Chinook Mk3 Blunder

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Nutty, Mar 5, 2009.

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  1. In todays Times just to remind the folk who missed it the 1st and 2nd time around on how efficent our Lords and Masters are.


  2. Brand new CH-47F's cost @ £30 million each. Just the cost of rectififying those 8 would have bought another 8.

    In a nutshell, MOD, instead of buyng 8 US spec ones OTS, bought it's own bespoke version with el cheapo instrumentation against the advice of Boeing, after all, it's not as Boeing has built a few thousand of the things and might have had a clue the MOD spec was not going to work… :?

    Boeing were right, taxpayer gets shafted and good men died for the want of desperately needed heliopters.
  3. If the RAF are going to fly them you want fcuking seem them anyway!!
  4. Aye but the money was well spent on new slide for the Reggies lol
  5. So what is going to happen to the inept shiny arsed brigade fools responsible, it's a rhetorical questions, as we all know the answer SFA! 8 bloody years pissing about while our troops lives are put at risk. At the very least they should be sacked and why is it that building seems to be drenched with incompetents, are they put out to grass there?
  6. Promoted out of the way, probably
  7. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    I disagree - rather than SFA, there were probably a good number of promotions as a result!
  8. They are now on the CVF project team :lol: :lol: :lol:
  9. Out of interest, why do they need all the gucci kit to fly at night when 40 year old junglies can do it with the pilot wearing NVGs?

    And yes, they're almost certainly promoted out of the way, it happened to an RAF AVM in the gulf who General Sir Peter de la Billiere thought was a total incompetent and said 'get him the f*ck out of here' or words to that effect, so he was promoted to Air Marshall and put in charge of RAF Germany...
  10. So what are they going to do with the said unflyable Chinooks?? Surely some bright spark could write the computer programme that makes them go??? Enough of the IT literate barstewards locked away for hacking into the Pentagons 'pute????
  11. I'm actually working on these. I was there when they were put into storage, all those years ago. Not sure how much i can say, but must add that the capabilities of the Chinook outway those of the Seakings.Surely in load carrying alone.

    The Mk3 reversion i must admit,seems like a waste of money. Everyday, we are faced with various forms of incompetance, and not always on behalf of the MOD...

    Enough said on the matter. But, suffice to say, that it is not beyond those of us who are actually building these things, that we know they are needed, and badly, on the front line. We are putting in long hours,day and night in working towards a common goal...that is,to get them into service.

  12. As I undrstand it the problem is not the software itself, but the access to the source code that allows the CAA to approve them for flight. If all we've got is compiled code then their geeks can't analyse it for safety criticality issues. It is possible to reverse engineer the source code, but I don't imagine that the CAA would make a judgement based on that, reverse engineering may not expose the issues.

    It's a common issue with US kit, sometimes they won't let us have the software at all, sometimes they won't let us have the source code and sometimes we can have the lot. The approval in Washington is frequently on a case by case basis, so HMG tends to get more source code than others. It's a well known point when negotiating with US suppliers, and it surprises me that it wasn't accounted for in the procurement.

    However I have seen a decision by DC revoked for no adequately explored reason a couple of months after the associated contract was signed. Fortunately that issue was resolved.
  13. The source code is a red herring being flaunted by MOD to cover it's arse and it's own stupidity.

    IF MOD had bought OTS MH-47's they would have worked perfectly, but MOD thought it had come up with a clever way to save money, put non compliant kit in an already developed and certified airframe then went WAAAAAH after the event when they found out they couldn't prove the thing was safe.

    It's been covered very well over on arrse…
  14. Not managing access to code is a pretty fundamental error in it's own right. It's a basic aspect of buying anything form the US, they will prevent access to it in many cases. Sometimes they're explicit about it being downgraded, sometimes they're not.

    Indeed, and the whole flight safety aspect would have been dealt with through the appropriate relationships.

    Quite common, the procurement process involves a lot of horse trading over the available budget, requirements and the like. A lot of kit we buy is not fit for purpose in the first instance, largely due to a lack of interest from the Front Line Commands during the early stages. Of course that's a general point, and my experience of the special projects areas has been that the user customer does tend to be more engaged than Fleet/ Strike/ Land.

    The requirements managers who signed off on the spec would have been aviators, not some faceless civil servant.

    Prove being the key point. It may or may not have been fit for purpose but they can't even get to the stage where they can demonstrate that if they can't get approval to fly it in anything but benign conditions.

