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FRENCH AND GERMAN ARMAMENTS GIANTS COMBINE TO FORM BIGGER ARMAMENTS ...

Yesterday, you'll recall, I blogged about the Industry 4.0 strategy being pursued vigorously by various German corporate giants and the German Federal government.  This strategy, you'll also recall, was all about Germany becoming "the factory for factories," designing "smart robotical assembly lines" capable of producing more than one product per assembly line. Now, take that idea, and imagine an assembly line making the machine tools for whole factories, and you get the idea. It is the future of manufacturing and indeed a "fourth industrial revolution," and as I suggested yesterday, Germany means to position itself at the head of it, and to drive it.

I also indicated yesterday that this effort also had huge and sweeping implications for any permanent human presence on a large scale in space, and on our celestial neighbors. One would need such adaptive assembly lines to supply such colonies. And, as I also suggested at the end of yesterday's blog, such capabilities have huge implications for the manufacture of armaments. We have covered some of these in blogs on this website previously, from the utility to 3D print small spare parts, or even small weapons, directly on the battlefield, to the capability of the same processes to provide needed medical supplies in short order. But, as I suggested yesterday, imagine the same process applied to industrial scale assembly lines, able to manufacture a variety of parts and weapons from one adaptive assembly line. Now, in that context, consider this disturbing story that appeared in Russia's Sputnik online magazine, shared by Mr.V.T.:

German, French Arms Enterprises Unite to Create New Weapons Giant

As the article notes, Kraus Maffei and Nexter are the manufacturers of the German and French armies' main battle tanks, the Leopard II and the LeClerc, respectively. But the real meat of the article points out the size of the merger; indeed, one of the world's largest armaments manufacturers will be created by this merger:

The joint turnover of the new partners is about 2 billion euros, and the total number of employees is 6,000 people.

Both companies have already announced their plans in 2014. The deal is expected to be the most sensational merger in the defense sector over many years.

Now add adaptive smart assembly line manufacturing and one has an armaments company that can, quite conceivably, produce tanks, artillery, small arms, aircraft, and other military equipment from the same assmbly line. But that is not the only component one should bear in mind in today's "high octane speculation" on the story.

The other part signifies what this may portend for the future of the EU, and its geopolitics. As I pointed out in my most recent book, The Third Way, the European Union as all about two things (these are, needless to say, not the only things, but they are two of the most significant things): firstly, it is about the new "Empire of Charlemagne," for it is, as I noted in that book, citing a British observer of the EU, Bernard Conolly, really all about the "Franco-German axis" that really runs it; and secondly, the EU is all about the large corporate cartel, and in this case, one sees those two principles being driven home with a vengeance, as a two large and technologically sophisticated armaments firms, one French, the other German, are being formed into a huge armaments complex, one which, with the adaptive manufacturing strategy being pursued by Germany, could very well position the new Franco-German arms cartel at the forefront of military manufacturing.

The implications that follow from this - even though "high octane" and speculative - are in this unusual instance rather obvious. For one thing, this will mean, as the Sputnik article suggests, a standardization of equipment in the French and German militaries, and the ability for both nations to avoid duplication of effort. In other words, looking a the future, one can envision French and German soldiers, pilots, and sailors driving the same tanks, shooting the same weapons, flying the same aircraft, and deploying the same types of ships.

This, I strongly supect, presages two future developments: (1) it presages the creation of a European military, designed around an integrated Franco-German military command structure and eventually, one can only assume, integrated ranking structures and war academies,staffs, and so on. (2) I also strongly suspect that this combine has also been created as a counterweight to American pressure, and that eventually, this factor will lead inevitably to a European break with the Atlantic alliance, and for the final closure of all American bases in Western Europe. Time, of course, will tell whether or not these "high octane predictions" come true.

But in the meantime, I suspect something else, and that is that this Nexter-Kraus Maffei merger is only the first step. Add Rheinmetal(Germany), Olivetti and Fiat(Italy), and Bofors(Sweden), not to mention the smaller Belgian and Dutch armaments manufacturers, and various other armaments manufacturers in Europe, and one will be looking at the IG Farben of European armaments. And one need not accomplish this with mergers. Cartel arrangements are never out of the question. This is, after all, Europe...

