Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by SJRM_RN, Mar 30, 2010.
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Buy don't PFI!
I seem to remember the grown ups in my Service arguing that from the outset in the mid 90s. Unfortunately, even when faced by evidence that leasing our first C-17s ensured we paid more than had we bought them outright, HMT still didn't change their minds. Added to the fact that leasing further complicates the requirement to add capabilities such as DAS.
However, if HMT can push the additional short term costs into the future (or another government's term), they don't care.
I would agree that if you do not pay interest on capital you havve to borrow, the situation with the MOD, then PFI is a bad deal. I suspect though that the treasury which does pay interest on the money it borrows for the MOD has made it a requirement for the MOD to use PFI so they can offload some of the interest burden and appear to be borrowing less.
As for the delays and extra costs, that has absolutely nothing to do with using the PFI concept, much more to do with the normal MOD procurement cock up where the requirement keeps changing as the contract proceeds, and poor understanding of contract law.
It's not the only reason. In fairness, not many people would have envisaged our strat AT and tanker fleet routinely flying into hostile airspace when MRTT PFI was drawn up. However, having to deal with third party vendors is not easy when we're looking at adding very sensitive defensive aids that potentially have to be removed when the aircraft are made available for use on civilian tasks (as the concept assumes).
So the bottom line is that for large items the real world moves a lot faster than the procurement process, and each change to spec required by changes in the real world means the procurement process takes even longer - so if we ever achieve the aim, it's a miracle. In the end we always go to war in our socks.
"It was not envisaged they could be required to fly directly into conflict zones."
WTF did they think they would be doing with it?
They mean that it was never envisaged that the aircraft would be required to routinely fly within the effective range of threat systems such as MANPADS and therefore require defensive aids. Although that requirement emerged as the PFI was being signed, HMT refused to pay for its addition and argued it could be fitted 'retrospectively'.
RAF - Civvies in Uniform... why would civvies ever fly into a conflict zone?
Poor cop out for Crab Air that one. I was involved on the fringes ofMANPADS countermeasure sysytems for aircraft back in the nineties and fitting to civil aircraft was always considered likely There was even the suspicion that the PIRA had aquired MANPADS ssytems and equally that they were available to the likes of Al Quaida.
In my humble opinion forgeting anti MANPADS systems is an oversight, and shows up the cl;assic problem with PFI programmes and that is a failure first to capture all the requirements and then an abject failure to write the SLA properly
What I was thinking, why would they not envisage a military aircraft designed for refuelling and troop transport having to perhaps encounter a bit of danger now and then.
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