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    Is it possible to successfully establish commercial markets for products meant for defence industry?

    jhelb
    jhelb

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    Is it possible to successfully establish commercial markets for products meant for defence industry? Empty Is it possible to successfully establish commercial markets for products meant for defence industry?

    Post  jhelb on Mon May 27, 2019 2:52 pm

    One of the conundrum that several defence products, services face is : not having commercial opportunities and being brushed aside after government funding ends.

    Ergo, is it possible to establish commercial markets for transition (for a product or service) if a defense market does not exist ?
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Tue May 28, 2019 5:10 am

    Well honestly I would think the people who make Boomerang could probably replace all the armour with heavy durable easily replaced thick heavy plastic, and convert it into a camper RV that you could drive around... I watch the Top Gear specials where they go all sorts of places and many of the roads around the world require good suspension and near amphibious capability... and of course when you see the specials what you don't see is the enormous caravan of 4WDs and light trucks that carry all the cameramen and support equipment like spare tires etc.

    Small arms manufacturers usually already make civilian firearms, and the people making the Ratnik sets could certainly adapt most of what they make to the camping and hiking market... not to mention those episodes of Combat Approved where the guy is in that all orange one piece suit in the arctic where he jumps in water and is fine.... I would love some of that gear...

    Not to mention most aircraft makers could make civilian alternatives...

    All they really need are aggressive people to market it.

    I have bought a nice rifle... it is a Bars-4-1 and it is a neat compact little rifle... my problem is that it comes in three calibres... .223, 7.62x39mm and 5.6x39mm and I got the last calibre... 5.6x39mm

    Originally I thought it was just a funny way of writing 5.45x39mm but in actual fact it is a hunting calibre based on the 7.62x39mm round that was developed in the 50s and 60s for short range hunting... the only company that makes it is Tula Arms, so I sent them an email to say I had bought this rifle and was wanting some ammo shipped to me... to which they replied it is a local round made in rather small numbers and they don't have a distribution agent in New Zealand.

    I talked to the shop that sold me the rifle and they said the current situation with Russia and the west means it is hard to get much of any ammo but the guy in Germany that they get their ammo from (he must be cheap) doesn't carry 5.6 x 39mm.

    I suspect if it was an American company they would bend over backwards to find out what shop sold me the rifle and offer to send them the ammo... for a good profit margin for themselves of course seeing as how they clearly have this market cornered.

    The Russian way means the guy doesn't really have to do much but gets no sale and I have to think of some alternative (currently looking at chamber inserts to allow another round to be used like 5.7x28mm or something that will fit inside the case of the round it uses...).

    The American way would mean the American company makes some money selling a product in a new market and could make a double profit because they know I have no other choice.

    Ironically the 5.6x39mm shell casings are available... about $140 per 100 empty shell cases without primers and without bullets and without powder... it seems they are used for the .22PPC and the 6mmPPC bench shooting calibres that dominate the 0-300m range in terms of accuracy... but nobody buys ammo in those calibres as they get better accuracy making their own.

    Anyway, back to topic, it is in the interests of all manufacturers to have as broad a range of products in as many different markets as possible because markets change and you have to change with them but having an income stream or two that you can rely on will make things much less stressful.

    It is like not letting your wife work on your home business... if she works in a local shop or office then when things are not going well for the home business you still have money coming in... if you both work in the same business and things are not going well then you can have problems...

    Businesses where things are related... for instance a boat making company that creates anti mine vessels that have glass reinforced plastic hulls... well you can make all sorts of hulls with that sort of equipment... yachts, dinghies, RVs and light off road vehicles etc etc.

    Look at Kalashnikov with small arms obviously, but also small boats and UAVs and other technologies like electric Motor bikes etc...
    jhelb
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    Post  jhelb on Tue May 28, 2019 9:30 am

    GarryB wrote: it is in the interests of all manufacturers to have as broad a range of products in as many different markets as possible because markets change and you have to change with them but having an income stream or two that you can rely on will make things much less stressful.

    So basically Garry, these manufacturers can build a relation with accelerators that provide a sweet spot to enter the process late enough that a technology has moved toward commercial maturity. Isn't it ?

    I think Accelerator companies can seamlessly enter the existing defense acquisition process at multiple points either as a competitive prototype or, if promising enough, under a rapid development and militarization activity. In addition, these efforts can augment the laboratory research and development efforts of the individual military services to help shape investment decisions early on and create a competitive technology landscape. What do you think ?
    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB on Wed May 29, 2019 6:41 am

    The way I see it during communism design bureaus were important and basically entities of their own that existed separately... though each one had a relationship with the various companies that made components like engines and radars and avionics and also with factories that actually built their products, but there was a separation of design and manufacture... after all... when it is cheap and simple you can pretty much hand a design spec and plans to any producer and they can make your product.

    When communism ended design bureaus had no product to make money from so they needed to join them with their production sides to create a viable entity... but while the whole development and production process is sorted they still pretty much rely on major monolithic export organisations for export contracts and sales.

    I don't think every company selling their own stuff on their own is ideal because you will end up with companies competing for work and losing money and time on contracts they are not likely to win.... lots of undercutting and back stabbing and nasty stuff like that.

    They spend lots of money on R&D for the military... what I think they should also do is explore the civilian market for gaps they can use already developed technology that might only need a small modification to fill those gaps very well... and perhaps even further changes to make them popular... I mean in the west the 4WD big SUV type off road vehicle was intended for sports and off road use... skiing or camping or whatever, but most of the ones I see around the place have women doing the shopping or dropping kids off to school... not really their intended purpose but if they want it why would you not sell it to them?

    What I think these military companies need is a component or department that looks into civilian potential uses... I mean you wont want armoured vehicles, but strong vehicles that might retain amphibious capacity... perhaps made of rubberised plastics 70-80mm thick that are durable and can be fixed with glues and are naturally bouyant... for an RV vehicle that can go where there are no roads... cross country and waterways... electric drives means the problems with an internal combustion engine and the heat it creates becomes less of an issue, but a small power generating gas turbine designed to run on hydrogen or LPG would be good too as well as solar panels for energy... if it is amphibious even use a parachute sail for it...

    Land and water and air transport, as well as civilian firearms, and of course clothing and camping equipment and gear... I mean you could even convert a BRDM-2 with a large telescope in the turret instead of the weaponry and you could drive out of the city and park up and look at the stars... get rid of the belly wheels and put side doors and a lot more windows in it... the point is that with a separate department just doing that then you can do things like have a section of your website where you let people make requests and put forward ideas... let the general public help you... and this will give you direct access to your actual buying market... remember the organisations for selling military equipment don't need to get involved in selling civilian stuff... Concern Kalashnikov already have civilian stuff on their website you can buy so in a sense they have started already...

    The internet is a great tool for this because it allows international access... I don't need to go to Russia to see what they have or can do...

    But they need people who want to push and sell... and don't be afraid of failure... did you get something and it doesn't do what you wanted it to do... well talk about it and work out what went wrong and try to fix it... for every one that complains 100s wont and just wont buy stuff from you any more... solve the problem of the person that complained and then put on your adverts that if you want to do this with your product then you need this modification... if it is not expensive and improves the product then change them all... if they are using it for something weird and unusual then make it an option... this is not hard... and a happy customer is a loyal customer as long as you can keep prices reasonable.

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