Analytica Camillus

Morality in Ruthlessness

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Steeling the Nightingale pt. 2: Budgetary Boogaloo

‘Ukrainian Armored Grind’
(Original photo by Pvt. 1st Class Daneille Hendrix)

In our first post here at Analytica Camillus (accessible via this link), we went through the painstaking process of counting the amount of vehicles comprising the US Army’s mechanized maneuver units, we established a potential upper limit on the size of the Army’s great power war hedge, and we hashed out some potential problems the US Department of Defense (DoD) could face in trying to supply the Ukrainian military with the weapons they need to crush Russia’s onslaught.

In this piece we’ll do some clean-up on our first analysis; we’ll provide a brief explication of what armored maneuver units are, and what they’re actually supposed to do (apparently, that’s an important factoid to include); we’ll go through the excruciating process of calculating the 2021 inflation-adjusted dollar cost of the material we’re proposing should be provided to Ukraine. We’d also like to propose an alternative brigade structure that is more in line with the Ukrainian Army’s operational requirements that will also (presumably) alleviate the US Army’s presumptive concerns about depleting its stock of infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs).

We aren’t the first analysts to try and tackle the problem of demonstrating what equipment should be sent to Ukraine, see those link(s) and these tweets:

…but we are the first to do so publicly with an almost painful amount of anal-retentive detail.

For the sake of navigating this beast of a page, we’re including a table of contents.

  1. What Is an Armored Brigade Combat Team? What Do they Do?
    1. Armored Maneuver Units, A Quick and ‘Extremely’ Dirty History
    2. Modern Armored Maneuver Units, And the Transition To the US Brigade Combat Team
      1. The Battle of 73 Easting
      2. The Modern(ish) ABCT
  2. Cool Math Problems
  3. The Armored Brigade Combat Team by the Numbers
    1. The “Ideal” Armored Brigade Combat Team
      1. The US Army ABCT, 2021 (The Moonshot)
      2. The US Army ABCT, 2015 (Extremely Unlikely)
    2. A Realistic Armored Brigade Combat Team For Ukraine
      1. Ukrainian Combined Arms Battalion
      2. Tallying the Score, and the Tab
  4. The Sinews of War are a Fluctuating Dollar: How We Adjust for Inflation
    1. The Ugly, The Horrible And The Monstrous
    2. Alternative (Even Less People Friendly) Methods For Calculating Inflation
      1. Proposed Ukrainian ABCT Price, DoD Inflation Adjusted
  5. What’s Next
    1. Collaborations and Contributions
    2. Next Up On The Docket

What Is an Armored Brigade Combat Team? What Do they Do?

When executed properly, armored/mechanized combined arms maneuvers/assaults are tantamount to a perfectly orchestra of slaughter and mayhem, even when fighting a stiff and determined adversary. When individual components fail to advance, can’t break through hostile strongpoints, or simply lag behind as a result of command failure or logistical shortfalls, offensive maneuvers can rapidly descend into a massacre for the attacking force, as we saw in the early days of Russia’s assault on Kyiv.

Before we can get to the interesting material, it’s necessary to establish a common base of understanding so that any and all readers will have some idea of what we’re talking about when we discuss maneuver within the context of high-end conventional operations. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War, the 2003 Invasion of Iraq and the 2008 War in Georgia can probably comfortably skip this next section and go directly to our conversation on the modern US Armored Brigade Combat Team. For everybody else, buckle up, you’re about to get an extremely rough crash course in modern armored/mechanized operations.

A quick aside before we continue, maneuver and combined arms contrary to their milquetoast, almost innocuous sounding linguistic-roots, are two extremely technical words with a precise meaning within the context of military operations. It’s not for nothing that the US Army’s tank school Fort Benning is also known as its “Maneuver Center of Excellence“, or MCoE (no, we’re not making that up).

Now, the US Army’s 2013 edition of ADP 3-90 (its manual for Offense and Defense) formally defines maneuver as:

“… the employment of forces in the operational area. It works through movement and with fires to achieve a position of advantage relative to the enemy to accomplish the mission. Commanders use maneuver for massing the effects of combat power to achieve surprise, shock, and momentum.”

Similarly, the MCoE’s “self-help” page for misguided field-grade officers defines combined arms as:

“… the appropriate combinations of infantry, mobile protected firepower, offensive and defensive fires, engineers, Army aviation, and joint capabilities. It is the application of these combinations in unified action that allows us to defeat enemy ground forces; to seize, occupy, and defend land areas; and to achieve physical, temporal, and psychological advantages over the enemy. By synchronizing combined arms and applying them simultaneously, commanders can achieve a greater effect than if each element was used separately or sequentially.”

In purely non-technical terms, that translates roughly into “how the US Army kills/destroys its opponents.”

Armored Maneuver Units, A Quick and ‘ExtremelyDirty History

Armored warfare taken broadly is the personal bugaboo of… probably around 80% of people who pretense to study military history, so we’re not going to bother with elaborating on the evolution of tank combat and the gradual onset of mechanized infantry units. Feel free to argue about whether von Manstein or Patton was the better commander, or if Guderian’s Achtung – Panzer! or Rommel’s Panzer Greift An was the better book in the comment section.

But for the relative novices among us (yes, that includes you, person with 1,500 hours playing World of Tanks), it’ll be fruitful to spend a few minutes (or hours) absorbing the conceptual and technical progression of so called combined arms. For visual purposes, we’ll employ videos of “games” from the Combat Mission suite of computer programs by Battlefront software. Bear in mind, these are less “games” and more hyper-realistic simulations of the distinctly tactical features of combat (i.e. how one deploys/moves units of soldiers and vehicles using terrain, “intangibles” and weapons to best destroy their opposition). Since there’s a budding community of military officers and civilian defense employees across the “West” using Combat Mission to buff out and hone the skills they employ in the real world, we here at Analytica Camillus feel confident that it’s a “good enough” visual aid for the royal we who constitute the hoi polloi. In the interest of not reinventing the wheel or blithely trodding over the thousands of people who’ve spent years studying and enacting these concepts, we’ll leave much of the commentary to the authors and video producers we’ve quite selectively included for their thoughtfulness and the depth of their insights.

Let’s begin our quick exploration with a history lesson. In this video by the youtuber Double Vision depicting a Soviet Red Army assault against German Wehrmacht defensive positions, you’ll see (again, roughly) what combined arms looked like in the era of the Second World War. You’ll note the Red Army’s dearth of protected mobility (i.e. armored personnel carriers — APCs, infantry fighting vehicles — IFVs, infantry combat vehicles — ICVs), and the importance of infantry in locating/killing German anti-armor threats.

Next up, you’ll see a Soviet armored force clash with a unit of American mechanized infantry and armor in the early late Cold War era. Of special note how the American player (the exceptionally perceptive Brit Usually Hapless) used his M113 APCs to deposit infantry near the frontlines without exposing these (essentially unarmed) vehicles to Soviet fire.

To round out the dawn of the combined arms era, we have an American mechanized assault into Soviet positions and strongpoints. Pay attention to how this player (Wombat Thunder) keeps his M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles close to or on the frontlines in tandem with his infantry and armor.

A quick sidebar before we continue on. The units employed by all of these players were sub-components of Soviet, German or American armored divisions, rather than independent brigades, regiments or battalions. This distinction is irrelevant to the grunts comprising these particular units, but it is of the utmost importance to the men and women who lead them. In the interest of not going down a rabbit-hole overflowing with nerd-shit that we’re going to cover in a subsequent piece here at Analytica, it’ll suffice to note that how maneuver units are organized tells us quite a lot about the assets and components that are endemic to them, what their purpose is and how they will be (or more accurately, how they should be) employed.

Modern Armored Maneuver Units, And the Transition To the US Brigade Combat Team

The Battle of 73 Easting

Welcome, our intrepid readers, to the post Cold War-era, typically (and in our opinion, properly) stylized as the beginning of American martial supremacy. With the USSR (temporarily) down and out, the US took a desert vacation in which the US and allied armies (and navies, and air forces) bulldozed over the haggardly remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Army which’d cut its teeth fighting the Revolutionary Iranian Army to a stalemate and conquered Kuwait on an (arguably legal/Western greenlit, but still inappropriate) whim. Anyone who’s been in the US Army over the past 40 years will probably recognize this next guy as Lieutenant General (ret) H.R. McMaster, famous for leading US troops in the comically one-sided Battle of 73 Easting during the Gulf War. For those of us who don’t know who he is, he’s a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and he was one of the Trump Administration’s National Security Advisors.

As this collection of videos shows quite well, and all politics aside, the Battle of 73 Easting was a masterclass in maneuver combat (and we’re not just saying that because McMaster wrote a piece on it in the first journal where one of the authors was published). Indeed, it set the tempo for what successful maneuver operations should (in general) look like in the modern world.

The Modern(ish) ABCT

After the Gulf War and the subsequent 2003 War in Iraq, the US military as a whole found itself in something of a predicament, namely peacekeeping and stability operations. The US invaded and occupied Iraq in a campaign some have stylized as “trivial”, but it did so with no semblance of how it would put Iraq back together. What followed was an insurgency that anyone born after the year 2000 should be somewhat familiar with. Because units at the regimental-level and lower were tasked with securing towns and cities from the budding insurgency waged by the likes of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, divisions were seen as being organizationally unwieldy – there were too many moving parts doing too many different things (some of you might be familiar with General ‘Chuck’ Krulak’s concept of the three-block war, or General James Mattis and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hoffman’s concept of the four-block war).

