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Global Armored Vehicle Market Sees $25.6 Billion Surge in 8×8 Wheeled Vehicles Amidst Rising Tensions


Global Armored Vehicle Market Sees $25.6 Billion Surge in 8×8 Wheeled Vehicles Amidst Rising Tensions

In the wake of escalating global tensions following the Russo-Ukraine conflict, the armored vehicle market is undergoing a significant transformation, with an expected $25.6 billion investment in 8×8 wheeled vehicles by 2035.

Influenced by the Russo-Ukraine conflict, the world of armored vehicle spending is witnessing a resurgence. Beyond the attention-grabbing main battle tanks and tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) programs, there is a growing focus on 8×8 wheeled armored vehicles over the next six years.

A recent report sheds light on several key findings regarding the future of the 8×8 armored vehicle market. This includes the growing importance of Rapid Strategic Mobility, the demand for armored Command and Control (C2) vehicles, and the potential for 8×8 wheeled platforms to replace medium/light tanks in African and South American markets.

According to Defense Insight’s market report, spending on 8×8 vehicle programs is projected to reach $25.6 billion between 2022 and 2035. Notably, the figures for tracked armored vehicles and main battle tanks are considerably higher, with planned investments of $62.2 billion and $84 billion, respectively.

The report identifies specific market opportunities, including a $1.8 billion forecast for Qatar in 2024/25, a $2.8 billion forecast for Greece in 2026, and a longer-term forecast for France to replace its Jaguar EBRC 6×6 and Griffon VBMR 6×6 with 8×8 wheeled vehicles by the mid-2030s.

In North America, there are targeted investments in various programs. The US Army is prioritizing the procurement of tracked vehicles while Canada is progressing with its LAV 6.0 upgrades and orders, replacing legacy M113 tracked Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs).

The report also highlights the enduring debate between tracks and wheels, particularly in the context of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. As mobility and armor become increasingly critical in land-based operations due to the emergence of loitering munitions, future large armored vehicle programs are expected to be contested between 8×8 and tracked alternatives.

Modularity is emerging as a crucial factor, offering maintenance and cost advantages. By leveraging the advantages of lower overhead costs, reduced maintenance burdens, and improved strategic mobility, the 8×8 market has the potential to compete globally with tracked IFVs and medium/light tanks.

Paramount’s Mbombe armored vehicle family is strategically positioned to meet these evolving requirements. At the forefront of armored vehicle technology, the Mbombe family offers unmatched protection levels to ensure the safety of military personnel.

According to Paramount’s spokesperson, “Paramount is not just a manufacturer; we’re evolving into a technology-driven global OEM. With our focus on IP licensing and global partnerships, we’re shaping solutions that the world is seeking today. Through our portable production concept, we’re targeting partnerships in Europe and the UK, strengthening our position as a global leader.”

Paramount’s portable production concept involves locating manufacturing activities within customer countries to produce and sustain armored vehicle fleets, promote indigenous innovation, and provide long-term support. Collaborating with industrial partners enables nations to access modular and proven options for upgrading their armored vehicle capacity.

In conclusion, the global armored vehicle market is experiencing a significant shift towards 8×8 wheeled vehicles, driven by geopolitical tensions and the need for rapid mobility and strategic agility. Paramount’s Mbombe family, along with other key players, is well-positioned to meet the evolving demands of this dynamic market.

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How Will the Russia-Ukraine War Reshape the World? (Part 4)

A brave new world

As in the “nuclear apocalypse” scenario, Russia has launched a tactical nuclear missile inside Ukraine opposite the US/NATO safe haven in Poland that is supplying training and military equipment to the Ukrainian resistance. Many in the United States want to hit a Russian city with cruise missiles in retaliation, appalling European leaders who see in such a move the start of a nuclear Armageddon. European pressure convinces Washington to hold off on military action just as China intervenes to force Russia to take its nuclear forces off high alert.

The shock of the first use of nuclear weapons in nearly eight decades triggers widespread fear that Russia’s strike could become a nuclear version of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that sparked World War I. The United Nations (UN) secretary-general convenes a peace conference in which China, Israel, and the European Union (EU) work closely together to broker a settlement.

