When your army's procurement is too expensive ...

it's probably time to fire the negotiators.

All this for basically the same vehicle!

Don't even try to explain this with inflation, training packages, spare parts packages or added gadgets. It's futile.

The Saudis are notoriously poor price negotiators and overpay on many arms imports (in public; in practice they buy so expensively because all the bribes add to the price tag), other countries' heavily armed bureaucracies spend too much as part of some industrial policy.
The data from above is a representative (not a lone wolf!) for another kind of waste; outright incompetent negotiation of prices.

For comparison: A custom-modified armoured street vehicle with VIP luxury features for politicians and the like costs about 500 grand.

S Ortmann


  1. "Don't even try to explain this with inflation, training packages, spare parts packages or added gadgets. It's futile."

    An Audi TT at its cheapest costs £24,355, at its most expensive, its £61,155 (or thats the highest I could get it).

    Even from just those pictures at your link, some are just jeeps, some have a machine gun mounted on the roof, the last appears to have a full RWS with 20mm cannon and the third an ATGM.

    Javelin missiles are £70k a pop, ordering 5 with each vehicle is a huge sum of money, more than the vehicle.

    1. Seriously, the munition supplier would not be Iveco.
      A RWS is a disguised simple kind of industrial robot with a digital camera; five digit range if you know how to negotiate and low six digit range if you use an expensive sensor.
      An autocannon is a larger machinegun; simple machined steel; again five digit range.
      The Czechs who paid most bought three versions for Afghanistan, and it's safe to say these were not high end ATGM versions.

      No extras - even not IED jamming kits and acoustic sniper detectors - could justify this price range. It would need a high end active hard kill protection system to come close to an explanation.

  2. And the Norway-numbers are actually the price of 25 vehicles plus an OPTION on another 47 ;)

    LL: if something just cant be right, it propably isnt.

    1. I actually didn't look so much at the figure for Norway, for I remember half a million as the price paid by the UK, the average figure given was about that as well (though $ instead of GBP, but there's some fuzziness due to flexible exchange rates).
      What really made me post this were the high end figures. A factor x4 to x6 range is way beyond reasonable even with differing equipment; it doesn't need to be x10 or more to be an outrageous range beyond justification.

  3. Saudis are good negociators.
    Just that they have to pay a large protection tax. Usually by recycling oil money into US treasuries.
    And sending their gold reserves to the US like Germany does.
    They absolutely do not need those expensive toys they overpay for from the US.
    Just that an intervention in which US army blows the country and kills the ruling family is not a pleasant scenario for the said ruling family.
    So avoiding that scenario is something worth paying for.

    In case of weapons every decision is political. Sometimes customers pay very little. When they protect a political or economic interest of their overlord.
    Other times well they have to feed the military- industrial complex of their betters so prices increase accordingly.

    PS> Saudis are very good negociators. It is a smart family well adapted to present times. White arabs - they are really whiter, and are called so - are quite well educated and smart in general. The rest are anyway discriminated whatever so they do not participate too much in any decision taking. But agressive and violent they are.
    I have friends who left the country for other Gulf kingdoms just to get away of them. Before suspecting any racism or whatever the above mentioned friends are Indians and much darker in complexion then the natives they left in order to avoid. Europeans do not have this kind of experiences, they mainly live in compounds. They do not get to see the social details.