An Infanteers gripes and bewilderment!

Discussion in 'Tanks, planes & ships' started by untitled, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. Ok, firstly, i don't profess to know all there is to know about equipment and the procurement of said equipment. I've come here looking for answers off the people who may though:

    As a serving infantryman i stumble upon articles on future kit through the various literary items knocking about and also obviously witness first-hand the introduction of this new kit. There are some things however about this stuff we're purchasing and introducing that are really pecking at my head though. In an age where we are constantly told this stuff is the best available to the serving soldier and meeting the needs of the modern British Army, i find myself becoming extremely disillusioned with the whole system. Now, i'm not naive enough to believe some of the crap i'm being told and i'm acutely aware that as an infanteer, i will never be satisfied but could someone perhaps explain some of the reasons behind the following:

    Husky: I've seen this thing first hand in theatre and i have to say, im not impressed. What is it bringing to the table that was so urgent for it to be introduced? Really, come on those in the know...i'm left scratching my head. From my experiences, and they may be different to others so perhaps i never saw this thing in the role it was intended for (whatever that is), this MRAP brought nothing to the table that Panther couldn't. We used it for route domination and re-supply. Perhaps it is because it's smaller and more maneuverable than Mastiff and Ridgeback? But the fact that i saw it get stuck in less than a foot of mud under just the one wheel on a number of occasions suggest that it's too heavy and underpowered to help itself out when the going gets tough. The yanks came to bail us out regularly. Were they really just acquired so we could dominate some roads in the green-zone? What the hell are we going to do with them when the conflict is over? Scrap them like the...

    Bulldog:
    Update then discard so soon? I understand these are now surplus to requirements. Reasons? Not IED resistant maybe? If so, what were we going to do when we encountered an enemy that used AT mines? Oh i know, we'll buy the ASCOD 2 instead another flat bottomed, tracked vehicle that holds troops for dismounted combat! Genius. I'm sure i saw something similar to that recently... oh yeah i did, the Warrior. The mind boggles.

    Future Lynx We need Heli's and decent ones at that. So, smart decisions are needed. The super bright boffins of wherever have committed to updating the Lynx. You know, that tiny airframe that can only hold 4 troops or something equally as piss-poor. So instead of buying the awesome Blackhawk which can hold 12 soldiers for less than the price of this Lynx, we'll stick with an airframe that does....erm... besides incredibly poor and ineffective air support we once had off one...well, i saw the Lynx come to my PB to drop a bergen off for some idiot from 16AA. Utilizing all that cabin space, it was.

    Actually imagine how rapid and effective we would be if we had those Blackhawks?! But obviously that would make the Army far too mobile and destructive and we can't have that can we?

    Can you see why i'm wondering what the hell we're playing at? Those examples are just the tip of the iceberg i'm sure. Now, what time does that outrage bus depart? Or is it being re-fitted to the tune of endless sums of money for little or no benefit to anyone...?!
     
  2. British Military Procurement Mysteries - ARRSEpedia

    Future Lynx is already mentioned. Please feel free to add your 4p worth.

    The Reasons -
    1) It is built in a Marginal constituency.
    2) The person responsible for buying it wants to get a nice retirement job as a Non-Executive Director on the board of the manufacturer.
    3) It is Cheap
    4) They do a rather spiffing lunch with Champagne in their Hospitality Tent at the Farnborough Air Show.
    5) The person buying it works for the MOD and the closest he will get to seing it in Combat is the Hospitality Tent at the Farnborough Air Show.
    6) The DVD of the weapon system produced by the manufacturer is very clever with lots of CGI - or looks very clever after 2 bottles of Vintage Veuve Cliquot at the Farnborough Air Show.

    I think that covers most of the reasons.
     
  3. I think you missed one of the key points:

    7) Blackhawk would count as a "large helicopter", therefore would be flown by Crabair instead of the AAC.
     
  4. Yet another example of Light Blue empire building!! Why can we not see our way to supplying equipment for the task in hand? The Army need "Large Helicopters". Army pilots (often NCOs and WOs) can be trained to fly them just as easily as Crab ruperts, though I suppose that's another reason - only Crab ruperts can be pilots properly don't you know!

    I remember doing a heliborne assault for Bruggen's ORT many years ago. 2 Chinooks (rupert pilots), flight of Lynx (mainly WO/SNCO pilots) and 3 sodding big German Army CH-53s. Look of horror from the crabs when the 3 WO pilots hopped out!!!!! Mind you it was fun dumping 3 1/2 companies of infantry onto Bruggen!!!! hehehe
     
  5. Yeah, you're right. I missed out inter service willy waving.
     
  6. Cheaper than a Blackhawk? Surely Future Lynx can't be cheaper than an off the shelf, battle-proven, battle-winning shit kicker like the Blackhawk?
     
