 5572 produced.

That's 8840. Now granted quite a few of the M1A1s are rebuilt M1IPs, but still.

8K tanks built in what timespan and what cost? This is rather ironical that you are simply counting the numbers built, but in the mean time you are not giving the procurement details for those numbers? How come. Would that be conflating costs as well? You actually never been "OVER THIS". You simply do not have the numbers. I do and instead of just letting it go, you are going in these weird rants when you say, that constant prices are a good way to count current day costs...Are you well? How do you pay when you go to the shop? With prices of 20 years ago? Constant prices is a ridiculous manner to hide costs. The "Lessons Learned" source expressedly underscores the lack of sense of that way of counting. But even then when we take account of the inflation you can see that the cost is NOWHERE near the prediction in FY72 dollars. You still keep thise insane logic while I'm giving you total numbers and break downs. 

Theoretically the last M1A1 was built in 1997. That's almost 20 years of production. On top of that about 1.2K of those tanks in that timespan were built for foreign customers (700 for KSA and about 550 for Egypt). But what about the cost? Shall I pull out more numbers for Procurement post 1988?

 

How am I not accepting the US army numbers for hardware, these are the Procurement numbers. Let's check the for instance procurement numbers for 1988 as budgeted. 

On a budget of 1.57 billion USD for the year itself and 243 million previously budget from previous years (FY87 deferral from Bradley program) 600 tanks were planned.

 

The break down in price was:

 

778 million USD were spent on the basic vehicle (structural hull+turret).

Engine+Transmission 301million USD.

FCS 105 million.

Wiring 98 million

 

So far we have a roughly 1.3 billion cost for 600 tanks which aren't nothing else but Hull, Engine, Transmission and FCS (1.3billions spent don't even afford any guns).

Guns come at 50 million USD. I am not adding transport and other fees. Nope I'm just factoring cost for Paperweight Abrams. That cost is basically 2.25 million just to have 90% of the tank .Is this a "program cost" or a "hardware cost"? We can also make the same query for 1984 and with the exception of the gun, all these costs are on the same line. the cheapest hardware cost would be in 1984 with a hardware cost of 1.9million USD per hardware and 837 M1's produced and 2.2 million of cost for the procurement. 

 

It's becoming a Thanos meme. You can try hard and spin this as much as you can. But you are wrong. The cost regarding procurement is largely material and totally relevant to the unit itself. Therefore it is the price to pay for 1 tank. 

 

Costs do never fall because the "skilled" workers (skilled workers are going to cost more over time), the main cause for price reduction is simplification and serializing which means that you can pay less per task (this is Industrialization 101 btw). This never happened with the Abrams. The M1 production numbers of the first run (79/87) never met the upper production rate of 90 tanks per month that would have lowered the cost. The M1 as it stood was incomparable with the rate of the USSR for instance. Soviets on many cases were putting out twice the 60/month rate and were still behind schedule and had cost issues (despite MASS serialization). So workers were doing less for the same hours worked. And part of the cost increase during the first run, is that while the US didn't pay for the facilities (as it owned them) they were paying the contractors to run those facilities...

 

The guy who says that the Abrams is insanely expensive, is right based on the money the US DOD requested to procure the said M1 tanks. We are at a point where you refuse hard evidence and just throw numbers with out context. It's funny that way. 

 

Quote

You are now aware that the MBT-70 would also have been more expensive than the plain projected hardware cost, likely by a similar amount.

 

This is the other contention point. The MBT-70 might very well cost the same (hell on a projected price it is less expensive by 50K from the actual price per unit of the first series M1), but that WAS NOT THE DEBATE. The debate was that the US Army pretended (for a long time) that the tank is both more cost effective than the tank it replaced (It wasn't) and slightly more expensive than the tank IT REPLACED. The M1 was a conservative design supposed to both avoid the cost ballooning of the MBT-70 and reduce the operating cost from the M60 series. 

 

This, once we factor in all the available data is wrong on both counts. The M1 isn't marginally cheaper to operate than then M60. It is 3/4 times more expensive. It is also MORE expensive to procure by at least the same factors when the 1st batch was produced. With the second batch the gap with the M60 only widens.

On the MBT-70 front, the wide price margin calculated (over 300K FY72) also isn't true. The M1 production from 79/87 is simply way above the 507K FY72 (it stands at little more than 900K). It gets only more expensive from there on. So the projections were wrong. 

