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If you have a country with unique needs for some kind of weapon system but it doesn't have a domestic industry to produce it, is it possible to fund the development in a friendly foreign country?

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  • $\begingroup$ what do you mean with "unique needs"? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jun 2 '17 at 10:13
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    $\begingroup$ Why would it not be “possible” to buy something from a country you’ve not told us anything about? No it's not possible because they’re religions fanatics, or don’t allow that kind of export, or you can’t affort it… $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jun 2 '17 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ Of course, this kind of thing happens a lot within the EU for example. It would however be very unusual if the country funds it to 100% since most of the time the "friendly foreign country" would benefit a lot and would be willing to pay for it in order to have it developed in their country. Do you want 100% funding by your nation? $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 2 '17 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch Something peculiar to the needs for the country that nothing off the shelf fits. $\endgroup$ – Saren Jun 2 '17 at 12:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 Yes and I don't want the foreign country to sell it to my neighbors without my approval. In other words I control the IP for that system. $\endgroup$ – Saren Jun 2 '17 at 12:21
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Germany managed to fund, research and develop their early tanks in Russian tank schools and factories (of all places) after being not allowed to work on them in Germany following the Treaty of Versailles.

So I think it's proven that you can "fund custom weapon development in a friendly foreign country". I'd even say "friendly" is optional.

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  • $\begingroup$ This was only realistic though because Germany certainly had the industry to produce those tanks eventually. I mean that part is actual history $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 2 '17 at 12:52
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The point of the domestic military industrial complex is to create jobs and maintain your own nation's technological lead. If your nation doesn't have the technology, you try to acquire it. If your nation doesn't have the industrial base, you build it.

Maintaining the military industrial system may appear to be money down the drain, but it's money down the drain within your domestic economy, it stays within the domestic economy for some time and, directly and indirectly, employs a lot of people. It's tax money that goes straight back to the population. You buy the raw materials from your own mines, even if someone else is cheaper. You contract your own factories, your own shipyards. Keep the money in the country and keep it moving around entirely within the domestic economy as much as possible.

One may buy in complete weapons systems, often aircraft, but one very rarely funds someone else to develop it, as that's paying for someone else to have a technological lead over you.

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    $\begingroup$ However, it's mostly the norm nowadays. Up to the modern era, yes, every country produced its own swords, arrows or plate armors. With the invention of the cannon, though, it was usually better to buy high quality cannons from somewhere else than to develop a technology you lacked of. It's much more certain today: you buy F-18 or Leopard tanks, you don't create your own weapon systems unless you have both a lot of money and long-term plans to become a superpower (China) or fears of being isolated and not allowed to purchase weaponry from elsewhere (Israel). $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Jun 2 '17 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ I don't have aircraft industry but I'm earning a lot of coins from exporting heavy equipment machinery. If I need some aircraft unique to my military needs do I have to start an aircraft company for one single project. $\endgroup$ – Saren Jun 2 '17 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ @Saren, if you have no industry then you can either buy in and modify, building up your industry by doing so, or buy custom and hope that your "friendly" partner doesn't rip off your technology. $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Jun 2 '17 at 12:55
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You mean like France building a ship for Russia? Or Israel for... well anyone who want to buy UZI? Or Poland organizing an auction for possible choppers?

Yes Everything is possible if you have money.

You can order totally custom piece of equipment (with brand new R&D), you can order custom build of existing one or you can just get one off the shelf.

But remember to not attack manufacturer country with the weapon they made for you. They are the first one to have a counter measure for that.

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  • $\begingroup$ The examples you gave don't fit my needs since Mistral and UZI were created for French / Israeli military. France & Israel are selling them with probably some customization like Russian weapon system on the ship. I want something that France / Israel do not have and have little use for. Like instead of 65 tons Merkava I want Israel to make me a light tank. $\endgroup$ – Saren Jun 2 '17 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ This is the second case. Custom build. The first is case is usually secret between countries due to, well, spies and all that jazz. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Jun 2 '17 at 12:38

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