  7. Let's see - 62 helicopters (34 for the AAC, 28 for the Andrew) for £1billion - before cost over-runs, new kit added to make it work (so it can carry even fewer troops), storage costs for the 31 that will go and live in a warehouse because we've forgotten that we'll need pilots etc, etc.

    Blackhawk unit cost? About $20 million, apparently - $30 million for the Seahawk. So, actually (assuming the project comes in anything like on budget), Wildcat will be about the same (£1 = $1.56 atm.) For a far less capable airframe. Although I don't know what support and training etc costs are factored in to those "straight off the intertubes thanks to Mr Google" numbers.
     
  8. I can't comment on F Lynx, but I believe that the Husky was bought to fulfil the percieved need in Theatre for a medium weight, blast-protected Tactical Support Vehicle. None of the other vehicles that you mention are suitable for carrying stores. I suppose that the equivalent, unprotected vehicle would be the Pinzgauer TUM(HD).

    Bulldog is even easier one to explain. With the never-ending wait for a new Utility Vehicle (FRES UV), upgrading our in-service ones (FV432) was probably a reasonable idea at the time. However, with our lovely friends at HMT currently requiring the MOD to find savings of 'flat real plus 7.5%', a bloody big axe is currently being taken to the equipment programme. This will inevitably include withdrawing some in-service stuff without it being replaced. Just about everything new is going to be cut or pushed out to the right. If you have any complaints, please may I refer you to that nice Mr Osborne at No 11.

    You seem confused on the role for Scout, which is replacing Scimitar and won't carry dismounts.
     
  9. It's all to do-as far as I can see-with the top of our food chain turning into civvies at Whitehall.
    George wants a war, we've just finished paying for WW2 so George asks Tony how we are fixed cos we've got spare dosh.
    Tony asks the MOD to plan for a re run of the Gulf.
    The MOD naturally say OK so off we go.
    Sky TV are all over the coverage and it soon becomes apparent that whilst the British Tom is more or less the same as he ever was (top notch) he's getting killed in part from having crap equipment.
    Que public outcry(from a public who never wanted the war mind).
    Tony shits himself and promptly tells the MOD to stop getting people killed.
    The MOD says soz Tone- this tends to happen in war, but if you give us shitloads of cash we will go to all the usual civvy defence procurement bods and let them go crazy with new ideas and we'll buy it.
    They did, Thanks says Tone- now it looks like I care for the Toms.
    The legacy is that you end up with some pretty pointless bits of kit in Afghan that we have to look after.
    For example I give you
    L/R Snatch II=an absolutely brilliant vehicle.Top of it's class at counter IED threat. (If that threat is considered to be a member of PIRA chucking a petrol bomb at it on the Falls Road in 1976, not Terry's IED of stacked AT mines on an MSR in Helmand).
     
  10. Cold_Collation

    Cold_Collation LE Book Reviewer

    May I humbly suggest instead the previous-but-one incumbent of No.11? It seems somehow fairer that way.
     
  11. I can only answer a few of these, which I hope might help:

    Husky was bought for tactical re-supply. The advantages over Panther is that it carries a much heavier load, and will keep you alive if you run over anything bigger than a chinese firecracker.
    As to your last question, like all UOR equipment, after Afghanistan is done the Treasury will require us to sell off our UOR kit, or pay to take it into core capability.

    Upgraded 432 to supplement WR for Mech Inf Bns, and specific to Iraq. It was fine on roads (i.e. majority of MND(SE)), but would have been a liability in most of Afghanistan.
    As to ASCOD 2 - don't be decieved by the flat-versus-vee hull saga. The Israeli Namer APC is based on a Merkava tank chassis, and has only of the highest levels of underbody blast protection in the world - there's more to it than angle! Also, the ASCOD 2 being purchased as FRES Scout will replace CVR(T) in the recce role - it's not an IFV.
     
  12. You may,and you would have a valid point. After the war (WWII), has any government ever increased public on defence from a spending review?
     
  13. I think the number of UOR's has a been a way to spend on defence without seen to be spending on defence. After all, it an Urgent requirement!
     
  14. X59

    X59 LE

    Cracking post. Spot on.
     
  15. I think you're right.
    One of the many dramas to fall out of the UOR program- which has had the plug pulled now by the way because we're skint-is that a lot of the new specialised kit in theatre is unsupported by military technical publications. Meaning that the only people who can fix it are civvies at the nearest safe location (£££). Worse-as in them Kawasaki Quad bikes- once it's knackard it was to be denied and written off.... again (£££).

    Cheers X59!