 

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. No. We do not know. And we cannot speculate, because the MBT-70 never entered production.  We cannot speculate on the M1 as well. Because we have the production numbers and procurement numbers.  It's really simple. The M1 from inception to production went from a target of 507K to 2.16 on harware cost alone. The MBT when evaluated  at 850K was at a wholly different stage. Maybe it would have been more expensive, maybe it would have been less expensive. Speculation isn't helping. 

Quote

 

The two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are one and the same. The XM-1 program was the successor to the MBT-70 program, coming immediately on its heels and learning important lessons from it- notably cost control and cutting back on the gizmos.


 

 

Only nothing, literally from one program to the other was the same. And none happened. The US didn't cut back on "gizmos" it simply picked others and it didn't manage to control the cost. 

The Abrams FCS for instance, the Turbine were as much an issue as the 3-man turret of the MBT-70. On top of that, the MBT-70's 152mm gun and the L7/Rh120 that were subsequently chosen for the M1 had nothing in common. Furthermore the Successor of the MBT-70 was the XM-803 whose target price was taken into account to establish the Abrams cost. Again you are wrong, even on technicalities.

Quote

 

And no, you still not being able to tell the difference between program cost and hardware cost does not make me wrong.


 

I just proved you are wrong with a procurement break down. 

1.35 billion for hardware alone. For 600 tanks. That's 2.25million a tank without the extras. It's clear cut. You are wrong on this matter. 

 

Quote

Also this is again why you do all the math in constant value dollars.

 

Actually this exactly why you use escalated dollars for projection, not constant value dollars. Because according to you, it isn't possible  to both fly 300 hours a year per frame for the alleged 55 years.

Yet just so we are sync, 20 hours of flight per month is the minimum for fighter pilots, this means that the threshold for maintaining proficiency and the projected fly hours per plane are very close. So which is it? Constant USD's cannot physically be sustainable if the 1.5 trillion is supposed to be belived. And the average hardware cost of 100 million means also refits, MLU etc). Or did you forget that you can actually repair and refit planes? Furthermore Constant USD's for 55 years in the future are simply uncalculable. So where's the catch? The catch is simple. The cost design here was for this program to spend 1.5 trillion USD AS A BASE. With an average of 100 million for hardware cost per unit we are looking at 250 billion USD's in hardware alone. A collective flying hour for the 2500 planes on today's cost is 75 million USD. For a 300 hours a year you are looking at 22.5 billion on flight hours yearly. This on this year's prices. If the inflation is about 2% accrued cost within ten years is simply beyond the 1.5 trillion projection (ergo it becomes VERY difficult to limit the cost to 1.5 trillion in 55 years). This is why I consider that the 1.5 trillion indication is that of the cost that should be considered spent IF the procurement program is done.  

 

Being a shitter? Haha. Are you really sure you want to go there? 

 

Because when I look at the score, and despite you gesticulating we have already established that . 

 

The M1 production did not went to its designed end within the decade (as planned). 

The M1 production did not met its constant price bracket (as planned). 

The M1 cost when factored for inflation from its initial 10 year run ended up being MORE expensive than the program it was supposed to replace (XM-803) and the previous one as well (MBT-70).

The M1 cost wasn't limited by penny pinching but by conservative design choices and a reversal of priorities (the M1 was more heavily armored than the XM-803 by a large margin). 

 

These are facts. 

 

 

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You must be insane, @XhaxhiEnver; truly. When comparing the cost of a series production, you use a single year’s dollar equivalent, which accounts for in/deflation, because the uncorrected values will indeed skew the final costs. It is a common, accepted practice to use the value of the dollar (or whatever currency) of the first year of production of an item, for all years that the item was produced. Ergo, if you want to compare the unit cost of the M1 over its production run, you would most likely use the value of the M1 in the first year it was produced.

 

Inflation will make the cost higher because THAT’S WHAT INFLATION DOES! It makes the unit monetary value decrease, meaning you need MORE MONEY to pay for the same item. This is why it is imperative to adjust for inflation of goods. 

 

One thing you’re not understanding about that $4.2 billion number is that it is for EVERYTHING related to the M1: setting up a new factory and/or re-tooling of old factories to accommodate for the new vehicle (this cost money... like, a LOT of money); acquisition of ammo, fuel, spare parts, and crew pensions and training for each tank planned (make sure they’re not out of parts/fuel within days introduction), and that’s certainly not cheap for 7000 vehicles; worker, electric, and materials costs (it would be ridiculous to think contractor, sub-contractor, and other utility and manufacturing costs would not be estimated and included in the report). 