That, coupled with the overstated demise of large-scale combat operations and the increasing networkization of the entire military drove the US Army towards prioritizing the primacy of the brigade combat team, away from its larger Cold War-era “Heavy” and “Light” divisions. The US Army is now in the process of transitioning back into a force structure predominantly characterized by divisions as a hedge against the looming possibility of great power conflict (the Youtube channel Battle Order has an excellent discussion on this subject here). The Russian Army underwent a similar transition from a division-centric force, to a brigade-centric force and back again for, errr… different reasons.

This brings us to the current(ish) American (armored) brigade combat team. The ABCT is a maneuver unit that is capable of dealing with most conventional threats of roughly its size or larger, and is partially logistically self-sustained. The most prominent subcomponents of the US ABCT are its armored companies (made up largely of M1A2+ Abrams), its mechanized companies (made up of M2A1+ Bradleys) and its self-propelled artillery batteries (made up of M109A6+ 155mm Paladins). Most of these subcomponents are visible in action in this next video.

These armor heavy units are designed to chew through opposition armored units, crack open fortified lines and create gaps that can be exploited by either heavy mechanized units or faster moving medium mechanized units (such as the Stryker Brigade Combat Team).

We won’t go into too much detail on creating and exploiting gaps in enemy lines, as that’s pretty much what the past 70 years of both Soviet/Russian and American land operations has evolved towards (this is the Blitzkrieg cult” that field-grade commanders are obsessed with replicating, even though its results have been somewhat mixed in practice), but it’s probably fair to argue that the US ABCT is the most potent tool for achieving operational breakthroughs in world history. It stands to reason that to attain victory in their war against the invading Russian military, the West must provision the Ukrainian Army the vehicles necessary for it to generate its own “new” armored brigades. Now, to anyone who’s been observing the war in Ukraine closely this should be readily understood, it is in fact the expert consensus. That’s why it should surprise everyone when we say the West simply isn’t doing that yet.

Cool Math Problems

Since we’ve done the work of establishing what armored maneuver units are, and what they’re capable of, next we have to figure out with some degree of confidence what should be sent to Ukraine how much all of the equipment we’d advocate sending actually costs — that’s uh, significantly more difficult than you’d probably guess at first glance.

Calculating the price of military equipment (let alone its value) is an infamously difficult task. This holds true for the defense industrial establishments of every country on the planet, for as long as mankind has made war against his neighbor. The words of one of the Czech defense analysts who maintains the gold-standard log of destroyed Russian gear in Ukraine are rather apt.

Figuring out the price/cost of military equipment manufactured in the Warsaw Pact broadly is, for lack of a more suitably fatalistic phrase, technically and empirically impossible (please, bear in mind that this is poetic understatement). Some of the world’s leading economists who headed the CIA’s teams for calculating Soviet defense spending wrote an entire mea culpa for the magnitude of their miscalculations in 1998. The Department of Defense immediately after the Cold War convened an entire conference laden with experts just to answer the question “how did we get the size and strength of both their economy and defense industrial base so wrong?” One economist described failed US efforts to model/estimate the Soviet economy as being “defeated by a maze.”

It certainly didn’t help that the USSR/Warsaw Pact genuinely had no idea how much the equipment it procured cost or was actually worth either. As a former Polish Army officer and economist/analyst turned Israeli expat Michael Checinski wryly described in his scarce text The costs of armament production and the profitability of armament exports in Comecon countries. Before we get to the relevant quotes, Comecon/COMECON (now the CMEA) was the Organization for International Economic Cooperation, pretty much an abusive Soviet version of the EU or NAFTA.

“In the fifties the basis for pricing armaments in Poland was the U.S.S.R. price in rubles after conversion into zloties according to the official rate of exchange. The real costs of factory production, however, had no bearing on the armament’s price. Because virtually no Comecon armament enterprise was capable of producing the ordered arms at the Soviet price, they received subsidies from the state. The enterprise’s deficit was even planned for in advance, the only question was not to run over it.

Counting ruble prices in Polish zloties was a double economic forgery. First of all, production series in the U.S.S.R. were 10-15 times longer than in Poland. Therefore Soviet unit prices would necessarily be lower that what could be achieved in Poland. Secondly, even taking into consideration the Soviet conditions, the ruble prices were greatly understated because from the beginning of the sixties it was precisely the policy of the Prices Committee of the Planning Committee in Poland as well as in other Comecon countries to understate arms prices.”

(Editor’s Note: We’d cite the page number, but to our knowledge there’s only 35 copies of this monograph in existence, and we have one of them. Stay tuned, because we’ll be digitizing it here at Analytica Camillus for the masses.)

Checinski elaborated at length on the genuinely hilarious kabuki mathematics that went into calculating Soviet defense procurement rates, but the long and short of it is they were visibly, flagrantly, cheekily and unabashedly making shit up as they went along – the Soviet defense industrial base was effectively a prank that 200 million people were unwillingly in on. To arrive at the sales price for units of equipment they planned on exporting to the international market, rather than arriving at some semblance of a market rate by calculating the cost of material and labor, they just looked at “the price of similar armaments in the NATO countries multiplied by a given coefficient” and went with that.

Put simply, if you ever see someone asserting that some Russian vehicle or cannon ‘A’ made before 1991 costs some dollar or ruble amount ‘B’, just know that they’re essentially lying (unintentionally or otherwise).

In the West, problems with computating the price of military equipment are arguably less complex/more straightforward, but they’re still pretty complicated. We’ll talk more about them later but before that we get to do the fun part, taking a look at the equipment in US (and eventually, Ukrainian) ABCTs.

The Armored Brigade Combat Team by the Numbers

The “Ideal” Armored Brigade Combat Team

Now’s the part where we get to spoil you all. The aforementioned MCoE at Fort Benning produces a picture book of Brigade Combat Team Tables of Organization and Equipment (2015) for its troops as a visual aid. This pdf is the most recent publicly available vehicle identification key they’ve released, and it’s inarguably the most comprehensive of the 3 we have here.

Because that first one is outdated, and its latest edition is still classified (or at the very least, not pilfered yet), we’ll also have to make due with The Congressional Budget Office‘s US Army Force Structure key from 2021.

The most relevant key for our purposes is the older CBO US Military Force Structure key from circa 2015/2016.

The US Army ABCT, 2021 (The Moonshot)

The current US ABCT’s structure and composition are visible in the charts and excerpts below. To borrow the stylization of Usually Hapless, this beast is the world’s reigning “apex predator” of land warfare.

It has three battalions, 1 with two M1 Abrams companies and one M2 Bradley company, and two battalions with one M1 Abrams company and two with M2 Bradleys. It also has a cavalry squadron (cav scouts, this is your moment to brag) with three “troops” (read, the suave man’s company) of M3 Bradleys and one troop with M1 Abrams. All of its forward support vehicles are next generation Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (turretless Bradleys with stronger engines and significantly more protection than M113s) and Joint Light-Tactical Vehicles (the successor to the ubiquitous humvee). It also has a self-propelled artillery battalion with three batteries of M109A7 Paladin howitzers (a variant of the M109 that replaces their traditional M113 chassis with, you guessed it, another Bradley chassis, as well as a significantly more precise firing system and gun).

This ABCT is basically a small fleet of armed, treaded Lamborghinis manned by exquisitely equipped troops that’ll cost the US over a million dollars per person to train and sustain — not including the price of the vehicles themselves. Speaking bluntly, the likelihood that Congress or DoD would authorize the transfer of the equipment necessary to replicate this style of ABCT to Ukraine is vanishing-to-none.

The US Army ABCT, 2015 (Extremely Unlikely)

For reasons we touched upon in our first piece here at Analytica Camillus, it’s also quite unlikely that the US will be able to free-up enough Bradley IFVs for it to comfortably equip Ukrainian ABCTs modeled on its 2014/2015 TOE. We’re including this model ABCT here for the sake of being able to compare its cost and structure with our proposed Ukrainian ABCT.

We also went through the painstaking process of finding every available manual and procurement document for each of these respective vehicles, and we designed a calculator to estimate the 2021 unit-price of each of these vehicles adjusted for inflation (we made similar calculations in our first piece, but they were moderately inaccurate on a per/unit basis, and the cost estimates were resultingly pretty sloppy).