A ceasefire is imposed in Ukraine, policed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and UN peacekeepers (some from China’s People’s Liberation Army). Over the next nine months, the warring parties agree to a deal that ensures the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and the easing of Western sanctions against Russia so long as Moscow adheres to the bargain.

As part of the agreement, Ukraine adopts a new posture as a neutral state, a strategic buffer between East and West, defined in a new federal constitution approved in a referendum. It pursues economic ties to the EU and, to assuage Russian concerns and facilitate reconstruction in eastern Ukraine, it also joins Putin’s Eurasian Economic Union. It retains the ability to arm itself for its own defense within limits agreed to as part of larger NATO-Russia conventional arms limits and confidence-building measures. Crimea is recognized by the UN as part of Russia after its inhabitants vote to join the country in an internationally supervised referendum.

Donetsk and Luhansk become semi-autonomous regions under the new Ukrainian constitution. As part of new European security arrangements, Western European countries successfully pressure the United States and Eastern European NATO members to rescind the Alliance’s 2008 promise to extend membership to Ukraine and Georgia. A reinvented OSCE plays a larger security role in the region. But NATO’s charter is unchanged, leaving its open-door policy in place in theory.

Building on the global backlash against Russia crossing the nuclear Rubicon, the UN secretary-general leads an effort to ban all tactical nuclear weapons and return to the goal of nuclear disarmament. There is a growing nuclear disarmament movement in Europe as well. The United States and Russia negotiate START III, agreeing to reduce deployed nuclear warheads to one thousand each. Additional accords governing conventional force reductions curb US and Russian force levels and weapons systems.

Well after the peace conference ends the war in Ukraine, with Russia’s 2024 elections drawing near, a group of oligarchs and senior military and intelligence officials deliver an ultimatum to Putin: resign or face war-crime trials. Putin decides to retires to his dacha to write his memoirs. The Russian people, seeking reform, renewed ties with the United States and the West, and to not become dependent on China, elect a coalition government that includes the onetime exiled businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and formerly imprisoned dissident Alexei Navalny. Still, even under new leadership, it takes Russia years to repair and diversify its economy, and incrementally rebuild trust and reshape ties with the West.

The peace negotiations over Ukraine help spark an economic rebound across the world. China’s efforts to mediate the conflict, which included exerting pressure on Russia by refusing a financial bailout of Moscow, lead to a reset in Sino-US ties. That, in turn, results in a framework for competitive coexistence, with strategic decoupling of the tech and (to some degree) financial sectors, along with a more businesslike relationship between the two powers.

Many in Congress nevertheless press the US administration to not ease up on countering assertive Chinese behavior against Taiwan and in the South and East China Seas. The growth in Chinese soft power because of its role in initiating peace talks worries Washington, as the great powers continue to eye each other warily while avoiding direct conflict. Consensus among democracies and like-minded governments on trade and technology rules and standards spurs China to limit its ambitions and scale back its industrial polices, leading to reform of the World Trade Organization. With a post-Putin Russia and a more cooperative China, the Group of Twenty (G20) acquires more cachet and begins to address other global governance issues from climate change to ethical standards for artificial intelligence.

A new world, whatever the scenario

The scenarios above illustrate the various ways geopolitics could be transformed depending on what trajectory the conflict over Ukraine takes next. But in several respects the geopolitical chess pieces are already in different positions on the board than they were before hostilities erupted.

Europe, for example, will never be the same again. It has assumed a more robust role in this crisis than many would have predicted beforehand, with Germany turning away from seventy-five years of relative pacifism and the European Union (EU) uniting to phase out its dependence on Russian energy. More broadly, the war has provided a new impetus for closer collaboration among most democracies. Even if there is a ceasefire and peace settlement, Russian decline has accelerated.

In the United States, the Biden administration’s plan for pivoting to Asia to counter China has been upended. The United States will increase its attention on—and flow more resources and forces to—Europe for the remainder of Biden’s term. There is more of an open question when it comes to China: Given Xi’s closeness to Putin, the war in Ukraine offers Beijing an opportunity to become a peacemaker. But will it grasp the opportunity?

This section examines the enduring changes in the world that are evident so far and how our scenarios could further impact the movement of these repositioned chess pieces.

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How Will the Russia-Ukraine War Reshape the World? (Part 1)

It’s the big question keeping the world on edge: How does this end?

