Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment they

#1
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6614255.stm

How does TB & GB expect the job that they expect to be done to get done when the kit is not upto spec. I KNOW this has been done to death but for gods sake with local elections coming up I have had NO local politicians knocking on my door asking who im voting for or my opinions on events etc so sod them, I know who i is voting for and it aint the bunch of mucking fuppets in power now.

If TB resigns then we should have a general election, not have another fuppet forced on us
 

sweeney

Lantern Swinger
#2
Re: Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment t

Shocking I know comrade, but thats not quite correct as an article. Without doing soem wierd civvy breach of op/per sec, my oppo in my bay who is like sat 5 yards form me is in charge of landrover rework etc for MoD.

This has got bugger all to do with the govt and lack of kit.
 
#5
There is a balance to be sought, we don't have the cash up front to actually buy the kit we need, so support contracts and PFIs are a good way to get access to the kit and pay for it over a longer period.

That does increase the long term cost, but it gets us access to kit.

Many of the contracts are p!ss poor from a MOD perspective, and tbh our commercial people in ABW tend to be bloody awful at that aspect and make decisions purely on the cheapest bid, not the most cost effective. The acquisition system has a lot of flaws.

But the broader point I was trying to make is that, on a national basis, we don't spend enough on defence. We need to bite the bullet and recognise that equipping the services to an appropriate level to do what's expected needs investment.
 
#6
Is the real issue the fact that kit isnt upto scratch, its being used in an environment it was not inteded for and when it breaks down then depending on what money is left in the pot may or may not get spent buying the equipment to fix the problems?

Also I dont know how the rotation works and not really intedning to discuss it here but if a regiment that is due to return home and be replaced have faulty kit do they report it before they leave or leave it for the next crew?
 
#7
Karma said:
There is a balance to be sought, we don't have the cash up front to actually buy the kit we need, so support contracts and PFIs are a good way to get access to the kit and pay for it over a longer period.
PFI is a rip off, as we will find to our increasing cost over the next decades. Our children and grandchildren will look at the way we have consigned them to paying usurist repayment interest rates and wonder if any of us was blessed with the brain we were born with.

Rather than get the kit and pay for it later, especially in view of the lack of value gained from its use, we should cut our cloth according to our means and get out of expeditionary military work. The British Empire is gone. It's a shame, but we no longer need Armed Forces to maintain far-flung British interests, so we should concentrate the smaller Forces we do have on defence.
 
#8
ukdaytona said:
Is the real issue the fact that kit isnt upto scratch, its being used in an environment it was not inteded for and when it breaks down then depending on what money is left in the pot may or may not get spent buying the equipment to fix the problems?
Frequently.

Hence the point about the commercial gits in ABW opting for cheapest rather than most cost effective.

It's soul destroying to go through extensive analysis of various options then sit in a decision conference with the beancounters sticking with the but this is cheapest arguement.


Also I dont know how the rotation works and not really intedning to discuss it here but if a regiment that is due to return home and be replaced have faulty kit do they report it before they leave or leave it for the next crew?
It varies, depends on the scale of the commitment and the planned activity for both the units concerned.

In this case mildly complicated by 3Cdo being relieved by 20Mech.
 
#9
asst_dep_to_dep_asst said:
PFI is a rip off, as we will find to our increasing cost over the next decades.
Personally I'd disagree, but then the contracts I deal ith are delivering far more to the operational user than we would have managed had we continued to manage that ourselves.


we should cut our cloth according to our means.
Or increase our expenditure to reflect our Foreign Policy aspirations.
 
#10
ukdaytona said:
Is the real issue the fact that kit isnt upto scratch, its being used in an environment it was not inteded for and when it breaks down then depending on what money is left in the pot may or may not get spent buying the equipment to fix the problems?
There ya go, answered your own question.
 