Standard (2015/2016) US ABCT Vehicles (manuals highlighted)ABCT Total5x ABCTPrice IAABCT IA $Price5x ABCT $Price
M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank87435$9,712,693$845,004,299$4,225,021,493
M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle/ M7 Bradley Fire Support Vehicle132660$3,358,250$443,288,942$2,216,444,710
M109A6 Paladin 155 mm Howitzer1890$12,352,824$222,350,835$1,111,754,177
M992A2 Ammo Support Vehicle1890$1,356,048$24,408,872$122,044,358
M577A1 Command Post Carrier48240$528,790$25,381,908$126,909,539
M113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier/ M1064 120 mm Mortar Carrier41205$762,476$31,261,518$156,307,592
M113A3 Ambulance32160$322,245$10,311,841$51,559,205
M577A1 Medical Treatment Vehicle840$528,790$4,230,318$21,151,590
M88A1 Medium Recovery Vehicle/ M88A2 Improved Recovery Vehicle (Hercules)29145$2,218,959$64,349,816$321,749,078
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Mine Plow420$17,961,839$71,847,357$359,236,787
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Blade15$17,961,839$17,961,839$89,809,197
M9 Armored Combat Earth Mover (ACE)210$958,268$1,916,536$9,582,678
M2/3 Bradley Engineer Vehicle With Trailer945$3,536,655$31,829,896$159,149,479
M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge210$15,180,081$30,360,162$151,800,810
M1135 Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance System315$2,855,238$8,565,714$42,828,569
M998/M1038 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)3731,865$51,963$19,382,312$96,911,561
M1114/1151A1 Uparmored HMMWV1890$214,786$3,866,146$19,330,732
M1113 Expanded Capacity HMMWV With Rigid Wall Shelter735$144,710$1,012,972$5,064,859
M1097A2 Heavy Variant HMMWV With Shelter$133,517
M997 HMMWV Ambulance21105$351,084$7,372,754$36,863,771
Secure, Mobile, Antijam, Reliable Tactical-Terminal (SMART-T)$2,078,811
AN/TSQ-190 Trojan Spirit HMMWV/Trailer
Unmanned Air System Ground Control Station
AN/MLQ-40 Prophet Detecting System Countermeasures
M1120 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Load Handling System and Trailer54270$901,711$48,692,384$243,461,921
M1074/M1075 Heavy Cargo Truck Palletized Load System Transporter21105$712,002$14,952,036$74,760,181
M1074 Palletized Load Transport With Forward Repair System$533,685
M984A1 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Wrecker1155$601,977$6,621,742$33,108,712
M978 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Fuel Tanker With Fuel Trailer30150$586,801$17,604,021$88,020,106
M977/M985 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Cargo With Trailer60300$318,579$19,114,752$95,573,762
M916 Tractor Truck With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer630$268,107$1,608,643$8,043,217
M917 Dump Truck210$400,276$800,552$4,002,762
M1078 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle69345$161,508$11,144,025$55,720,126
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle199995$229,401$45,650,778$228,253,888
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With M1095 Cargo Trailer
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Kitchen or Tool Set Trailer
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Water Tank Trailer (Included in M1083)420?
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Generator or Welding Trailer
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Power Plant Trailer
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M129A3 Semitrailer15$367,386$367,386$1,836,931
M1089 Medium Tactical Wrecker945$481,742$4,335,677$21,678,384
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer315$598,781$1,796,343$8,981,714
Rough Terrain Forklift630$882,294$5,293,765$26,468,827
Interim High Mobility Engineer Excavator630$107,716$646,294$3,231,472
All Terrain Lifter Articulated System (Atlas) Forklift$200,638
Shadow Launch/Recovery Trailer and RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Air System420$13,044,375$52,177,501$260,887,506
M105 Deployable Light Engineer Tractor (Deuce)315$607,380$1,822,140$9,110,698
Multipurpose Loader630$187,897$1,127,379$5,636,897
Other525
M113 troop transport$322,245
M777 towed-howitzer$2,720,193
YPR-765$480,321
Total Vehicles13526,760$2,098,459,457$10,492,297,286

The Abrams, Bradleys and Paladins (indeed, most of the equipment in this list) in active US Army units have received significant upgrades over the years, to the tune of several million dollars per vehicle.

A Realistic Armored Brigade Combat Team For Ukraine

Done with the grist, we can now move onto the gist of this piece. You might notice that this hypothetical Ukrainian ABCT org(anization) chart looks awfully similar to the 2015 ABCT org chart. For the sake of saving time, we modified the 2021 chart somewhat and made some changes to highlight the key differences. We also made some modifications to this ABCT’s potential combined arms battalion to reflect the material available in Western/American weapons stocks.

Ukrainian Combined Arms Battalion

Created in part using the Joint NATO Symbology unit designer by Spatial Illusions.

Firstly, we did away with this ABCT’s cavalry scout squadron. American/Western armored cavalry scout units are designed to move quickly, while still packing enough of a punch to conduct reconnaissance by fire. They’re also supposed to, at least conceptually, be able to conduct screening actions for larger/heavier formations and continuously harass the outer fringes of hostile maneuver units to keep them off balance. Without a significant quantity of Western infantry fighting vehicles (i.e. American Bradleys, British FV510 Warriors, German Marders, Swedish CV90s) — the only platforms with the proper combination of armor, guns and speed capable of reliably skirmishing with Russian AFVs (armored fighting vehicles) — it would be professionally irresponsible to field stand-alone company-sized units of scouts.

But, of course, scouts are still tactically vital for maneuver units so they can locate enemy positions and avoid blundering into ambushes and what have you. To fill that role, we’d propose provisioning every Ukrainian maneuver company with scout “troops” equipped with three YPR-765 AIFV/APCs carrying six-man scout sections — preferably with at least three small/medium-ranged rotary UAVs. There should be plenty of YPR-765s available to send to Ukraine from the Netherlands and Belgium, as the Dutch purchased over a thousand during the Cold War and recently finished phasing them out of their active component in favor of domestically manufactured variant of the Swedish CV-90 IFV. Most Belgian/Dutch YPR-765s are equipped with a 25-mm cannon, which makes them slightly capable of clashing with lighter Russian AFVs that are likely to be used as scout/outpost vehicles (e.g. MTLBs, BRDMs), but they don’t have strong enough armor to go toe-to-toe with heavier Russian APCs (BTR-80s, MTLBs with 30mm cannon) and IFVs (BMP-1s, 2s and 3s) — they are just up-gunned M113s after-all. These scouts units should not be tasked with reconnoitering more than a few miles away from the body of a larger force (be it a battalion or a company), and should be used primarily as land-based drone carriers.

The next key difference is derived in part from standard Soviet-era/Russian/Ukrainian motor rifle brigade (MRB) TOEs, as well as a sober realization that the US Army has likely downplayed the importance of artillery when it comes to cracking through fortified frontlines in the absence of assured aerial supremacy. Principally, our hypothetical Ukrainian ABCT has two artillery battalions, rather than one.

You can see a graphic of the standard Russian MRB’s theoretical organization below created by Thomas Theiner. Bear in mind, Soviet Legacy organizational structures are outwardly similar, but quite different than their Western counterparts when you break them down into their constituent parts. For example, the US treats MLRS batteries/battalions (i.e. M142 HIMARS and M270 MLRS units) as theater/division-level assets, while the Russians almost as a rule push both artillery and MLRS batteries down to the battalion level to form ad hoc units (these are the so-called “battalion tactical groups”). American logistics units also tend to be significantly more robust than those of their Soviet counterparts.

A healthy skeptical mind might ask why the US should provide double the US standard number of artillery battalions, when American/Western made long-guns (for example, this Austrian turned Latvian M109A5 Paladin) are typically significantly more accurate than their Russian counterparts. Well, the short answer is that on the attack — especially against well-fortified mechanized units that are dispersed along a fairly wide front, obtaining fire superiority is of the utmost importance. When you have more available artillery tubes, you can plunk more targets simultaneously, drastically increasing the shock factor being dished out by an assaulting maneuver force, which proportionately impacts the defenders’ ability to fight back and call for effective responding fire support. There isn’t to our knowledge enough extensive research on this effect to draw precise conclusions, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests that after/while being hit by a certain volume of ordnance, a defender effectively loses their ability to do their job in the short-term, while they’re also apt to suffer serious impairing psychological damage in the long-run (there’s a reason Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was commonly referred to as “shell shock” in the wake of both World Wars). What’s more, the presence of large quantities of artillery batteries enables the attacker to service more targets as they’re identified, while they’re also a prophylactic against potential counter-battery fire, allowing the attacker to keep more tubes firing (instead of scooting/displacing) at any given moment.

The third major difference from American ABCTs will also likely prove to be the most controversial. Ukrainian ABCT mechanized infantry companies should be equipped with four platoons of at least four of the oft-derided M113 APCs each. Speaking on a purely tactical/operational/strategic basis, a force structure of this variety plays to the Ukrainian military’s one key strength over their Russian counterparts — namely the enormous amount of volunteers at their disposal. The Ukrainian Army at its core is an infantry-heavy force, but it needs armored vehicles to reliably/safely ferry this mass of bone and flesh around and to the battlefield. M113s (and APCs in general) by their nature have a larger carrying capacity than similarly sized IFVs, since they don’t have to use storage space for bulky main-gun ammo. Retaining four platoons of M113s also grants Ukrainian field commanders significantly more options. It’s common, both in the West and the former Soviet-bloc to pair-off infantry and armor platoons so that both components can provide one another with mutual support — and in US armor/mechanized units this frequently occurs at roughly a one to one basis. With four infantry platoons at their disposal, this would grant individual infantry company commanders the ability to use one platoon as a local floating reserve capable of reinforcing units that’ve found themselves in a sticky spot; escorting supply convoys to the frontlines to help mitigate the danger posed by ambushes; the ability to mass more manpower to tackle especially difficult positions (such as extensive and/or well-manned earthworks, or heavily fortified city blocks); or assisting in stiffening the edges around/behind breakthrough points so exploiting units can advance further without having to grapple with the risk of being cut-off (the threat of which can drastically slow down mechanized advances).

In truth, the only genuine problem with this entire proposal is the fact that Ukrainian units would be compelled to use M113s as their primary protected mobility vehicle. The M113 is considered to be a notoriously shoddy armored vehicle by more or less anyone who knows more than a smattering about American military equipment (some refer to it as a “rolling coffin”, others have described it as a “mobile field crematorium”). Writing in one edition of the journal Armor (hosted by Fort Benning and the MCoE) for 2016, Colonel William Nuckols and Dr. Robert Cameron made a desperate (but in our opinion, accurate) plea to “Get the M113 Out of the Armored Brigade Combat Team … Now, Please!” They went on to note:

“This vehicle lacks the survivability, mobility and digital-networking capability required for current and future operations, making it a liability on today’s lethal, nonlinear battlefield.”

and

“Conceived as a battlefield taxi, it was not designed to maneuver on the battlefields of Central Europe against a highly mechanized threat with a tactical nuclear capability. Against such lethality, the taxi concept left dismounted infantry highly vulnerable and largely immobile once removed from their transport.”

and

“To eliminate this blight on the organization’s otherwise high versatility, the Army must divest itself of the M113, and accelerate procurement and fielding of its designated successor, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).”

as well as

“The current array of conventional and hybrid threats ensures that employment of this vehicle in any operational environment will constitute a high risk.”