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine is a world-historical event, marking the final act of the post-Cold War period and the start of a new era, yet unwritten. The spectrum of possible outcomes ranges from a volatile new cold or hot war involving the United States, Russia, and China; to a frozen conflict in Ukraine; to a post-Putin settlement in which Russia becomes part of a revised European security architecture. With the West leveling unprecedented sanctions against Russia in record time and the real potential for a descent into nuclear war, we are in uncharted territory. It is difficult to see how Putin “wins.” But he cannot accept defeat.

What follows are four scenarios for how this war could conclude and the alternative geopolitical futures that might result, transforming international relations over the course of the next two to three years. We develop scenarios not to predict the future but to help decision makers imagine what could happen next and devise ways to prevent the worst case. The only certainty about the war over Ukraine is that all existing certainties have been shattered.

A frozen conflict

Russia’s war effort in Ukraine drags on for more than a year, as the civilian death toll continues to rise. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy remains in Kyiv, even with his life in persistent danger from Russian-directed assassination attempts.

In 2023, global oil prices stay over one hundred dollars a barrel, as Europe struggles to wean itself off Russian energy. The harsh winter in 2022-2023 has prompted European Union (EU) countries to begin rationing energy supplies, depriving industries of needed power and forcing schools to close during the worst weather because of the difficulty of heating classrooms. Europe plunges into recession. Even though the United States is spared a recession, the high price of gasoline continues to anger Americans. The Democratic Party loses control of both the Senate and House of Representatives in the November 2022 midterm elections, dramatically weakening US President Joe Biden’s ability to advance his policy agenda.

Russia, meanwhile, is in dire condition. Despite the Russian Central Bank’s deft management of an impossible situation, inflation climbs rapidly amid interrupted supplies of basic food staples and less-than-anticipated Chinese assistance. Russia’s military hierarchy understands that the war in Ukraine is unwinnable, and there are rumors of a loose coalition of irate oligarchs and military and intelligence siloviki with designs on forcing Putin’s ouster and installing former President Dmitry Medvedev in his place. The country’s intelligence service, the FSB, averts a palace coup, and Putin sends dozens of generals to a prison camp.

In early 2023, with the warring sides stalled and no end in sight to the low-intensity conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz grow anxious to mediate a ceasefire. Almost ten million Ukrainians have emigrated to the (EU), where the deepening recession stokes public opposition to admitting more refugees. European leaders are prepared to offer incentives to Putin: the lifting of some sanctions once Russian troops end their fighting and start reducing their presence in Ukraine.

Under pressure at home, Putin pulls back a portion of his troops from Ukraine but keeps enough there to continue to control much of Ukraine’s coastline, ensuring a land bridge between the Donbas region and Crimea. French and German leaders are disappointed with the partial Russian withdrawal and reciprocate by doing away with sanctions only on those oligarchs who have reportedly been involved in plots to remove Putin. The EU also temporarily lifts an embargo it had imposed on Russian energy, though principally to help with the recovery of European economies. The Biden administration does not eliminate its own energy embargo. But in the hope that oil prices will start to decline with the presidential election cycle beginning in mid-2023, it turns a blind eye to the importation of Russian energy by other countries, including European allies.

Talks with Putin, led by France, Germany, Turkey, and Israel, are protracted. Moscow wants assurances that NATO will stop providing arms to the Ukrainian resistance and will rescind its 2008 pledge to admit Ukraine and Georgia to the Alliance. The United States won’t give in, even though Zelenskyy has conceded for some time that Ukraine’s dream of NATO membership is no longer feasible. The Ukrainian president will accept neutrality so long as the five permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and France) plus Germany and Turkey become guarantors of Ukraine’s security. Zelenskyy is unwilling, however, to concede independence for his country’s breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

With negotiations stuck on these points, Washington wants to double down on providing military supplies to Ukrainian forces while France and Germany still hope to reach a détente with Moscow and worry about Putin sending back the troops he has withdrawn. Poland and other Central European nations back the US position, particularly since Zelenskyy does not want the pressure on Russia to ease. He insists that if Ukrainian forces get more military assistance, they have a good chance of repulsing all remaining Russian forces.