#11
Oil_Slick said:
ukdaytona said:
Is the real issue the fact that kit isnt upto scratch, its being used in an environment it was not inteded for and when it breaks down then depending on what money is left in the pot may or may not get spent buying the equipment to fix the problems?
There ya go, answered your own question.
Yeah but we have no political master who has either a spine or the balls to put the money in place to allow the guys n gals on the ground to do the job they expect them to do with the equipment they deserve because it is tied up in various deptartmental discussions over what is /isnt required or necessary. Its about time these departments had visibal representation from those on the front line, maybe a returning RSM who actually knows whats needed, where and when to unblock the channels
 
#12
ukdaytona said:
Oil_Slick said:
ukdaytona said:
Is the real issue the fact that kit isnt upto scratch, its being used in an environment it was not inteded for and when it breaks down then depending on what money is left in the pot may or may not get spent buying the equipment to fix the problems?
There ya go, answered your own question.
Yeah but we have no political master who has either a spine or the balls to put the money in place to allow the guys n gals on the ground to do the job they expect them to do with the equipment they deserve because it is tied up in various deptartmental discussions over what is /isnt required or necessary. Its about time these departments had visibal representation from those on the front line, maybe a returning RSM who actually knows whats needed, where and when to unblock the channels

The biggest problem will always be the NIH stamp and saving a couple of hundred jobs in some constituency.

It always trumps buying something off the shelf for half the price delivered in a quarter of the time.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#13
Re: Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment t

The real problem that Karma is alluding to is that we simply don't get enough capital up front assigned to the MoD. Our Equipment Programmes (the EP) and the Short Term Programmes (STP) are our way of delivering capability. The EP buys the big items (WMIK fleets, T45 etc), STP is our way of supporting and sustaining these capabilities.

The issue at the momement is there are so many requests for EP money the programme is vastly overheated and cuts are having to be made. Remember EP covers everything from ASTUTE, T45, DII F, to new builds (SLAM), and because these are so big they take a long time to authorise and fund - I can't see that 10 years ago someone realised we'd be in Helmand and would need agile, mobile and armoured vehicles.

STP is another matter again, this is your money in your hand each year from the Treasury and as with the EP there are too many demands so we have to choose what to spend the money on and also have to take cuts in the STP too.

I've not even got into UOR and USUR - Urgent Operational Requirements and Urgent Sustainability User Requirements. These pop out of operational theatres and identify a real need to commit funds NOW. Either they can absorb funding from the Conflict Prevention Fund (a treasury bucket for the Global War on Terror) or take money from the EP and STP. The net effect is whilst they are undeniably urgent, they delay or cancel EP and STP programmes.

Result: a pot mess. The only way to stop this is to inject lots of new money into the EP or to take a look at the programmes and decide in the cold light of day do we need them all?

Personally I cannot see any significant operational benefit of proceeding with DII F. Its hugely late, monsterously overpriced and adds nothing to OC but costs billions - delete it from the EP then look at the deterrant.
 
#14
Oil_Slick said:
The biggest problem will always be the NIH stamp and saving a couple of hundred jobs in some constituency.

It always trumps buying something off the shelf for half the price delivered in a quarter of the time.
I agree that sometimes the 'off the shelf' buy is the thing to do, but with it it does bring costs that do not appear in the headline figures, both in terms of support, and in lost revenue to the treasury. The dividing line between an ofshore buy being good or being bad is often much more difficult to determine. I know my company has both lost jobs and thus opportunities from the choice to buy offshore, and those are lost for god, and equally I know companies who have done well from such choices and now have significant export business as a result. Equally my company has significant export business from the MOD excercising it's NIH prerogative and these go on long after the initital programme is dead and buried. It is very much swings and roundabouts, sometimes we get the balance right sometimes wrong.

And remember some of our off the shelf buys have not worked out that well, remeber Apache
 
#15
Re: Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment t

wave_dodger said:
Personally I cannot see any significant operational benefit of proceeding with DII F. Its hugely late, monsterously overpriced and adds nothing to OC but costs billions - delete it from the EP then look at the deterrant.
I'd agree that the value from DII/F, and particularly DII/F(D) is pretty questionable, the snag is it's not been funded from the EP. Almost all of the funding has been STP and frequently raped from other programmes.

It's a bloody good example of how not to run a large IS programme.

Plus the fact the design is early 90s vintage......
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
#16
Re: Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment t

DII is a core EP programme. The FD component is ludicrously over priced and offers very little capability as compared to some current C2 sysyems that are currently being tech refreshed. Its been a long running joke for a while but we're at the point where rebadging our current systems may be the only way we see DII/FD.

In fact DII and JC2SP are two of the major programme that have required extra money to be take from the STP. Quite bizarre that even with these extra sources of funding they too are now being cut.

Whatever way we do it, we do it wrong.