    It may be that there is a section in Whitehall specifically intended to come up with cover stories for MoD cock-ups. Clearly they've not bee successful in this case. Not entirely sensible to try to excuse a systemic cock-up using a more basic one.

  15. Indeed, but what MOD is conveniently forgetting in the excuses sessions about the Mk3's is that Boeing told them from Day One that their cunning hybrid analogue/digital Chinook was a bad idea and strongly advised them against going down the route. MOD never asked for the source code in the original contract, I suppose, being blinded with their own brilliance, they assumed their mods would work perfectly just by the strength of wishful thinking alone.

    End result?

    We've spent more on our 'cheap' MH-47E's than if we'd actually bought the ultra gucchi MH-47G and it's not even an MH special forces model any more, we've converted them back to basic Wokka-Wokka Mk2 spec.

    It should be mandatory in any future projects that the minute some muppet comes up with a plan to bastardize a US piece of kit to 'make it better', or 'save money' we should sack him and buy said kit OTS in an 'as is' configuration.
  16. What do you mean by ''as is'', given that the US frequently bastardise the export versions anyway.
  17. That's the trouble with Defence procurement ... in fact ALL Government procurement. The minute someone says they have a "cunning plan" to save money the gang goes "penny wise and pound foolish" and you end up with the pot mess you deserve - it is a systemic thing and until the chief geezers get their wotsit in one sock it will always be thus.

    It happens in the US as well and I have heard horror stories from NATO colleagues about their own back yards as well so (thankfully) it is not just a Brit thing.

    IIRC The Aussies also dropped a couple of mega bo**ocks with skimmer, helo and fixed wing procurement in the not so distant past.

  18. As is 'as is' works perfectly well 'as is'. There was no need whatsover to build the Mk3 Chimera. SAS & SBS bods had been clattering around happily in the back of USSOCOM MH-47's for years. They should have been bought 'as is'.

    Now, I know what your going to say, 'but they always bugger around with X' or 'they don't sell us the 'über Gucchi version'…

    Well things is, we didn't even end up with a Gucchi version of the Chinook thanks to our buggering about, did we?

    Decade after decade I see the same thing happen…

    Pointy End user points at cool toy in the Cousins toy shop window and say 'want!'

    Goobermint says, OK…

    Then MOD and/or BAE at el say, 'Ah! but we can build you a bigger, better, faster. stronger UK specific version'!

    Goobermint says , OK…

    Gazillions of ££££££££'s later…

    BAE/MOD et al say, OK, maybe not… lets go buy the OTS version after all.

    Goobermint says, OK

    Quick off the top…

    F-4K Phantoms that were dearer, slower and had a much lower climb rate than the US F-4J's we could have bought OTS

    E-3D Sentry's we bought after wasting £2 Billion trying to squeeze something we couldn't make into an ancient Comet airframe.

    Sea Eagle, replaced with the Harpoons we should have bought in the first place

    SA80 fiasco… 'nuff said!.

    THe list is long and fvcking embarrasing
  19. If only defence procurement was as wonderfully simplistic.

    Quote possibly, I wasn't involved in the procurement end of things in the early 90s, so I'm not sure on how much of a say the SF end users would have had in the procurement. I do know that on the Navy side of life we had uniformed representation from both users and engineers in the process. That representation continues now, although in practice getting the FLCs to ever actually attend can be a challenge.

    There are systemic problems in the defence acquisition model, and HMGs interest in retaining some of the business in the UK is extremely inconvenient when it's possible to get better or cheaper or more effective from an overseas supplier.

    Indeed, and if the export version does what's needed then I agree, we should be considering buying it amongst the options. I know of a few instances where the investment appraisal said the best option was to do just that.

    Equally I can think of a few instances where the export version didn't do what was needed, or wanted.

    Quite, and the Public Accounts Committee and the National Audit Office include this in their considerations every year. Does it tell us anything new each time? we know that defence Procurement up to the 90s had a lot of problems, Smart Acquisition was intended to fix some of them although MoD took a decent model from McKinsey and then buggered about with it until it's little better than what we had before.

    All that said, some projects do deliver the goods, but there's not much headline interest in that.

  20. When you take the politics out of it, it is.

    Dutch bought 'export' spec CH-47's and AH-64's… They do the same job as ours and work perfectly in the same nasty places killing the same nasty people.

    We need to stop have Champagne aspirations on beer money budgets.

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