Clearly that isn’t exactly a vote of confidence, but to paraphrase the playwrights Fletcher and Massinger: ” ‘Tis necessity to which the gods must yield.” Western arsenals on the whole simply do not have a robust enough stock of IFVs for Western military leaders to comfortably provide Ukraine with the vehicles it clearly needs. Per our calculations of data aggregated by IISS in their 2022 Military Balance, the entire West (that is, European and North American countries that have shown themselves to be willing and/or able to provide Ukraine with military assistance — i.e. all of Europe except Serbia which doesn’t want to, and Moldova which can’t afford to due to the size of its military and the precariousness of their geo-strategic own position) has 13,969 IFVs of all varieties and variants. But, the West has nearly three times as many APCs, and 19,613 M113s (of purely American variants) alone, not including the Benelux YPR-765s that have recently been retired. Ukrainian military analysts have privately confided to us here at Analytica that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense is aware of the M113’s vulnerability and the West’s dearth of IFVs, and they’re willing to accept whatever the West can send — put simply, they just ‘need’ mechanized troop carriers of any variety.

There are a few other key differences with our Ukrainian ABCT TOE that are significant (such as the presence of an M577 Command and Control Vehicle at for each company to assist in timely communication between these larger troop formations), and it’s also worth pointing out that the fuel and supply units haven’t been properly adjusted to account for this alternative composition of vehicles/munitions as well as the increased number of infantry in these units. Hopefully, we’ll have another document that calculates fuel usage and storage rates, as well as ammunition expenditure (and procurement) coming out in the near future to optimize these ABCTs to American standards.

Now, we have the inflation-adjusted figures for the total composition of these new ABCTs in the table below.

Tallying the Score, and the Tab

M113-heavy ABCT VehiclesABCT Total5x ABCTUnit Price CPILFENS IAABCT IA $Price5x ABCT $Price
M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank87435$9,712,693$845,004,299$4,225,021,493
M109A6 Paladin 155 mm Howitzer36180$12,352,824$444,701,671$2,223,508,353
M992A2 Ammo Support Vehicle36180$1,356,048$48,817,743$244,088,716
M577A1 Command Post Carrier67335$528,790$35,428,913$177,144,565
M113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier/ M1064 120 mm Mortar Carrier32160$762,476$24,399,234$121,996,170
M113A3 Ambulance24120$322,245$7,733,881$38,669,404
M577A1 Medical Treatment Vehicle630$528,790$3,172,738$15,863,692
M88A1 Medium Recovery Vehicle/ M88A2 Improved Recovery Vehicle (Hercules)27135$2,218,959$59,911,897$299,559,486
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Mine Plow420$17,961,839$71,847,357$359,236,787
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Blade15$17,961,839$17,961,839$89,809,197
M9 Armored Combat Earth Mover (ACE)210$958,268$1,916,536$9,582,678
M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge210$15,180,081$30,360,162$151,800,810
M998/M1038 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)3711,855$51,963$19,278,386$96,391,928
M1114/1151A1 Uparmored HMMWV1890$214,786$3,866,146$19,330,732
M1113 Expanded Capacity HMMWV With Rigid Wall Shelter840$144,710$1,157,682$5,788,410
M997 HMMWV Ambulance24120$351,084$8,426,005$42,130,024
Secure, Mobile, Antijam, Reliable Tactical-Terminal (SMART-T)$2,078,811
AN/TSQ-190 Trojan Spirit HMMWV/Trailer
Unmanned Air System Ground Control Station
AN/MLQ-40 Prophet Detecting System Countermeasures
M1120 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Load Handling System and Trailer52260$901,711$46,888,963$234,444,813
M1074/M1075 Heavy Cargo Truck Palletized Load System Transporter39195$712,002$27,768,067$138,840,335
M1074 Palletized Load Transport With Forward Repair System$533,685
M984A1 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Wrecker1155$601,977$6,621,742$33,108,712
M978 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Fuel Tanker With Fuel Trailer33165$586,801$19,364,423$96,822,117
M977/M985 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Cargo With Trailer60300$318,579$19,114,752$95,573,762
M916 Tractor Truck With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer630$268,107$1,608,643$8,043,217
M917 Dump Truck210$400,276$800,552$4,002,762
M1078 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle69345$161,508$11,144,025$55,720,126
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle2041,020$229,401$46,797,782$233,988,910
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Water Tank Trailer (Included in M1083)*7*35
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M129A3 Semitrailer15$367,386$367,386$1,836,931
M1089 Medium Tactical Wrecker945$481,742$4,335,677$21,678,384
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer315$598,781$1,796,343$8,981,714
Rough Terrain Forklift735$882,294$6,176,060$30,880,299
Interim High Mobility Engineer Excavator630$107,716$646,294$3,231,472
Shadow Launch/Recovery Trailer and RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Air System420$13,044,375$52,177,501$260,887,506
M105 Deployable Light Engineer Tractor (Deuce)315$607,380$1,822,140$9,110,698
Multipurpose Loader630$187,897$1,127,379$5,636,897
Other525
M113 troop transport135675$322,245$43,503,079$217,515,396
YPR-76536180$480,321$17,291,551$86,457,754
Total Vehicles14367,180$1,933,336,849$9,666,684,247

The Sinews of War are a Fluctuating Dollar: How We Adjust for Inflation

The Ugly, The Horrible And The Monstrous

You’re probably gonna wanna crack open a new bottle of whisky for this part.

For the sake of not teaching you all how to swim by dropping you in the middle of the Pacific, for our first tables (specifically the US ABCT and the M113-heavy Ukrainian ABCT) we used the Federal Reserves’ Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items Less Food and Energy in U.S. City Average, which is essentially the bog-standard tool used to measure inflation in the US.

The methodology we used to arrive at those 2021 dollar figures is pretty straightforward, but since “math people” are probably a myth, we’ll walk you through it step-by-step for this first table (if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact this piece’s principal author).

First, we generated a table of the monthly CPILFENS indicator value using FRED’s dataset. Then, because the total quantity of military equipment procured is typically calculated per annum, we took the yearly average of said indicator. We also calculated the growth rate year over year. This table is stupidly long, and probably not relevant unless you’re interested in replicating our approach, so you can click here to skip it.

