Times: "MoD mulls RFA outsourcing options"

Discussion in 'RFA' started by soleil, Jan 15, 2010.

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  1. Just having read through the article again, I'm a bit bewildered as to why the sub-editor has entitled it "Mod mulls outsourcing options for the Merchant Navy"
  2. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    There are obviously people in the MoD who don't have the slightest idea of what the RFA is or does.
  3. Yeah, apparently it's bollocks...

    ...most of the country doesn't know what the RFA is all about, they think it's to do with plummy homosexuals and black and white spitfires etc... that includes HM's (dysfunctional, and subsequently empty) Treasury.

    It's not the first time this sort of thing has been floated (bu-bum, tish)
    2006 review...
    http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Interna ... eId=100673
    ...result: the current set up is the best value way of doing all this stuff.

    As if they're going to scrap the RFA or subcontract it out to developing-world-foreign-passport-holding commercial fleets in the middle of a war! Come on... it's bluff and bluster... politics and paperwork design to create the flimsy illusion that the flaky government has got both hands on the wheel, and the bus hasn't skidded off the road.

    Recent events: Prince Volkswagen on Bahamas drug busts; Haiti; Iraq; Afghanistan; Somali/Yemen coast, pretty much illustrate the financial value of the RFA... especially with high-value unarmed container ships traversing the most pirate-infested maritime apertures.

    ...and don't forget what the Media is there to do... sell dubious information by winding up as many people with attention-seeking images; melodramatic sound-bites; pithy headlines; and logically fallacious malconstructed and illiterate lowest-common-denominator polemic prose.

    ...my money's on them squeezing more expensive and technologically irrelevant elements of the defence budget that don't bring bad news stories about "British jobs", like Trident for instance. The RFA is a relatively cheap way for the government to project it's "Corporate Social Responsibility" globally; at worst they might lose a couple of old single-hull ships, and make sure that future designs are more multi-platform.

    ...but what do I know, I'm just some tit off the internet! :twisted:
  4. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Seaweed wrote
    It's surely The Time's ignorance, not the MOD's.

    promsan wrote



    from the internet, but yes.
  5. In all fairness, parts of the MoD does show ignorance with regard to the RFA. The “attractive†option appears to be that the Contractor provides the ship and all the sticky out bits that RFAs need and the basic manpower to makes it function. The RFA then occupy the said ship, fitted out with their specifically warry stuff, to ply their trade. Not good news for RFA plumbers, cooks and stewards. I hope, though, that someone will explain to the likes of Fisher and the dim parts of MoD why RFAs have more souls on board than conventional merchantmen and spend so much more time alongside.

    I must admit that I originally dismissed this as part of the standard “alternative assumption†kite flying bollox that bean counter central are so keen on. It’s amazing what extremes paranoia over single skin hulls and a lack of money to replace them can inspire, though.
  6. It's "The Times" you chunk... I mean, really, if you're going try and use pedantry as a surrogate for genuine wit, at least use a phucking spellchecker on your own drivel... I'm dyslexic, what's your excuse?!

    Yeah, did you miss something?

    That's what I thought when I read it.

    Nope it's "off" where I'm from, as in "F" + "off", you tit.
    So as I explained I'm a tit, what does that make you for replying to me? a wit? or just a witless bore?
  7. Here, some webshite for those who can be arsed to read before attempting to entertain us with their pithy wit:

    The last one not entirely out of date, as some of the gear described is maybe still on the cards, but might be modified I suppose, or made out of lego... whichever's cheapest probably.
  8. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8489308.stm

    Quote "The materials weigh more than 55 tons and will be transported on RFA Largs Bay along with other urgent relief supplies.

    The Department for International Development said in a statement it had "worked with our suppliers to purchase as many of these sheets as could be manufactured to the required standard in the time available" before the ship sails.

    The government said it was "considerably cheaper" to ship iron from the UK than purchase it in Haiti's neighbouring country, the Dominican Republic."

    If thats not value for money I don't know what it!
  9. The Government needs to have the bollox to do before and after studies on other services that were privatised before they 'mull' selling off something else...

    Sadly, that will never happen because they would have to admit that privatisation was a BAD idea, particularly in services still provided to the MoD. Costs have soared and the quality of service has inevitably declined as those now commercial organisations do what they must to remain competetive.

    Mind you, it'll be a vote-winner as the money will come from a different budget so they will be seen to be cutting spending on defence and Joe Taxpayer doesn't realise that a few years down the line, his taxes will increase because we will be spending so much more for the same (or lesser) services.
  10. That's it in a nutshell really... recent governments are generally short-termist in outlook, and the reason IMO is the rise of the media and it's culture of demanding constant justification without elucidation... that, and the fact that government is dominated by lawyers - both politician-laywers and their adviser-lawyers... vultures, the lot of 'em.