As a complete aside, one of the main technical/infrastructre architects is a lad who I served with in Sultan. Once he left he never looked back and after eshewing MoD related posts he was given DII. The design isn't too bad, and has potential to offer lots idc but the here in now isn't so rosey. The EDMS has no backwards compatability to DII/C and in the first release there isn't even an EDMS!

Sort of begs the question why do we have to move from DII/C? Answer, only because we're in a contract. We could just get Atlas to build 2-3 Interoperability Gateways and we'd be 80% better off than we are now.
 
#17
Re: Isnt it time the folks on the ground got the equipment t

wave_dodger said:
DII is a core EP programme.
I didn't realise it had been taken into core, tbh I'm surprised, the absense of effective governance early in the programme would never have got through the gateway process.

The FD component is ludicrously over priced and offers very little capability as compared to some current C2 sysyems that are currently being tech refreshed.
Agreed, see my previous about governance.

Its been a long running joke for a while but we're at the point where rebadging our current systems may be the only way we see DII/FD.
It's already happened with some systems. That was what I was getting at with the 90s vintage comment. Hideously inefficient and doesn't exploit the new comms systems across the purple environment.

.... only because we're in a contract....
And they're lawyers are better than our lawyers.
 
#18
Maxi_77 said:
Oil_Slick said:
And remember some of our off the shelf buys have not worked out that well, remeber Apache
Well the problem with Apache was not the helo… it was another example of yet again not buying the model that everyone else was happy with, we had to build it ourself and fit all our own bespoke kit into it…


The costs to the MoD of all this UK specific kit must be horrendous…

Some cases in point?

We're still dicking about with a proprietary 4.5" gun when there is a perfectly good 5" option available along with all the gucchi shells that go with it.

A fortune spent developing Spearfish and now it looks like we will buy the US Mk48 ADCAP which we could have bought in the first place.

The staggeringly expensive SAMPSON radar for our T45's, AEGIS does the job and works perfectly well.

The Challenger II tank, instead of building the MI Abrahms under licence we spend a fortune developing Challenger II hoping for big export sales that as usual never mature. Now we are spending another fortune converting them to Rheinmettal 120mm smooth bore guns like they should have had in the start, so we can use standard US rounds because we can't afford to develop bespoke rounds for the UK specific rifled 120mm.

And don't even get me going on the Nimrod AWACS fiasco!!!
 
#19
But would changing to the 5" be a good idea just as the key supplier changers to 155mm, the 4.5" has stayed partly because they knew 155mm was coming and because the cost of changing to 5" would have eaten up the savings.

As for the 48 I suspect it is only now actually becoming affordable, it certainly wasn't when it was introduced, it made the 24 look very cheap.

Don't be taken in by the unit price you see for US kit, the real price you pay is often a lot more for a variet of reasons, not least because the apparently low prices you often see qhoted are the raw unit production prices and uncle sam always wants his cut of the development cost as well, and US development costs make ours look very cheap by comparison.

Mind you we do have a good ability to pay 50% for the last 5% performance, and until we change that it will not matter who we buy from.
 
#20
Maxi_77 said:
But would changing to the 5" be a good idea just as the key supplier changers to 155mm, the 4.5" has stayed partly because they knew 155mm was coming and because the cost of changing to 5" would have eaten up the savings.

As for the 48 I suspect it is only now actually becoming affordable, it certainly wasn't when it was introduced, it made the 24 look very cheap.

Mind you we do have a good ability to pay 50% for the last 5% performance, and until we change that it will not matter who we buy from.
Well the Navy has been toying with a switch to a 5" gun since 1950, the obvious point to switch was when they decided to go with an automatic mount, the OTO Malera 5" was an obvious choice instead of developing the 4.5 Mk 8

Moving to a 155? I'll believe that when I see it, I don't think there is even a requirement issued for one. Fitting the Mk8 on the 45's was a daft move… the USN's 5" Mk 45 will go to 60nm's with ERPGMs and is available off the shelf from BAE who own United Defence who build it!

Well the Mk24 was cheap… and bloody nasty! Failed acceptance trails but was still issued with a less than 40% reliablity record on a good day, and a 100% out of 5 shots failure rate on a bad day

Now your last comment is really at the heart of the problem… the obsessive gold plating of systems… "Honest Minister, for an extra 5% we can make it 50% better than system 'X' that the French/Yanks/Germans developed'

Usually ends up costing 50% more for 5% less capability… :(
 
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