See you on the flip side...

8 thoughts on “ FRENCH AND GERMAN ARMAMENTS GIANTS COMBINE TO FORM BIGGER ARMAMENTS ...”

  1. I detect a few whispers from the past in this ‘merger’. TPTB decided that they wanted a combined Europe probably either before WWI or definitely before WWII. Post WWII, they began this ‘merger’ with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and then the European Economic Community (EEC). Tiptoeing in through the back door, so to speak, to avoid nationalistic antagonisms.

    I see the armaments merger as evidence of one of two things: Either TPTB have decided proactively that Europe is ready for the next level of integration, or that integration has stalled at the national defense level and this is a back door way around that problem (a move similar to the European Coal and Steel Community, except on the armaments side). Either way, I regard this ‘event’ as coming from the ‘shadows’ down, not from ‘profits’ up…

    I see the ‘timing’ of this move as resulting from the (false) tensions with Russia. Obviously, arms merchants will want to start a new tank design/production to be ready to take on the newest tank from Russia. (Worldwide tank-sale profits, really.)

    In that regard, I am sure European minds remember the Eurofighter/Rafale debacle. That one ‘split’ handed worldwide fighter sales to the US and Russia. Neither European fighter had the massive production run necessary to spread-out the R&D costs, drive down per-unit production costs, and fund midlife upgrades. Probably an unrecoverable loss, barring huge EU cash infusions…

    With a European tank procurement soon to be underway, the ‘safest’ course would be to have only ONE (large) European tank manufacturer existent, at the start of the process…

  2. We saw this manufacturing “flexibility” back in the 20th century: a steel pipe factory could (and can) turn into an artillery factory.

  3. After just returning from the bowels of upstate NY, while still beautiful in parts, made me think that NY without NYC metro would be Michigan; basically an almost empty economic shell. We might as well let the Krauts take over here. Tarpley, minus his calls for 100 new nuke plants, seems to have the best ideas for reviving America economically and I would hope but doubt that president Clinton will adopt some of his ideas. It seems everyone is backing her now as the recent GOP candidates pathetic display of stunts seem to be meant to drive voters to Clinton.

  4. Hummmmm, Germany and France, the two bigge’s joining hands in making things that kill people. When are we ever going to learn that wars are started by politicians, and then those guys ask “us” to go and fight it.
    Well in my opinion I firmly believe there will not be another world war, WHY, because there is now no outright winner. Russia and China don’t want another war, Russia refused to “bite” over The Ukraine, and China doesn’t want another war either. So this “joining” of the frogs and crouts in making things is “wind”, because any future “small wars”, will not be fought with tanks, boots on the ground, or jet fighters, it’s just that they need to keep making them $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  5. Long-time lurker making an appearance here. Hello everyone.

    I couldn’t help but think back to the Germanwings “accident” when I read this story. My first thoughts upon digging into that crash was that it was an intentional hit job designed to send a message to both Germany and France (German plane, French territory). To me, it was obviously shot down. I just didn’t fathom as to why and until now surmised that maybe intel from our three-letter friends revealed that the two EU giants were poised to join the AIIB. Now I am thinking maybe this merger is seen as more of a threat to part from NATO through the a creation of an EU Army. Of course, this is a WAG on my part but something (maybe both events?) led to that “message”. In any case, recent developments all point towards future autonomy from US control.

    1. This is the way I’m reading it as well. The Germanwings accident, as you speculate, may have been a message but I think subtler ways may have been more in keeping with their usual methods, unless of course there were already hidden messages, and this last one was the end of a long chain of them.

  6. So the western and eastern part of the Holy Roman Empire are going to unite. By first becoming the biggest merchants of death in Eurasia what a fine example to the rest of the World. Just wondering what the BRICAS answer to this move will be.

  7. The French don’t trust the Germans.

    Nor do the Swedes.

    The Dutch and the Norwegians actively dislike.

    Even the Austrians and the Czechs have big reasons to distrust the Germans.

    And of course the Russians actively don’t trust the Germans.

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