    Frankly, with the results of democracy in this country, I'm starting to feel we'd be better off reverting to an absolute monarchy - same outcome, less expense (on useless Fagin-like MPs and the paraphenalia of elections).

    Defence spending (and frankly, all the major functions of government) might be better taken out of the hands of mere grasping politicians - with their beady eyes on how the Media will spin it! :lol:

    Perhaps some kind of independent external longtermist spending body would be better... the treasury setting the budget, but the actual decisionmaking on distribution made by stakeholders - i.e.: experts: the defence chiefs of staff; academics; industry... the state is too fat and incompetent; & too distant to understand the implications of its decisions.

    ...you could arguably apply the same rule of thumb to most government departments, it seems to me... Media, Government, Laws... too much of all of it, and the result is a right sodding mess... bring on the revolution! :twisted:
  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    promsan wrote
    I don't doubt the utility and value for money that the RFA offers Defence but (once again) Afghanistan? What is the RFA's contribution to that theatre?
  12. My mistake, I got the numbers the wrong way round:




    I still maintain that the mere presence of Bay class and tankers supporting ships is all part of the effort even less obvious places like Afghanistan.


    The fact that they are there enables ships like Lusty to engage in diplomatic ops (of which this is but one example) with regional neighbours, which all counts as indirect support in my book.


    The fartknockers in Whitehall ought to read between the lines and appreciate what the RFA is ultimately really for - global diplomacy...
  13. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    I see what you are getting at promsan, but the example you picked isn't a good one. The chuck ups for that particular op were spread far and wide. A P2000 visiting Lerwick at the time narrowly escaped getting some credit.
  14. Downing Street has published a reponse to the Save the RFA e-petition:

    Another case of waiting until after the election, it seems.
  15. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    Err how do you think all that lovely ammunition and heavy lift stores get to AFGN. (Clue we use the Point Class ships - yes I know sort of not RFA but they sort of are - and they sail to Pakistan and offload for road transport) . And for that matter who do you think is topping up the US carriers and ships providing aircraft to fly over. (A clue the on station tankers one of which is an RFA).
  16. Thanks Guns. Found this on wiki:

    Point class sealift ship
    I have to admit this was a new one on me. It looks as though the RFA is already semi-privatised.
  17. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Guns, I was under the impression that the current suite of RFA tankers couldn't replenish the US Carriers and indeed won't be able to replenish our own next generation of carriers, hence (one of the reasons) for the MARS project. Key RFA Officers and Ratings are in full on appointments in the American auxiliaries that can. Or were a couple of years ago.

    Still, I'm happy to be shown otherwise.
  18. The principal reason for MARS is that with the exception of the Waves, none of our remaining tankers (or the AOR for that matter) are compliant with MARPOL regulations - particularly double-hulling.

    The Leafs are perfectly capable of RAS-ing our CVS "adequately" or the US CVN poorly - it's just that with the single 6" rig and the pumps available the transfer rate is pitiful (the yanks use two double 7" probe rigs - 4 hoses at higher flow rates).

    When CVF arrives, the combined F76 & F44 requirement is such that the current tankers would be equally pitiful - hence the Fleet Tanker project which has so far managed to be utterly incapable of buying what are (admittedly significantly modified) product tankers in the middle of a shipbuilding recession......
  19. this is true, the last time I RASed a US CVN it went on for nearly twelve hours, and the pumps were knackered. And they dont use much dieso as theyre nuclear, but their avcat usage is unbelievable. and avcat is a twat to pump as it has no lubricating properties and if the recirc is high the pumps gas up and overheat. The problem we'll have when we get our new carriers is that theyre going to need F76 and F44. the Invincible and Ark already take a 1000cz every two three days of F76 and with Harriers and merlins on board their Avcat goes up considerably. none of our ships with maybe the Waves will be able to cope with a CVF and youre going to need two rigs which only the AOR and AO have. The AOR's can easily pump 1000cz per hour but only the carriers will take that sort of rate. The other thing that seems to be forgotten is that if we're going to do this type of RAS there will have to be two RAS teams on two rigs (which I'm sure mearsk wont have) plus the back up for when the T22, T45, T23 wants fuel on the other side. the AORs look big but they carry next to nothing in capacity and would never keep up with a US CVNs needs. Waves arent much better as most of the capacity is taken up with the double skin.

    we do have a Bosun and executive officer on loan to the US RFA equivalent, for CVN ras experience and feedback for the new fleet tankers. (cant imagine them being chuffed with their ships being dry but at least theyre getting a nice jolly)

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