More money for the MOD....dream on

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by wet_blobby, Nov 30, 2007.

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  1. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    D'oh, Cheers for post title Blobbs.

    I thought someone was offering to pay ME.
  3. Well if the MOD stopped buying Gold Plated toys and stopped trying to reinvent everyone elses wheel they would keep ending up in financial shithole.

    Typhoon - Expensive F-18 copy

    Challenger - Expensive M1 Abrams copy

    T45 - Expensive Arleigh Burke copy

    Astute - Expensive Virginia SSN copy

    SA80 - Expensive AR18 copy

    The list is long…
  4. The list is perhaps not as long as you think and does forget some points.

    Any of the US kit mentioned there would not have been sold with any ability to tamper with the software, whcih apart from the SA80/AR18 is a fundamental part of the sytem funtionality. No new or improved kit on the UOR path as you can't change the software, and of course the US supplier will have his hands full soritng out US updates.

    Having full UK control of the key software source code is an important part of real operational capability and even with the agreement on JSF is not as transparent as you might think. There is a lot of good value both in terms of cash and capability in having the system integration done in the UK.

    Finally I haven't looked at the other programme finances but for Astute even if they build the planned 30 the total price per copy of the Virginia taking into account design and engineering as well as actually building the boat is still higher than the Astutes price per copy. And that is not taking account of the extras we would have to pay for important things like right hand drive, beer fridges etc

  5. Yes, I keep hearing that justification from MOD but they seem to forget that the rest of the world seems to be able to operate just fine with off the shelf US kit even without full access to the codes.

    Sounds like me it's more to do with putting up a case to protect jobs in Labour constituencies 'up north'.
  6. It's all down to the Defence Industrial Strategy, specifically the part about retaining a national capability to build these toys.
  7. And you're suggesting this is a bad thing?
  8. No, I'm saying that if we want to be able to build these things, we need to invest the money in retaining that capability, something that Brown and his ilk have forgotten. Wait for the cost of CVF to go north: we haven't built a carrier in over 20 years: where is the expertise now?
  9. Appreciate what your saying now, and generally I'd agree.

  10. That's the theory, but in practice our ambitions don't match our financial abilities.

    Result? Gucchi new UK specific kit with little export potential kit ordered in dribs and drabs until the order is eventually cut and the unit cost spirals into orbit.

    In theory we need all the code etc as the ability to upgrade is a great idea, but in reality, how often do we do it and is it such an issue?

    MOD seems to be able to build in and hang UK kit off the Apache without too much drama.

    We need to get a grip. Too much money is drained away on reinventing new toys instead of buying off the shelf toys. We are promised the UK designed toy will be the Rolls Royce of Toys when in reality a 'Land Rover' version bought in decent numbers would do just fine.
  11. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Not sure if anybody has been following the whole FRES debarcle/ ongoing procurement cycle (CADMID and all that), rumours are that the Lord Drayson resigned over this affair (rather than his actual stated reason of pursuing motorsport interests) I don't know what truth there is in that but a few articles about it:

    This from the Telegraph in February: LINK

    In July 2005 I reported an extraordinary scene in Westminster Hall, when only two MPs were present for a debate on an Army project known as FRES (Future Rapid Effect System). One of them, Don Touhig, a junior defence minister, announced to the other, Tory backbencher Ann Winterton, who had raised the issue, that the cost of FRES had now risen from £6 billion to £14 billion, making it easily the most expensive equipment project in the Army's history.

    Last week the Defence Select Committee published a report on FRES that was almost as bizarre, because it appeared that, 18 months later, the MPs did not really have any idea what FRES is about............

    This from today's Telegraph: LINK

    Ministers were also accused of seeking to disguise the fact that the £10 billion project for a "battle-field taxi" armoured vehicle - known as the Future Rapid Effect System - was slipping further behind schedule.

    And this from today's Times: LINK

    The Army’s biggest equipment procurement programme, which is already late and costing at least £14 billion, is going back to the drawing board after disappointing field trials.

    The Ministry of Defence had been expected to announce this week the winner of a contract to design the basic utility version of a new generation of armoured vehicles.