As the US presidential campaign heats up while the fighting in Ukraine does as well, the Biden administration convenes a special NATO summit to decide next steps. Both the United States and its European allies believe the conflict’s current course is not sustainable. EU publics are increasingly angry about the cost of housing and the challenge of supporting millions of Ukrainian refugees amid a recession. In the United States, the administration fears a wipeout for Democrats in the 2024 elections as gas prices and inflation remain elevated and the economy underperforms. In the Middle East, Egypt has been rocked for two years by ever more violent food riots as the price of bread soars. Europeans fear a repeat of the Arab Spring with more instability, terrorism, and refugees. The United States and European countries are also finding it harder to enforce other countries’ compliance with Russia sanctions. Russia might not sell as much oil and natural gas to Europe as it once did, but it is finding plenty of buyers for discounted Russian energy elsewhere. Western leaders worry that the initial shock of the sanctions has worn off and that most ordinary Russians are learning to adapt to them. Having survived elite plots to replace him, Putin has reasserted control over the country.

At the NATO summit, Biden announces that the West has two options. The first is to pressure Zelenskyy and Putin into a ceasefire and limited peace agreement, though this would carry the risk of a fragile peace. The second is for the West to step up its military assistance to Ukraine in the hope that a Ukrainian military breakthrough will force Putin to make major concessions, though this would incur escalation risks such as Russian targeting of supply depots along the border with Poland or Romania. While Biden may only glimpse this at the time, the former option is more liable to lead to something like our second scenario (“a double cold war”) while the latter option is more likely to bring about situations akin to our third (“a nuclear apocalypse”) or fourth (“a brave new world”) scenarios.


ban Commerce Restricts the Export of Luxury Goods to Russia and Belarus and to Russian and Belarusian Oligarchs and Malign Actors in Latest Response to Aggression Against Ukraine

Commerce Restricts the Export of Luxury Goods to Russia and Belarus in Latest Response to Aggression Against Ukraine

Today, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) forced limitations on the product, reexport, and move (in nation) of extravagance merchandise to all end clients in the Russian Federation (Russia) and Belarus and to specific Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and defame actors found around the world. This activity is in light of Russia’s fierce, proceeding with intrusion of Ukraine (as considerably empowered by Belarus) in blatant infringement of worldwide regulation.

“Putin’s conflict of choice in Ukraine keeps on negatively affecting blameless regular folks in Ukraine, powering one of the most obviously awful compassionate emergencies Europe has found in many years,” expressed Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “Putin and the oligarchs who fund him have gotten rich off of Putin’s uncontrolled debasement and the exploitation of the Russian public. We won’t permit Putin and his cohorts to keep living in extravagance while causing colossal affliction all through Eastern Europe. The present activity removes one more wellspring of solace and advises them that Russia is progressively secluded.”

The Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves said “The Department of Commerce will continue to vigorously exercise its authorities to deprive the Russian leadership of the material support it needs to sustain its aggression as well as the material comfort that insulates them from the harm they are inflicting, The people who have benefited most from Putin’s rule should know that they are international pariahs and that their money cannot insulate them from the unlawful actions they have facilitated.  This action also targets Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and other malign actors who have supported Putin.”

The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration Thea D. Rozman Kendler said “Before today, controls on luxury goods only applied to rogue state North Korea—a regime where its leaders and their political cronies live in opulence while their people struggle. Today’s action should remind Putin and his Russian and Belarusian cronies that the world strongly condemns the horrors they have wrought. The U.S. and our allies and partners will continue to stand together in imposing severe consequences on Russia and Belarus for the continued invasion of Ukraine.”

Today’s rule imposes significant restrictions on persons and organizations within Russia and Belarus that have the financial resources to purchase U.S.-origin luxury goods.  Additionally, this rule imposes additional costs on certain Russian and Belarusian oligarchs and malign actors (regardless of their location) who have been designated by the Department of the Treasury as Specially Designated Nationals in connection with their support for the Russian government.   This action underscores the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and also demonstrates to influential Russian and Belarusian individuals the material impact on their lifestyle for their support of the Russian government’s actions in Ukraine.

The rule provides a list of U.S.-origin luxury goods that are impacted by today’s sanctions and includes certain spirits, tobacco products, clothing items, jewelry, vehicles, and antique goods.

