Le facteur spatial en économie de la défense : application à l'organisation du Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle (MCO) des matériels de défense

Abstract : This research discusses public policies related to the spatial organization of defense production as a public good with industrial dimensions. Our framework enables to incorporate the spatial factor in modeling such a production. How to integrate geographical space in defense economics? How does space structure the organization of defense production? Conversely, how does defense production structure space? Our research deals with the case of France and more particularly with the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of French defense equipment. In France, according to the Direction Générale de l’Armement, MRO costs represent between 35% and 50% of the whole life cycle cost of defense equipment. In 2012, they accounted for about 15% of total French defense budget. Optimizing MRO costs has become a top priority issue since the beginning of the 1990s. Such costs are still of concern during the 2010-2014 period, since maintenance equipment expenditures are rising about 8.7% on average. A good management of MRO aims at keeping – or improving – the availability of defense equipment while at the same time reducing MRO costs. With this objective and considering the evolution of the sizes of army sections and their equipment, the spatial organization of MRO appears as a structuring dimension from both static and dynamic perspectives. The dissertation is organized in four chapters: Chapter I is a literature review that legitimates the methodological approach adopted in this research. We survey the regional economics literature that has mainly focused on the location of defense activities within their surrounding economic environment. Chapter II examines the contemporary transformations in French defense (doctrine, budget and size of the army) in order to identify the geographic consequences of such changes. Chapter III deals with the evolution of MRO since the end of the Cold War. We study the evolution of the availability of military platforms, the MRO costs evolution and the main reforms that the French State put in place to improve the management of MRO. Chapter IV discusses the optimal spatial organization of defense MRO. Our model suggests that space provides an opportunity to optimize MRO cost. However, it remains a constraint that is hard to cope with, because of transport costs but also due to the military nature of MRO. We model a strategic constraint with an Operational Social Cost.This constraint takes into account the intrinsic specificities of military activities (e.g. availability of military platforms, strategic imposed locations). It allows us to underline and to discuss the balance of forces between agglomeration and dispersion in the production of defense MRO. The main contribution of this research is to incorporate space in modeling defense production. We defend the idea that the organization of defense production cannot be understood without taking space into account. Optimizing the defense effort is based on a spatial dimension inherent to the concept of defense itself and the territory that has to be defended. As a result, economic research about optimality in the spatial organization of defense should fit in a spatial framework. Beyond MRO matters, our methodology can be applied to other dimensions of defense and more particularly in a multinational framework with two countries, several countries or within an alliance.
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Josselin Droff. Le facteur spatial en économie de la défense : application à l'organisation du Maintien en Condition Opérationnelle (MCO) des matériels de défense. Economies et finances. Université de Bretagne occidentale - Brest, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013BRES0059⟩. ⟨tel-01089240⟩

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