from Portfolio Armour
The Economics of Air Defense
A lot happened in the last week in the Ukraine War. In this post, we’ll look at one incident that may shed some light on the economics of the conflict. Following that, a note about avoiding head fakes in in war and markets by keeping your eye on the big picture.
After the Ukrainian attack on the Kerch Strait Bridge last weekend, Russia responded with massive missile and drone strikes on Ukrainian targets starting on Monday. The drones were primarily Iranian Shahed-136 Kamikazes (re-christened as Geran-2 by Russia).
Cost estimates I’ve seen for these drones vary from about $20,000 to $25,000 each. They’re literally powered by lawnmower engines (presumably, because Iran has limited access to engines due to U.S. sanctions), though in the video above, it looks like they get an initial rocket boost off their launchers.
Despite being loud and slow, they apparently have been quite effective, so the Ukrainian Air Force sent up a MiG-29 fighter to shoot one down.
A MiG-29 apparently costs something between $5 million and $12 million, incidentally.
In this case, the MiG successfully shot down the drone, but shrapnel from the explosion of the drone hit the MiG’s cockpit, forcing the pilot to eject. You can see wreckage of the MiG HERE.
So the Ukrainians sacrificed a $5 million+ plane to shoot down a $25,000 drone. If this sounds like it may be an unrepresentative example, consider that we’ve already given the Ukrainians aid equal to Russia’s entire military budget for 2021. ... CONTINUE READING >>>
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