The rule takes effect when released in the Federal Register on March 11, 2022.

For more information on the Commerce Department’s actions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is available online here.

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The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Global Energy Market Crisis

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Global Energy Market Crisis

The repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine represent the biggest global energy crisis since the 1973 oil embargo. While the current and potential supply implications of the Ukraine situation alone are significant, especially for Europe, other pre-existing market conditions are conspiring to make this a global crisis across multiple fuels and limiting the effectiveness of traditional responses. There has been no disruption of Russian supplies to Europe yet, but there has been a threat from Russia to stop gas flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline on March 7, while the United States has banned energy imports from Russia. EU member countries have stopped short of imposing similar bans on energy imports but have agreed on a fourth package of sanctions which includes revoking Russia’s most favoured nation trade status.

In this piece, Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a global research scholar with the Center on Global Energy Policy, puts the current global gas crisis into perspective and answers questions about the current state of gas markets and the implications of a ban of all Russian energy products for gas markets.

How widespread is this natural gas crisis?

While Europe relies on Russia for 34 percent of its natural gas, this is a much larger crisis. The gas market is global, and the impact of what is happening there has and will continue to ripple throughout the regions reliant on gas imports. Europe’s need for more gas will affect other LNG importers in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. As LNG prices rise, these countries may look to reduce their gas consumption and switch to other alternative fuels if they can and if alternative fuels are available and are more affordable.

Gas spot prices are not only at record high levels in Europe but also in Asia. As a result, any LNG importer with a contract linked to European or Asian spot prices or that is trying to import spot cargoes through tenders is paying unprecedented prices. These prices may be unaffordable for some developing countries.

How tight were gas markets before the Russian invasion?

Global gas markets progressively tightened over 2021 and reached unprecedented levels of tightness by the end of the year. European gas spot prices spiked to $60/mmBtu in December 2021, due to a combination of six different factors:

  • A rapid economic rebound that supported a strong increase in energy demand,
  • Lower generation from wind and hydropower plants, calling for more gas-fired generation,
  • Longer and colder heating seasons in Asia and Europe and hotter summers, driving heating and power demand to higher levels,
  • Record high coal and carbon prices pushing up the gas switching price—the price level at which coal-fired generation becomes more economic than gas to run and can replace it,
  • A much lower availability of LNG supplies, and
  • Lower gas deliveries from Russia to Europe, due to a combination of a colder winter in 2020/21 in Russia that required higher injections in Russian gas storage, and the absence of spot sales on the Electronic Sales Platform since October 2021.

How do these factors impact the ability of gas importers to react to the Ukraine crisis?

Most energy supply disruption scenarios do not plan for events happening in such extreme conditions. They simulate a supplier or a supply route disruption, sometimes in extreme climate conditions. There was no preparation for a situation in which the European and global energy systems were threatened with a major gas disruption when markets were already exceptionally tight. In this case, fossil fuel prices were already high, and the responses lined up to deal with short-term disruptions had, for the most part, already been deployed.

How does the risk to other Russian energy exports threaten natural gas markets?

While European gas prices are outpacing those of other fuels (Figure 1),  this is a multi-fuel crisis, as Russia is not only the largest natural gas exporter. Russian exports represent 16 percent of global coal trade. It exports 5 million barrels per day of crude (roughly 12 percent of global trade) and 2.85 million barrels per day of oil products (15 percent of refined product trade). These commodity markets are also currently extremely tight, as high prices reflect. Disrupting Russian flows of one commodity will have implications for others.

For example, steps that ban imports of Russian oil and refined products will likely increase the oil price and thus impact the price in oil-linked LNG contracts which accounted for 56 percent of LNG trade as of 2020. Higher oil prices or the unavailability of oil supplies could prevent some LNG importers from switching to oil/oil products in the power and industrial sectors.

In addition, Russia represents 46 percent of EU’s coal imports. Removing Russian coal from the world’s markets would also impact the ability to switch to coal-fired plants in the power sector if gas flows are insufficient.

Finally, depending on how the power market is structured, the increase in fossil fuel prices can also impact power prices. In Europe, gas-fired plants are at the margin and have driven electricity prices to record levels.

Figure 1: Europe’s gas prices are at record high levels

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine and the Global Energy Market Crisis