Observation DateCPILFENSYearly AverageGrowth Yr/Yr
1957-01-0128.5
1957-02-0128.5
1957-03-0128.7
1957-04-0128.8
1957-05-0128.8
1957-06-0128.9
1957-07-0128.9
1957-08-0129
1957-09-0129.1
1957-10-0129.2
1957-11-0129.4
1957-12-0129.428.93333333
1958-01-0129.4
1958-02-0129.4
1958-03-0129.5
1958-04-0129.5
1958-05-0129.5
1958-06-0129.5
1958-07-0129.6
1958-08-0129.6
1958-09-0129.6
1958-10-0129.7
1958-11-0129.9
1958-12-0129.929.591666672.28%
1959-01-0129.9
1959-02-0129.9
1959-03-0130
1959-04-0130
1959-05-0130.1
1959-06-0130.1
1959-07-0130.2
1959-08-0130.2
1959-09-0130.3
1959-10-0130.5
1959-11-0130.5
1959-12-0130.530.183333332.00%
1960-01-0130.5
1960-02-0130.6
1960-03-0130.6
1960-04-0130.6
1960-05-0130.6
1960-06-0130.6
1960-07-0130.6
1960-08-0130.6
1960-09-0130.6
1960-10-0130.8
1960-11-0130.8
1960-12-0130.830.641666671.52%
1961-01-0130.8
1961-02-0130.8
1961-03-0130.8
1961-04-0130.9
1961-05-0130.9
1961-06-0130.9
1961-07-0131
1961-08-0131
1961-09-0131.1
1961-10-0131.2
1961-11-0131.2
1961-12-0131.230.983333331.12%
1962-01-0131.2
1962-02-0131.2
1962-03-0131.3
1962-04-0131.3
1962-05-0131.4
1962-06-0131.4
1962-07-0131.4
1962-08-0131.4
1962-09-0131.5
1962-10-0131.6
1962-11-0131.6
1962-12-0131.631.408333331.37%
1963-01-0131.5
1963-02-0131.5
1963-03-0131.6
1963-04-0131.7
1963-05-0131.7
1963-06-0131.8
1963-07-0131.8
1963-08-0131.9
1963-09-0131.9
1963-10-0132
1963-11-0132.1
1963-12-0132.131.81.25%
1964-01-0132.1
1964-02-0132.1
1964-03-0132.2
1964-04-0132.2
1964-05-0132.2
1964-06-0132.3
1964-07-0132.3
1964-08-0132.2
1964-09-0132.3
1964-10-0132.4
1964-11-0132.5
1964-12-0132.532.2751.49%
1965-01-0132.6
1965-02-0132.6
1965-03-0132.6
1965-04-0132.7
1965-05-0132.7
1965-06-0132.7
1965-07-0132.7
1965-08-0132.7
1965-09-0132.8
1965-10-0132.9
1965-11-0132.9
1965-12-013332.741666671.45%
1966-01-0132.9
1966-02-0133
1966-03-0133.1
1966-04-0133.3
1966-05-0133.4
1966-06-0133.5
1966-07-0133.6
1966-08-0133.7
1966-09-0133.8
1966-10-0134
1966-11-0134.1
1966-12-0134.133.541666672.44%
1967-01-0134.1
1967-02-0134.2
1967-03-0134.3
1967-04-0134.4
1967-05-0134.5
1967-06-0134.6
1967-07-0134.7
1967-08-0134.8
1967-09-0135
1967-10-0135.2
1967-11-0135.3
1967-12-0135.434.708333333.48%
1968-01-0135.5
1968-02-0135.6
1968-03-0135.8
1968-04-0135.9
1968-05-0136
1968-06-0136.2
1968-07-0136.4
1968-08-0136.5
1968-09-0136.7
1968-10-0136.9
1968-11-0137.1
1968-12-0137.236.316666674.63%
1969-01-0137.3
1969-02-0137.5
1969-03-0137.8
1969-04-0138.1
1969-05-0138.2
1969-06-0138.3
1969-07-0138.5
1969-08-0138.6
1969-09-0138.9
1969-10-0139.1
1969-11-0139.3
1969-12-0139.538.4255.81%
1970-01-0139.6
1970-02-0139.8
1970-03-0140.1
1970-04-0140.3
1970-05-0140.5
1970-06-0140.8
1970-07-0140.9
1970-08-0141
1970-09-0141.3
1970-10-0141.6
1970-11-0141.9
1970-12-0142.140.8256.25%
1971-01-0142.1
1971-02-0142.1
1971-03-0142.2
1971-04-0142.3
1971-05-0142.6
1971-06-0142.8
1971-07-0142.9
1971-08-0142.9
1971-09-0143.1
1971-10-0143.2
1971-11-0143.3
1971-12-0143.442.741666674.69%
1972-01-0143.4
1972-02-0143.5
1972-03-0143.6
1972-04-0143.7
1972-05-0143.9
1972-06-0144
1972-07-0144.1
1972-08-0144.3
1972-09-0144.3
1972-10-0144.5
1972-11-0144.6
1972-12-0144.744.053.06%
1973-01-0144.6
1973-02-0144.7
1973-03-0144.9
1973-04-0145.1
1973-05-0145.3
1973-06-0145.4
1973-07-0145.5
1973-08-0145.7
1973-09-0146
1973-10-0146.4
1973-11-0146.6
1973-12-0146.845.583333333.48%
1974-01-0146.8
1974-02-0147.1
1974-03-0147.5
1974-04-0147.9
1974-05-0148.4
1974-06-0149
1974-07-0149.5
1974-08-0150.1
1974-09-0150.7
1974-10-0151.3
1974-11-0151.8
1974-12-015249.341666678.24%
1975-01-0152.2
1975-02-0152.6
1975-03-0152.9
1975-04-0153.3
1975-05-0153.5
1975-06-0153.7
1975-07-0154
1975-08-0154.2
1975-09-0154.6
1975-10-0154.9
1975-11-0155.3
1975-12-0155.553.891666679.22%
1976-01-0155.7
1976-02-0156
1976-03-0156.4
1976-04-0156.7
1976-05-0157
1976-06-0157.2
1976-07-0157.6
1976-08-0157.9
1976-09-0158.3
1976-10-0158.6
1976-11-0158.9
1976-12-0158.957.433333336.57%
1977-01-0159.2
1977-02-0159.5
1977-03-0159.9
1977-04-0160.3
1977-05-0160.6
1977-06-0161
1977-07-0161.2
1977-08-0161.5
1977-09-0161.9
1977-10-0162.1
1977-11-0162.4
1977-12-0162.761.0256.25%
1978-01-0163
1978-02-0163.2
1978-03-0163.7
1978-04-0164.2
1978-05-0164.7
1978-06-0165.3
1978-07-0165.7
1978-08-0166.1
1978-09-0166.8
1978-10-0167.3
1978-11-0167.8
1978-12-016865.483333337.31%
1979-01-0168.4
1979-02-0169
1979-03-0169.6
1979-04-0170.2
1979-05-0170.8
1979-06-0171.4
1979-07-0172
1979-08-0172.7
1979-09-0173.4
1979-10-0174.1
1979-11-0175
1979-12-0175.771.858333339.74%
1980-01-0176.6
1980-02-0177.3
1980-03-0178.3
1980-04-0179.3
1980-05-0180.2
1980-06-0181.1
1980-07-0180.9
1980-08-0181.3
1980-09-0182.2
1980-10-0183.2
1980-11-0184.1
1980-12-0184.980.7833333312.42%
1981-01-0185.3
1981-02-0185.7
1981-03-0186.1
1981-04-0186.8
1981-05-0187.8
1981-06-0188.7
1981-07-0189.9
1981-08-0190.7
1981-09-0191.9
1981-10-0192.3
1981-11-0192.7
1981-12-019389.2416666710.47%
1982-01-0193.2
1982-02-0193.5
1982-03-0193.7
1982-04-0194.5
1982-05-0195.4
1982-06-0196.3
1982-07-0196.7
1982-08-0197.1
1982-09-0197.3
1982-10-0197.7
1982-11-0197.6
1982-12-0197.295.857.40%
1983-01-0197.6
1983-02-0197.9
1983-03-0198.1
1983-04-0198.6
1983-05-0198.8
1983-06-0199.1
1983-07-0199.6
1983-08-01100
1983-09-01100.7
1983-10-01101.3
1983-11-01101.8
1983-12-01101.999.616666673.93%
1984-01-01102.3
1984-02-01102.6
1984-03-01103
1984-04-01103.5
1984-05-01103.9
1984-06-01104.2
1984-07-01104.6
1984-08-01105.1
1984-09-01105.8
1984-10-01106.3
1984-11-01106.5
1984-12-01106.7104.54166674.94%
1985-01-01106.9
1985-02-01107.4
1985-03-01107.9
1985-04-01108.2
1985-05-01108.6
1985-06-01108.8
1985-07-01109
1985-08-01109.4
1985-09-01110
1985-10-01110.7
1985-11-01111.2
1985-12-01111.3109.11666674.38%
1986-01-01111.6
1986-02-01111.9
1986-03-01112.3
1986-04-01112.7
1986-05-01112.9
1986-06-01113.1
1986-07-01113.5
1986-08-01113.8
1986-09-01114.5
1986-10-01115.1
1986-11-01115.4
1986-12-01115.5113.5254.04%
1987-01-01115.8
1987-02-01116.1
1987-03-01116.8
1987-04-01117.4
1987-05-01117.6
1987-06-01117.7
1987-07-01118
1987-08-01118.6
1987-09-01119.4
1987-10-01120.1
1987-11-01120.5
1987-12-01120.4118.24.12%
1988-01-01120.8
1988-02-01121.1
1988-03-01121.9
1988-04-01122.4
1988-05-01122.7
1988-06-01123
1988-07-01123.3
1988-08-01123.8
1988-09-01124.7
1988-10-01125.5
1988-11-01125.8
1988-12-01126123.41666674.41%
1989-01-01126.4
1989-02-01126.9
1989-03-01127.6
1989-04-01128
1989-05-01128.3
1989-06-01128.5
1989-07-01129
1989-08-01129.3
1989-09-01130
1989-10-01130.9
1989-11-01131.3
1989-12-01131.5128.9754.50%
1990-01-01132
1990-02-01132.8
1990-03-01133.9
1990-04-01134.2
1990-05-01134.4
1990-06-01134.8
1990-07-01135.5
1990-08-01136.4
1990-09-01137.2
1990-10-01137.8
1990-11-01138.2
1990-12-01138.3135.45833335.03%
1991-01-01139.4
1991-02-01140.3
1991-03-01140.9
1991-04-01141.1
1991-05-01141.3
1991-06-01141.5
1991-07-01142
1991-08-01142.7
1991-09-01143.4
1991-10-01143.9
1991-11-01144.4
1991-12-01144.4142.10833334.91%
1992-01-01144.9
1992-02-01145.6
1992-03-01146.4
1992-04-01146.6
1992-05-01146.7
1992-06-01146.9
1992-07-01147.3
1992-08-01147.7
1992-09-01148.1
1992-10-01149
1992-11-01149.3
1992-12-01149.2147.30833333.66%
1993-01-01149.9
1993-02-01150.8
1993-03-01151.4
1993-04-01151.7
1993-05-01151.7
1993-06-01151.8
1993-07-01152
1993-08-01152.6
1993-09-01152.9
1993-10-01153.5
1993-11-01153.9
1993-12-01153.9152.1753.30%
1994-01-01154.3
1994-02-01155
1994-03-01155.8
1994-04-01155.9
1994-05-01156
1994-06-01156.2
1994-07-01156.4
1994-08-01157
1994-09-01157.5
1994-10-01158
1994-11-01158.2
1994-12-01157.9156.51666672.85%
1995-01-01158.7
1995-02-01159.6
1995-03-01160.4
1995-04-01160.7
1995-05-01160.8
1995-06-01160.9
1995-07-01161.1
1995-08-01161.6
1995-09-01162.1
1995-10-01162.8
1995-11-01163
1995-12-01162.7161.22.99%
1996-01-01163.4
1996-02-01164.2
1996-03-01164.9
1996-04-01165
1996-05-01165.1
1996-06-01165.2
1996-07-01165.5
1996-08-01165.8
1996-09-01166.4
1996-10-01167
1996-11-01167.2
1996-12-01167165.55833332.70%
1997-01-01167.5
1997-02-01168.3
1997-03-01169
1997-04-01169.4
1997-05-01169.3
1997-06-01169.2
1997-07-01169.5
1997-08-01169.6
1997-09-01170
1997-10-01170.8
1997-11-01170.8
1997-12-01170.7169.50833332.39%
1998-01-01171.2
1998-02-01172.1
1998-03-01172.6
1998-04-01173
1998-05-01173.1
1998-06-01173
1998-07-01173.3
1998-08-01173.8
1998-09-01174.2
1998-10-01174.7
1998-11-01174.8
1998-12-01174.8173.38333332.29%
1999-01-01175.3
1999-02-01175.7
1999-03-01176.2
1999-04-01176.8
1999-05-01176.6
1999-06-01176.6
1999-07-01176.9
1999-08-01177.1
1999-09-01177.7
1999-10-01178.3
1999-11-01178.4
1999-12-01178.2176.98333332.08%
2000-01-01178.8
2000-02-01179.5
2000-03-01180.5
2000-04-01180.9
2000-05-01180.9
2000-06-01181
2000-07-01181.3
2000-08-01181.7
2000-09-01182.3
2000-10-01182.8
2000-11-01183
2000-12-01182.8181.29166672.43%
2001-01-01183.5
2001-02-01184.4
2001-03-01185.3
2001-04-01185.6
2001-05-01185.5
2001-06-01185.9
2001-07-01186.2
2001-08-01186.6
2001-09-01187.1
2001-10-01187.6
2001-11-01188.1
2001-12-01187.8186.13333332.67%
2002-01-01188.2
2002-02-01189.2
2002-03-01189.8
2002-04-01190.3
2002-05-01190.2
2002-06-01190.1
2002-07-01190.3
2002-08-01191
2002-09-01191.3
2002-10-01191.8
2002-11-01191.8
2002-12-01191.4190.452.32%
2003-01-01191.8
2003-02-01192.5
2003-03-01193
2003-04-01193.1
2003-05-01193.2
2003-06-01193
2003-07-01193.2
2003-08-01193.5
2003-09-01193.6
2003-10-01194.3
2003-11-01193.9
2003-12-01193.6193.2251.46%
2004-01-01194
2004-02-01194.9
2004-03-01196.1
2004-04-01196.5
2004-05-01196.5
2004-06-01196.6
2004-07-01196.6
2004-08-01196.8
2004-09-01197.4
2004-10-01198.2
2004-11-01198.1
2004-12-01197.8196.6251.76%
2005-01-01198.4
2005-02-01199.5
2005-03-01200.7
2005-04-01200.9
2005-05-01200.8
2005-06-01200.6
2005-07-01200.8
2005-08-01201
2005-09-01201.3
2005-10-01202.3
2005-11-01202.3
2005-12-01202.1200.89166672.17%
2006-01-01202.6
2006-02-01203.6
2006-03-01204.9
2006-04-01205.5
2006-05-01205.7
2006-06-01205.9
2006-07-01206.2
2006-08-01206.7
2006-09-01207.2
2006-10-01207.8
2006-11-01207.6
2006-12-01207.3205.91666672.50%
2007-01-01208.009
2007-02-01209.112
2007-03-01209.923
2007-04-01210.311
2007-05-01210.316
2007-06-01210.474
2007-07-01210.756
2007-08-01211.111
2007-09-01211.628
2007-10-01212.318
2007-11-01212.435
2007-12-01212.356210.72908332.34%
2008-01-01213.138
2008-02-01213.866
2008-03-01214.866
2008-04-01215.059
2008-05-01215.18
2008-06-01215.553
2008-07-01216.045
2008-08-01216.476
2008-09-01216.862
2008-10-01217.023
2008-11-01216.69
2008-12-01216.1215.57152.30%
2009-01-01216.719
2009-02-01217.685
2009-03-01218.639
2009-04-01219.143
2009-05-01219.128
2009-06-01219.283
2009-07-01219.35
2009-08-01219.596
2009-09-01220.137
2009-10-01220.731
2009-11-01220.384
2009-12-01220.025219.2351.70%
2010-01-01220.086
2010-02-01220.602
2010-03-01221.059
2010-04-01221.166
2010-05-01221.193
2010-06-01221.265
2010-07-01221.258
2010-08-01221.551
2010-09-01221.907
2010-10-01222.079
2010-11-01222.077
2010-12-01221.795221.33650.96%
2011-01-01222.177
2011-02-01223.011
2011-03-01223.69
2011-04-01224.118
2011-05-01224.534
2011-06-01224.891
2011-07-01225.164
2011-08-01225.874
2011-09-01226.289
2011-10-01226.743
2011-11-01226.859
2011-12-01226.74225.00751.66%
2012-01-01227.237
2012-02-01227.865
2012-03-01228.735
2012-04-01229.303
2012-05-01229.602
2012-06-01229.879
2012-07-01229.893
2012-08-01230.196
2012-09-01230.78
2012-10-01231.276
2012-11-01231.263
2012-12-01231.033229.75516672.11%
2013-01-01231.612
2013-02-01232.432
2013-03-01233.052
2013-04-01233.236
2013-05-01233.462
2013-06-01233.64
2013-07-01233.792
2013-08-01234.258
2013-09-01234.782
2013-10-01235.162
2013-11-01235.243
2013-12-01235233.80591671.76%
2014-01-01235.367
2014-02-01236.075
2014-03-01236.913
2014-04-01237.509
2014-05-01238.029
2014-06-01238.157
2014-07-01238.138
2014-08-01238.296
2014-09-01238.841
2014-10-01239.413
2014-11-01239.248
2014-12-01238.775237.896751.75%
2015-01-01239.248
2015-02-01240.083
2015-03-01241.067
2015-04-01241.802
2015-05-01242.119
2015-06-01242.354
2015-07-01242.436
2015-08-01242.651
2015-09-01243.359
2015-10-01243.985
2015-11-01244.075
2015-12-01243.779242.24651.83%
2016-01-01244.528
2016-02-01245.68
2016-03-01246.358
2016-04-01246.992
2016-05-01247.544
2016-06-01247.794
2016-07-01247.744
2016-08-01248.278
2016-09-01248.731
2016-10-01249.218
2016-11-01249.227
2016-12-01249.134247.60233332.21%
2017-01-01250.083
2017-02-01251.143
2017-03-01251.29
2017-04-01251.642
2017-05-01251.835
2017-06-01252.014
2017-07-01251.936
2017-08-01252.46
2017-09-01252.941
2017-10-01253.638
2017-11-01253.492
2017-12-01253.558252.16933331.84%
2018-01-01254.638
2018-02-01255.783
2018-03-01256.61
2018-04-01257.025
2018-05-01257.469
2018-06-01257.697
2018-07-01257.867
2018-08-01258.012
2018-09-01258.429
2018-10-01259.063
2018-11-01259.105
2018-12-01259.083257.56508332.14%
2019-01-01260.122
2019-02-01261.114
2019-03-01261.836
2019-04-01262.332
2019-05-01262.59
2019-06-01263.177
2019-07-01263.566
2019-08-01264.169
2019-09-01264.522
2019-10-01265.059
2019-11-01265.108
2019-12-01264.935263.21083332.19%
2020-01-01266.004
2020-02-01267.268
2020-03-01267.312
2020-04-01266.089
2020-05-01265.799
2020-06-01266.302
2020-07-01267.703
2020-08-01268.756
2020-09-01269.054
2020-10-01269.328
2020-11-01269.473
2020-12-01269.226267.69283331.70%
2021-01-01269.755
2021-02-01270.696
2021-03-01271.713
2021-04-01273.968
2021-05-01275.893
2021-06-01278.218
2021-07-01279.146
2021-08-01279.507
2021-09-01279.884
2021-10-01281.617
2021-11-01282.754
2021-12-01283.908277.25491673.57%
2022-01-01285.996
2022-02-01288.059
2022-03-01289.305
2022-04-01290.846
2022-05-01292.506
2022-06-01294.68

