It is said that who has played video gameyou can manipulate a Javelinan anti tank missile that it is capable of piercing the most powerful armor and that it has become one of the symbols of the ukrainian defense before the russian attacks. Equipped with an integrated launch unit with GPS and infrared camerathe projectile It is expelled to reach its objective, which can be more than 4 thousand meters away, which allows the soldier to take shelter, even from inside a building. Designed in the late 1980s by the Raytheon and Lockheed Martin companies, it came into use in the mid-1990s by the US Army and was one of the flagship weapons in the invasion of iraq nearly 20 years ago.
The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands lead the list of the main countries that have sent weapons to Ukraine compared to the current conflict with Russia. The shipment of arms has begun to intensify. Germany recently pledged to send four dozen armored anti-aircraft vehicles, so-called Gepard flakpanzers, designed for both air defense and attacking ground targets. This autonomous armored vehicle was developed in the 70s of the last century, but it is still an important part of the air defense of several countries.
In addition to anti-tank missiles and anti-aircraft tanks, the parade of weapons to Ukraine includes armed drones, aerial surveillance radars, unmanned coastal craft, grenade launchers, helmets, vests, mine-detection robots, ammunition, and even face masks and protective clothing. possible chemical attacks. Weapons continue to flow into Ukraine, but its air force has shrunk and is a difficult weak point to fill; however, the West has repeatedly refused to provide these tools for fear of a larger conflict.
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Genaro Beristain, an academic from the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at UNAM, and a specialist in international security, points out that weapons have always accompanied humanity since its inception; beginning with our primate past, when subsistence tools became weapons when used to attack or defend. “Weapons evolve because they keep pace with the growth of humanity. War has always accompanied societies throughout their development, from the confrontation due to hunger to the political confrontation”.
The researcher affirms that at the beginning of the 20th century, the war had a substantial change with the total mechanization of weapons; and at the end of the first half of the century, the appearance of nuclear weapons provides another substantial twist: the possibility of killing large numbers of people, through the division of the atom as a tool for the destruction of humanity. “Before the second part of the 20th century, it was very important to have the largest armies with numerous tanks, submarines, planes, etc.; but subsequently, the number of weapons is not as important as their destructive power.”
Gradually progress is being made in a missile guidance system. “Technology helped improve this type of system and now it is more convenient to attack the enemy from a distance,” says the specialist, adding that after the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the US, the intelligence of the weapons, by digitizing them. “The development of unmanned weapons becomes more important and drones evolve with greater autonomy with another historic leap, since the training of a human on the battlefield is no longer required; now it is feasible to follow it with a computer”.
Beristain points out that in the current conflict, Ukraine receives support military of the US, although it does not send its most advanced weapons. Some of these are conceived to work with much more precision on their objectives and are supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI) with which they can transmit information to each other and back to command. “The US cannot send its latest technology because it would show the Russian troops what their war capabilities are. The weapons that are sent to Ukraine are conventional, known to the Russians.” It is also a weapon whose use does not require very deep training, since almost anyone could use it. “Considering the people whom the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, asked to protect the motherland: citizens between 18 and 60 years old who do not necessarily have formal military training and can handle not so digitized weapons.”
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The academic says that ironically the five permanent countries of the United Nations Security Council are the main manufacturers of weapons. The US, Russia, China, the UK and France account for the largest number of annual arms sales. Israel also has a very important war industry, as do post-Soviet states such as the Czech Republic. “What you are seeing is a war industry working at full speed to continue fueling this theater of war,” he comments and points out that the arrival of weapons in Ukraine is not only fueled by the nations with the greatest war power, but by many other nations. that play different roles in this industry, such as intermediary countries and maquiladora nations.
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have sold weapons to Ukraine as intermediaries, although their origin is ultimately that of the great arms powers. “There are no losses, the arms industry is making a lot of money. This whole system is evident in the prices on the stock market, where the arms producers are rising substantially and the longer the conflict drags on, the more profitable it becomes”.
For Beristain, the war industry requires many parts that may be created in other countries, which in the end causes many nations to participate directly or indirectly in the weapons that reach Ukraine. “The companies from which we buy cell phones, washing machines or refrigerators also have a part in the development of weapons, since the war industry has always been a very profitable business.”
Mexico is part of the Pentagon’s supply chain that has grown over the past decade as defense companies large and small outsource production. According to reports from the US International Trade Commission, lower manufacturing costs (largely due to a lower wage structure) and proximity to original equipment manufacturers favor aerospace markets with the likes of Lockheed Martin, Textron , General Dynamics, General Electric, Honeywell and Raytheon Technologies that have strong operating subsidiaries in our country.
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“Those who pay with deaths are the Ukrainians, the more weapons they receive, the more they will extend the conflict and the more deaths they will lay”
The specialist points out that another unfortunate scenario of the war is that Ukraine has become a sales fair. “The Netherlands has announced that they are going to send a submachine gun that they produce to Ukraine, finally to test it, perhaps with the aim of interesting potential buyers in other or later conflicts. The unfortunate thing is that those who pay with deaths are the Ukrainians, because the more weapons they receive, the more they will extend the conflict and the more deaths they will lay down”.
Much more sophisticated weapons seem to appear on the Russian side that would seem to occupy the great war scenes in the future. “Seven years ago, Vladimir Putin exhibited Russia’s ability with hypersonic missiles, so fast that they are not detectable by radar and the US has said that a defense for these instruments has not been developed. Hypersonic missiles are basically guided weapons that can fly and maneuver at speeds in excess of Mach 5, five times the speed of sound.
The US and China are known to develop hypersonic weapons, but Russia says it already has and has used a working version of such missiles in attacks on Ukraine. The missile allegedly used, called the Kinzhal, appears to be a variant of the Iskander short-range ballistic missile, but modified to be launched by a fighter jet.
Beristain thinks that Zelensky very easily bought the political discourse from the Europeans about inclusion in NATO and when attacked RussiaThey were left alone. “Now he buys the speech that if he continues buying weapons he will beat Russia, but it is very difficult for Putin to give in so easily. Ukraine will not be left without weapons, but it will be without population and in the long run Russia will win”.