    The eventual contract will be to supply more than 3,000 vehicles for up to 16 battlefield roles, including troop-carrying, reconnaissance and combat.

    Three options for the proposed Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) were put to the test in the summer. But defence sources admitted that there remained a number of unexpected problems and it was not yet possible to choose any of the three vehicles on offer. The three options were the Piranha, built by the US company General Dynamics; the VBCI, offered by the French company Nexter; and the Boxer, a Dutch/German design.

    An announcement by the MoD had been expected today, but defence sources said that more work was now needed, and the only statement would be that final decisions have had to be postponed. The in-service date for FRES is said to have slipped from 2009 to “some time in the next decadeâ€.

    Debarcle or just press speculation?
  12. Surely it's better for the money to be given to a British company, or to put it another way, paid to British workers. If it's paid to the yanks the money disappears but if it goes to UK workers the money eventually finds it's way back to HM's coffers through taxes, VAT etc.
  13. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I think it's a little more complicated than that! There's the moral argument, servicemen and women are public servants, when we send them into a battlefield surely they should get the the best kit regardless of cost or source? But then there is the political argument, UK jobs, Uk economy UK scientific and Engineering capability development.

    Procurement should be in the interest of the former with regard to the latter. The reality though is that jobless Joe doesn't vote for governments who farm his work abroad so procurement is carried out in the interests of the latter with respect only to the latter. The defence budget relies on this philosophy, a large part of the equipment budget returns to the government as corporate and personal taxes, there really is much smoke and mirrors involved.

    It's a cynical post I know but some of the articles I have seen this week with regard to FRES lead me to honestly believe that politics will always be more important than equipping our people. Most of the people involved in procurement are genuinely doing their level best by the troops on the ground to meet their needs, however their efforts are often handcuffed by the people who think they matter. The people who have often forgotten that they don't represent UK PLC, they represent the people of the UK, all of them not just the ones in marginal elections seats!
  14. FRES!

    Now there is a classic example of MOD navel gazing, gold plating and brainfarting a project into touch.

    What they want is a Piranha LAV, not too expensive, proven design, does the job, available off the shelf, battle proven, the only people who will actually fight alongside us, the Yanks, Canucks and Ozzies use loads of them and it fits in a Herc.

    So do we ring up MOWAG and buy a licence and build them? Nope, we spend a gazzilion on R&D, committees, drive offs and all so we can be seen to be doing some 'competitive tendering' bollox and letting people who wouldn't buy our kit if we were to offer them blow jobs for life bid to flog us their crap kit.

    NEXTER, Frog piece of shit built by Renault and we know how shiite their cars are, BOXER, typically Kraut, über designed, über large and über expensive.

    SO we'll spend years arseing around looking at all the options knowing full well we want the Pirahna but have to be seen to be playing fair with the Euro Johhnies.
  15. FRES - Part Duex.

    Reading Janes this morning and FRES gets a mention.

    Well waddya know… it's bogged down for exactly the reason I suspected.

    Army wants the the combat proven and 9,000 in service Piranha, Goobermint wants to buy the Froggie NEXTER on the rather fanciful dream that it will become part of some bigger joint UK/France defence co-operation deal.

    FFS!@! We got shafted by the Frogs over Eurofighter, same again with Horizon, (hence we bought a froggie VLS instead of the far more flexible and CHEAPER US Mk41 VLS), we'll probably end up bending over and taking it in the derriere with CVF too…and we're buying some crapshit and still to actually fly A-400 transports instead of the preferred C-17's and C-130

    It seems our idiot politicians never learns...
  16. Poses the question, shouldn't military procurement decisions be made by military personnel? After all they work with it, in many cases they will live in it.

    Surely they know what is needed on the battlefield, as unlike the politicians that send them there, they know the limitations of the battlefield. Wouldn't they will make the decision based on what will get them the best piece of kit for the budget they are given, regardless of political persuasion or keeping the French or Yanks happy.

    It must be better than a department headed formerly by a man seemingly more interested in racing cars than the kit our troops use.

    [Only problem is Norman would complain it might justify a few "Lt Cmds" jobs!]

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