In the eloquent words of the world’s favorite smooth-brain:

Next, we took the inflation rate for our start year, added 1 to it (since 1 percent = .01 , when you’re calculating the magnitude of change, you have to add 1; e.g. 1 + .01 => 1.01 ), and multiplied it into our initial running index value of 1. Then we multiplied next year’s value into the running index to generate the next year’s running index value, and so on and so forth. Then, we took the index value of the last year in question (2021), and divided that by our running value to arrive at a multiplier value. We use this to calculate price increases, for example, a bullet that cost $1 in 1960 would be valued at ≈$9.05 in 2021 dollars.

DateInflation Rate (%)Running Value (1 = start)Reverse Multiplier
19601.52%101.52%1.015189.0483
19611.12%101.12%1.0264992578.9485
19621.37%101.37%1.0405828278.8274
19631.25%101.25%1.0535588958.7186
19641.49%101.49%1.0692990658.5903
19651.45%101.45%1.0847611298.4679
19662.44%102.44%1.1112618438.2659
19673.48%103.48%1.149911537.9881
19684.63%104.63%1.2031984317.6343
19695.81%105.81%1.27304417.2155
19706.25%106.25%1.3525584346.7913
19714.70%104.70%1.4160610526.4867
19723.06%103.06%1.4594066816.2941
19733.48%103.48%1.5102086286.0823
19748.25%108.25%1.6347253295.6191
19759.22%109.22%1.7854633525.1447
19766.57%106.57%1.9028040034.8274
19776.25%106.25%2.0218053664.5433
19787.31%107.31%2.1695184664.2339
19799.74%109.74%2.3807210883.8583
198012.42%112.42%2.6764066473.4321
198110.47%110.47%2.9566264233.1068
19827.41%107.41%3.175564612.8926
19833.93%103.93%3.3003642992.7832
19844.94%104.94%3.463534312.6521
19854.38%104.38%3.6150985722.5409
19864.04%104.04%3.7611485542.4422
19874.12%104.12%3.9160326512.3456
19884.41%104.41%4.0888471722.2465
19894.50%104.50%4.2730088492.1497
19905.03%105.03%4.4878130042.0468
19914.91%104.91%4.7081197441.9510
19923.66%103.66%4.8803898461.8821
19933.30%103.30%5.0416379261.8219
19942.85%102.85%5.1854758561.7714
19952.99%102.99%5.3406252941.7199
19962.70%102.70%5.4850358021.6747
19972.39%102.39%5.6159087561.6356
19982.29%102.29%5.744288431.5991
19992.08%102.08%5.8635398581.5666
20002.43%102.43%6.0062584181.5293
20012.67%102.67%6.166685581.4896
20022.32%102.32%6.3096910191.4558
20031.46%101.46%6.4016232171.4349
20041.76%101.76%6.5142917861.4101
20052.17%102.17%6.6556519181.3801
20062.50%102.50%6.8221097721.3464
20072.34%102.34%6.9815424771.3157
20082.30%102.30%7.1419783231.2861
20091.70%101.70%7.2633205351.2647
20100.96%100.96%7.3329757791.2526
20111.66%101.66%7.4546298471.2322
20122.11%102.11%7.6119225371.2067
20131.76%101.76%7.7461207311.1858
20141.75%101.75%7.8816778441.1654
20151.83%101.83%8.0257549151.1445
20162.21%102.21%8.2032043561.1198
20171.84%101.84%8.3544714451.0995
20182.14%102.14%8.5332571341.0764
20192.19%102.19%8.720306131.0534
20201.70%101.70%8.8688129431.0357
20213.57%103.57%9.1856069421.0000