 

I don’t know where you learned to estimate finances, but you should probably ask for your money back. 

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From https://history.army.mil/books/Studies/sunell/sunell.htm, thought it was relevant to the current conversation.

 

General Sunell: Well, General [Robert J.] Baer was the tank program manager for a long time, and he had a very close relationship with Fort Knox. The reason I can discuss the tank program is because I left the Armored Reconnaissance Scout Vehicle (ARSV) task force and became the deputy program manager for the XM1 tank where I worked for General Baer.

General Baer, in effect, said, "This is what all these different items cost on a tank, and I have a $507,000 ceiling for the XM1 tank." And he said, "If you really want to add that to the tank, here's what a fender costs; here's what a machine gun costs. Now which one do you want me to take off, because I cannot exceed this cost ceiling?" Everybody understood that.

General Starry and General Baer traveled together and then General McEnery came in. He did the same thing; he kept the program going. There was some criticism of the tank, and General Lynch came out very strongly as the commandant supporting the tank. His famous message was, "If you can't support the tank, keep your mouth shut and at least don't join the hostiles," if I recall his words.

The tank went through then. General [Donald M.] Babers became the program manager, and we always kept an extremely close relationship with Fort Knox. The program manager and the commandant were not enemies; they worked together. That kept that program going.

Major Pirnie: In other words, there were two aspects. One was the close cooperation with the Program Management Office [PMO] in Fort Knox, which included personal contact with the officers involved, extending over several changes in personnel. The second aspect was tying it to a budget requirement.

General Sunell: Yes.

Major Pirnie: It's perhaps a little unfortunate we have to use the budget in that fashion, but it does compel decisions. Wouldn't it be better if we worked with effectiveness criteria?

General Sunell: Well, this went back to the MBT70 [Main Battle Tank-70] when we had a joint program with the Germans. That tank was coming along, but we had so many additional dollars tacked on to it that Congress accused the Army of "gold plating," and the program was stopped. Everybody knew we needed a new tank program. The Congress specifically stated that the Army could have a tank program, but it must be below a specific cost ceiling. Every time we went to testify in Congress, we were required to go back to that number ... that basic number.

Even today, Brig. Gen. Peter M. McVey, who used to be the program manager for tank systems and is now responsible for all combat vehicles, must go back and trace the cost to the 1972 dollars�$507,000 a copy.

Major Pirnie: How wise was it for Congress to set that standard? Did that help or hurt the program?

General Sunell: It certainly didn't hurt the program at the time. We stayed under budget, and we had the support of the Congress. We didn't have runaway costs. It allowed the program manager to budget within those dollar figures. But in one place it did hurt the program. We knew at that time that we wanted an underarmor auxiliary power unit that cost $35,000 in today's dollars, probably about $15,000 in dollars in that day, but we couldn't do it. We included the power unit as a Pre-Planned Product Improvement program. But if we could have taken the dollars and put it in then, in the 1970s, it would have cost us half as much as to go back and add it to the program.

The second thing we always wanted and needed was a redundant sight for the commander. By that I mean an independent sight for the commander, now called the Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer (CITV). This allows the commander of the tank to search a portion of the battlefield and the gunner to look at a different portion of the battlefield. If the commander sees a target out there, he hits a switch and the gunner automatically slews to that target. We wanted that capability, but we couldn't do it because we couldn't exceed that ceiling.

Now the commander and the gunner are looking through the same sights, and we really would have liked to have had the commander's independent sight, but we couldn't do that. We saved dollars at that time, but it's going to cost us big bucks to go back and do that now.

Major Pirnie: In other words, setting the ceiling had the ironic result of increasing the cost of the vehicle.

General Sunell: Yes. It increases the cost of the vehicle when you have a pre-planned product improvement.

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article on AUSA 1983 exhibition, published in International Defense Review 1983-12

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Spoiler

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additional photos of pics of scalemodel of 155mm liquid propellant SPH proposal from General Electric, which promised substantial increase in number of rounds carried by each vehicle

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Spoiler

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article on AUSA 1984 exhibition, published in International Defense Review 1984-12

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Spoiler

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additional photos of different pics from this article

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TMEPS:
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Hunnicutt's book on Abrams has couple of pics of it on page 250

Spoiler

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