Defense support is defined as all the means contributing to the readiness of military forces. The literature in defense economics presents very little analysis of defense support in its different forms. Neither space nor base locations have been deeply analyzed in that literature. This paper aims to bridge this gap by discussing and defining preliminary steps of a research agenda in order to connect defense and spatial economics in the case of defense support activities. This contribution discusses the on-going transformations and especially technological changes in the MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) of defense systems in the French army. With concepts from spatial economics, this paper aims at examining the geographic pattern of the defense system and new types of economic interconnections (e.g. outsourcing, Public Private Partnerships and “productive duality”) between military and civilian activities. This paper aims to answer to the following questions: What are the main trends in the evolution of defense support for modern defense platforms that embody increasing technology? What are the consequences of such trends for the defense system as a whole? Finally, considering both economic and spatial organizational innovations, how can the defense support system be optimized?
JEL Codes: D61, H11, H56
- defense support
- defense technology
- economic and spatial unbundling