Before one of you supposedly “math savvy” smartasses opines “Camillus-san, you had the average CPILFENS data for each year, why’d you calculate the yearly growth rate multiplied from that starting index of one, and then divide 9.18 by each value to get your modifier? You could’ve just divided 277.25 by each prior index value to get your modifier.” Respectfully, piss-off. Yeah, we know. Apparently “war brain” and “econ brain” are rarely in the same place at the same time, so it took an hour to realize how much extra work we’d done and WordPress absolutely hates tables, so we’re including it.

We also suppose that it’s helpful to include exemplar inflation rates for the sake of having a common frame of reference since we’ve cultivated a terrible habit in the modern world of referring to inflation in terms of percentage points, which isn’t actually all that insightful.

Alternative (Even Less People Friendly) Methods For Calculating Inflation

Ok, strap in, this next part is actually really fucking cool.

We were reading-up on how the Department of Defense factors inflation into its budgets, when we saw that this report on the F-35’s acquisition made reference to two similar but not exactly the same “deflator formulas” in the Green-books (DoD’s grand budgets). So, we did the logical thing, and downloaded every available Green-book from 1998 through 2022, which you can access rather handily with that link.

Now, there are several massive measurement tools that describe how the Department of Defense spends the money that’s allocated to it by the Federal Government. For this exercise, two are relevant:

Budget Authority — BA is the authority to incur legally binding obligations of the Government which will result in immediate or future outlays. Most Defense BA is provided by Congress in the form of enacted appropriations.

Defense Budget Materials – FY2009

Total Obligational Authority — TOA is a DoD financial term which expresses the value of the DIRECT Defense program for a fiscal year. TOA may differ from BA for several reasons, including:
(1) BA lapsing before obligations were incurred (decreasing TOA with no effect on BA).
(2) Proposed or enacted legislation transferring unobligated balances for which the purpose of the balances has changed. Scoring rules require that such a transfer be reflected as a change in BA in the year in which the transfer occurs (reduction of BA in the losing account, increase of BA in the gaining account). TOA is adjusted in the original program, regardless of when the transaction occurs.
(3) Reappropriations (the extension of availability of previously appropriated funds). Reappropriations are scored as BA in the first year of extended availability. TOA is unchanged.
(4) Rescissions (Congressional action canceling new budget authority or unobligated balances). Scoring rules require that rescissions be scored as reductions in budget authority in the fiscal year in which the rescissions are enacted. TOA is adjusted in the program year of the rescinded funds. If rescissions are proposed in the budget, they would be reflected as if enacted.
(5) Net Offsetting Receipts (collections from the public that arise out of the business-type or market-oriented activities of the Government and are deposited in receipt accounts). Net offsetting receipts are deducted from BA but have no effect on TOA.

Defense Budget Materials – FY2009

Now, they didn’t actually bother with defining “deflators” in this text, but the TL:DR; of them is that they’re a tool for gauging how prices change (or rather, have changed) relative to a given year – think of them as a bureaucrat’s practical tool for calculating inflation.

For our purposes, we’re specifically looking at the Department of Defense’s TOA deflator for procurement (less civilian and uniformed personnel salaries, fuel costs and for the later Green-books medical obligations), as it’s (probably) the best indicator of how the price of defense material has changed over time. You can see an example TOA deflator from the Green-book for Fiscal Year 2009 in the image below (that scraggly red line highlights the values we’re interested in).

As our astute observers might’ve noticed, this table only goes up to Fiscal Year 1970, which is no-good, seeing as we’re examining the prices of vehicles procured as far back as the 1960s. Our even more astute (read, Adderall-adled) observers might even have noticed that DoD’s comptroller office used FY2009 as their “base year” (note the 100 value). That’s all well and good when you’re trying to specifically estimate the growth in price over time relative to whatever year you’re in – but that (of course) does not lend itself to calculating price increases over a long duration.

The addition of this next chart is probably gratuitous, but since we feel like tasting the rainbow today, we decided to share what it looks like when your base value rolls over from year to year. Now, do you see that struggling pink line at the bottom? In the interest of giving every statistician on the planet a stroke, we set the 100-value of our average yearly CPILFENS index to the year 2021 (adjusted from its base 100 year of ~1983).

Obviously, when you’re trying to estimate price growth over time, the above chart is less than useless. So, our next order of business was to anchor each of these indices to a common base year. Since FY1998 is the earliest Green-book we found with indices that won’t make word processors very angry, and every subsequent Green-book had an actual (read, not estimated) value for it, we used some wizardry to set the base year for each of these indices to 1998, and the base value to 100 by way of some simple division and multiplication. The end product (shown below) is far more analytically useful, and shows that the Green-books’ indices (more or less) align over time. We also adjusted our CPILFENS base-year to 1998, and its corresponding base value to 100.

Taking our data a step further, we took the average yearly index values (FY1998-adjusted) from each Green-book with values available for every year, and you can see the result below.

That in and of itself isn’t exactly useful, though its derivative is somewhat interesting (shown below). You can see that in the early 70s, price growth for DoD procurement outpaced the consumer inflation rate, and then the reverse took place from about 1983 onwards. There’s probably a Master’s thesis in Defense Economics there for some enterprising scholar, but right now, we can’t be bothered to idly speculate at the reason for this switch.

Now we’re getting into some really counter-intuitive territory. Using the shorter approach for calculating an inflation modifier that we missed earlier, we can see plainly that there’s a marked discrepancy between consumer inflation and defense procurement inflation over time. In layman’s terms, the price to procure a “new” defense article from, say, 1960, in 2021 dollars is less than the price to procure a “new” consumer article from 1960. You can see both a graph of the CPILFENS multiplier and the DoD TOA procurement multiplier below, as well as a table showing the latter.

DateDoD TOA Procurement Avg (1998 = 100 index value)Multiplier
195016.900313998.8989
195117.726938328.4840
195217.358868518.6638
195318.004038728.3534
195418.634047358.0710
195518.981735667.9231
195619.780599837.6031
195721.129448967.1178
195821.364804817.0394
195921.936436936.8559
196021.619164336.9565
196121.87967536.8737
196221.49595766.9964
196321.616304676.9575
196421.609162946.9598
196521.677667046.9378
196622.385647986.7183
196722.992392536.5411
196824.024621416.2600
196924.929960886.0327
197025.180765035.9726
197126.51543115.6720
197228.18360515.3362
197330.315566394.9610
197433.805296684.4488
197537.425986344.0185
197640.958334363.6719
197743.228197543.4791
197847.223983263.1847
197951.718810552.9079
198056.793164722.6481
198161.536457912.4440
198265.259232782.3046
198368.189376022.2055
198470.55580852.1316
198572.720852762.0681
198674.944523242.0067
198777.413326591.9427
198880.367462241.8713
198983.426216811.8027
199086.377981461.7411
199188.964275761.6905
199291.058871661.6516
199392.905083641.6188
199494.632942551.5892
199596.263951021.5623
199697.742191111.5387
199798.92940261.5202
19981001.5039
1999101.36803911.4836
2000102.92497181.4612
2001104.47563091.4395
2002106.11889281.4172
2003108.19101511.3901
2004110.52087331.3608
2005113.20984851.3285
2006115.89180691.2977
2007118.2627551.2717
2008120.44730121.2486
2009122.36232141.2291
2010124.94785511.2037
2011127.19577491.1824
2012129.23091351.163766
2013131.34045131.145074
2014132.90407131.131602
2015135.10430691.113174
2016137.53448351.093504
2017140.22314511.072537
2018142.82171871.053023
2019145.25036211.035416
2020147.72101181.018099
2021150.3945481
2022153.29786730.981061
2023156.75698350.959412
2024160.38827020.93769
2025163.50453170.919819

Before we apply this more accurate tool to our procurement costs, we should take a moment to appease the Fiat gods over at the Department of Defense Comptroller’s office. There are at least two other alternative inflation indices in use by DoD that’d arguably be more precise for our purposes than the Defense Department’s TOA index. The Federal Reserve has its own index of National defense expenditures as well as a more granular index for the price of defense vehicles, the latter of which cuts off at 1972. We’re not going to include those tables here (you’re welcome), but we will show you all how these multipliers all compare in the chart below.

Now, since we’re in the mood to piss off statisticians, we didn’t bother with actually calculating the relative fit of each of these multipliers with one another. But, it’s worth pointing out that the BEA’s Defense Vehicles Multiplier (again, the most accurate tool for calculating increases in procurement costs) tracks pretty closely with our TOA multiplier.

Proposed Ukrainian ABCT Price, DoD Inflation Adjusted

Now, using our new TOA multiplier tool, and our vehicle unit prices, we can arrive at the actual inflation-adjusted price/value of the land systems we propose should be provided to Ukraine.

ABCT VehiclesABCT Total5x ABCTUnit Price DoD TOA (Procurement) IAABCT IA $Price5x ABCT $Price
M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank87435$9,198,624$800,280,271$4,001,401,353
M2/3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle/ M7 Bradley Fire Support Vehicle$2,699,131
M109A6 Paladin 155 mm Howitzer36180$11,928,236$429,416,491$2,147,082,454
M992A2 Ammo Support Vehicle36180$1,089,899$39,236,362$196,181,809
M577A1 Command Post Carrier67335$425,005$28,475,336$142,376,681
M113A3 Armored Personnel Carrier/ M1064 120 mm Mortar Carrier32160$612,826$19,610,435$98,052,174
M113A3 Ambulance24120$242,388$5,817,313$29,086,566
M577A1 Medical Treatment Vehicle630$425,005$2,550,030$12,750,150
M1117 Armored Security Vehicle$803,251
M88A1 Medium Recovery Vehicle/ M88A2 Improved Recovery Vehicle (Hercules)27135$1,783,448$48,153,084$240,765,419
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Mine Plow420$7,972,051$31,888,203$159,441,014
XM1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle With Blade15$7,972,051$7,972,051$39,860,253
M9 Armored Combat Earth Mover (ACE)210$815,160$1,630,320$8,151,598
M2/3 Bradley Engineer Vehicle With Trailer$171,727
M104 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge210$5,223,811$10,447,623$52,238,115
M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier$1,952,864
M1127 Stryker Reconnaissance Vehicle$1,824,254
M1128 Mobile Gun System$5,369,126
M1129 Stryker Mortar Carrier$2,012,798
M1130 Stryker Command Vehicle$1,899,172
M1131 Stryker Fire Support Vehicle$1,894,178
M1132 Stryker Engineer Support Vehicle$2,486,030
M1133 Stryker Medical Evacuation Vehicle$1,746,839
M1134 Stryker Antitank Guided Missile Vehicle$2,768,222
M1135 Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance System$2,771,967
M998/M1038 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)3711,855$45,025$16,704,242$83,521,208
M1114/1151A1 Uparmored HMMWV1890$208,522$3,753,394$18,766,969
M1113 Expanded Capacity HMMWV With Rigid Wall Shelter840$87,229$697,830$3,489,152
M1097A2 Heavy Variant HMMWV With Shelter$76,701
M997 HMMWV Ambulance24120$345,110$8,282,651$41,413,254
Secure, Mobile, Antijam, Reliable Tactical-Terminal (SMART-T)$1,955,129
AN/TSQ-190 Trojan Spirit HMMWV/Trailer#N/A
Unmanned Air System Ground Control Station#N/A
AN/MLQ-40 Prophet Detecting System Countermeasures#N/A
M1120 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Load Handling System and Trailer52260$724,733$37,686,140$188,430,700
M1074/M1075 Heavy Cargo Truck Palletized Load System Transporter39195$691,979$26,987,173$134,935,865
M1074 Palletized Load Transport With Forward Repair System$518,677
M984A1 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Wrecker1155$585,048$6,435,526$32,177,629
M978 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Fuel Tanker With Fuel Trailer33165$570,299$18,819,857$94,099,284
M977/M985 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Cargo With Trailer60300$307,234$18,434,053$92,170,267
M916 Tractor Truck With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer630$260,568$1,563,405$7,817,025
M917 Dump Truck210$393,458$786,916$3,934,581
M1977 Common Bridge Transporter With Rapidly Emplaced Bridge Systems#N/A
M1078 Light Medium Tactical Vehicle69345$151,898$10,480,993$52,404,964
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle2041,020$219,181$44,712,904$223,564,518
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With M1095 Cargo Trailer#N/A
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Kitchen or Tool Set Trailer#N/A
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Water Tank Trailer (Included in M1083)*7*35#N/A
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Generator or Welding Trailer#N/A
M1083 Medium Tactical Vehicle With Power Plant Trailer#N/A
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M129A3 Semitrailer15$224,967$224,967$1,124,834
M1089 Medium Tactical Wrecker945$460,280$4,142,519$20,712,595
M1088 Medium Tactical Vehicle Tractor With M172A1 Lowbed Semitrailer315$113,626$340,877$1,704,385
M198 Towed 155 mm Howitzer$808,858
M119A1/A2 Towed 105 mm Howitzer$1,141,989
Rough Terrain Forklift735$856,563$5,995,940$29,979,702
Interim High Mobility Engineer Excavator630$103,817$622,903$3,114,516
All Terrain Lifter Articulated System (Atlas) Forklift$194,787
Shadow Launch/Recovery Trailer and RQ-7 Shadow Tactical Unmanned Air System420$12,572,263$50,289,052$251,445,258
M105 Deployable Light Engineer Tractor (Deuce)315$558,061$1,674,184$8,370,921
Multipurpose Loader630$180,549$1,083,293$5,416,466
Other525
M113 troop transport135675$242,388$32,722,387$163,611,934
M777$2,640,861$0$0
YPR-76536180$462,341$16,644,261$83,221,305
Total Vehicles14367,180$1,734,562,983$8,672,814,917

For those keeping track at home, per the Department of Defense’s own choice tool for estimating inflation, the price of the equipment that should be provided to the Ukrainian Army is approximately $1 billion less than what you’d find using traditional tools for measuring inflation. Presuming the US Census Bureau’s population estimates (as of August 2022) are roughly accurate, for the small price of $26 dollars per living American (the actual costs of which were paid decades ago by our fathers and grandparents. But, since someone is going to complain about not wanting to give Ukraine a single dollar, it’d be more precise to amortize these values over the 62+ years these vehicles have been procured. So, it’s more like 42 cents per living American per year), the US can provide the Ukrainian Military with enough vehicles to, at the very minimum, force the Russian military out of southern Ukraine.

What’s Next

Collaborations and Contributions

As we mentioned in our first piece, this website is very much a work in progress, and we’re planning on using it as a clearinghouse for people with any interest in global national security/strategy/economics to share detail-oriented ideas and propositions (however heretical they might be). If you want to write ‘with’ (not ‘for’) us, we plan on establishing a system where authors will receive a monthly cut of whatever “profit” this website generates in direct proportion to the amount of views and clicks the articles you write generate (so sharing widely is recommended). We also won’t be as abusive as the editors of most journals/news outlets with respect to hard verification, and we’ll also allow biting/sardonic commentary as long as it doesn’t target individuals directly (unless said individuals are ubiquitously recognized jackasses, then you’re allowed to be kind’ve mean). These pieces can come from any and everyone, anywhere under the sun, regardless of country/political affiliation (we reserve the right to call people actively assisting repressive regimes assholes, though we’ll still publish your work as we firmly believe that listening to those with alternative perspectives is a good thing). We can also assist with translating documents into English and vice versa.

Contact the principal author of this piece to work out whatever details with this link here. We’re also amenable to whatever crazy ideas you might have that you think could be helpful/useful for others to see – be they commonfolk, military officers or politicians (for example, video essays/pieces that require additional long-form writings, or web-based apps for calculating defense or economic-related figures, wargame rules ).

For anyone that found this piece useful or insightful, you can join our Patreon here at this URL https://www.patreon.com/Analytica_Camillus. Your donations/contributions will enable us to purchase significantly more material that will allow all of our users and donators to write/read substantially higher-quality pieces. Donations on Patreon will also give users access to other extremely high-quality books and publications (such as this book by Janes, ‘Land Warfare Platforms: Armored Fight Vehicles’ which has an MSRP of $800 USD) through our upcoming National Security/Economics digital Discord-based library as we generate enough revenue to purchase these texts and whatever other economic or national security material we can comb from the interwebs. Essentially, Analytica Camillus plans on becoming an actual “Think Tank” for the masses. Already, our first donor/partner has contributed enough money for us to amass digital hosting space for this platform and to keep it fiscally solvent, and for that he has our infinite gratitude.

Hopefully, if we generate enough revenue, we’ll be able to embark on more expansive/interesting collective projects (for example, providing financial assistance to non-Western-sanctioned rebel/revolutionary groups fighting or militating against oppressive regimes).

Next Up On The Docket

For our next pieces and posts, we have quite a few ideas swirling around. Firstly, we’ll be digitizing the monograph by Michael Checinski on the Soviet defense industrial base which remains the most informative piece on the subject ever written. We also plan on throwing together a fairly comprehensive breakdown of the US Department of Defense’s ammunition procurement over the years. Another piece under-consideration is an explication of how the Ukrainian Army can modify existing Soviet-legacy and Western doctrine to best enable it to make battlefield advances with our above hypothetical ABCT (suggestions are always welcome, indeed they’re invited). We also plan on adding a living errata to highlight any particularly egregious errors that have been corrected after a piece was originally published. We also happen to have some spicy projects coming up based off of data that probably should be classified (who among us can judge), so stay tuned for that.

Also, if anyone’s familiar with coding simple web-based applications/platforms, we’re looking for someone to help create a visual rolodex of the cost of military equipment over the years adjusted for inflation – ultimately with an eye towards establishing a database anyone can use to craft their own hypothetical military units from scratch with economic precision. Naturally, whoever assists with the project will receive a portion of our profits in line with the views said application receives (which could be substantial, since there aren’t any publicly versions of such a tool yet in existence).

That’s all for now, remember to share widely and be both personally and analytically thoughtful. And again, thank you to all of our current and soon to be patrons, without which our non-negotiable expansion would not be possible.

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