'Astonishing' Errors In MoD Aircraft Deal

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Dunc0936, Sep 16, 2010.

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  1. Another Cock up or press spin???

    Ministry Of Defence Accused Of Failures Over Aircraft Contract: Public Accounts Committee Slam MoD | Politics | Sky News

    MPs on the influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have said the MoD agreed to the biggest Public Finance Initiative (PFI) - even though it had no idea if it provided value for money.

    According to a PAC report, the taxpayer also faces a further bill of hundreds of millions of pounds to equip the aircraft with sufficient protection to fly on Afghanistan missions. Condemning the fact it took nine years before the final 27-year deal was struck with AirTanker in 2008, the MPs have also pointed out that no other country has used PFI - which is more suitable for "building schools or hospitals" - for defence contracts.

    There may be better imformed people on Arrse than me on this subject, but would it have not been cheaper to have bought fleet of Airbus or Boeing Aircraft ourselfs then convert them into tankers and transport aircraft and manage them in house, I seem to remember that the original idea was that they were meant to be used as civi airliners when the MOD did not want them, but I can't see how this is going to work????

  2. Duncan,

    Lots of other people could not see how the plan was going to work, either!!!

    To be fair to the Ministry, the financing of the project through a PFI was Treasury driven. The RAF said "we need it". The Service Chiefs said "we need this" and the Treasury said "buy it through the PFI because you can't have the cash up-front". I think it might have been better had the PAC looked at this major purchase somewhat sooner because they might have forced the Treasury into backing down.

    However, this is just another one of the many unaffordable projects to which the MoD signed up.

  3. no apprantly it was innovative and clever and the little people did'nt understand.
    bit like bank of scotland and over complicated banking ideas.
    mind you the raf desperatly needed something anything rather than the shagged tristars and vc10s
  4. Poor planning, late, over budget, unfit for purpose, no surprise………….

    Sad really isn’t it? When 67 years ago we could build a Wellington bomber from scratch and have it flying in 23 hours and 50 minutes.

  5. And the best bit is, the contract means you can't use any other tankers, so no A400M's in the tanker role. Although they all come plumbed and ready......nice.
  6. I think its one of those cases where the MOD knew full well that the PFI option was a total cluster, but was told by the Govt of the day that it was PFI or bust as no money was available for a conventional buy. The MOD is now in the impossible situation of having to go through with something that it knows is the wrong option because it was told to by the Government, and due to the niceties of constitutional government, is obliged to maintain the facade that this is actually a terribly good idea.

    The one area I have some sympathy for is the fact that it took a while to decide we wanted DAS on the airframes - don't forget that TELIC and HERRICK did not exist back when we came up with this harebrained scheme, and it was doubtless thought unlikely that we'd want to sustain a multi-year airbridge into a hot warzone with a strategic A/T fleet.
  7. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    If this is the fault of the Treasury, then surely they should fork out the cash for it. I know that that will never happen and nthe treasury will never admit to any failure, but that is where the political pressure should be placed. (Which is probably the reason for the story being 'leaked' :) )
  8. Gold plated and diamond tipped cock up

    Even the bird behind the counter in the NAAFI could have seen this contract was 100% shite

    Correct, becaue some mong had the genius idea the tankers could be hired out as commercial transports when we we'rnt using them.

    Correct, PFI is insane for gear that's intended to get broken and shot at.

    We can buy the tankers fully fitted out, 100% combat capable and 100% ready to roll from AIRBUS for a fraction of what this PFI deal is costing us with a lead time of about a year.

    MRTT Solution
  9. Not news really. NAO has been going on about this for a while now and been a well known fiasco for years before that.

    Treasury (i.e. Brown, G.) said it had to be PFI or bust so PFI it was, for better or worse. In this case far worse, because this really is up there as one of the worst misuses of PFI.
  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Yep, HMT lead the field in forcing the MOD into expensive cock-ups, and God only knows the MOD are pretty good at it themselves, without assistance.

    FSTA is one of those wonderful contracts that not only ties us in for well over two decades, but also will cost more to cancel than it will to continue with. Result!
  11. When the A300M first turned up it had the wrong airframe if i remember.

    But even with fitting extras, it's supposed to be a worthy replacement for VC-10 and the Hercules we're supposed to be scrapping.

  12. FSTA uses the mucho bigger A330
  13. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Although it has been ongoing for a long time the contract was signed in 2008, where were the armed forces deployed in 2008
  14. I'm not usually a "hang the governemnt" sort of chap, and would not advocate the return of the Athenian model of democracy (you vote for your generals but you focus their minds on the job by killing them if they don't win the war).

    However, where this sort of decision comes to light, wouldn't it be great if you could in some way hold the Chancellor and Chief Secretary of the Treasury personally finacially responsible for the mistake. Even make it so that any debt so incurred is not written off on their death.

    The vision of GB's great great great grenadchildren still paying up for their share of this £10 billion is one of those "ah, if only" things for me.
  15. Woops, i was thinking of Airbus.

    But at the end of the day, with A300 and 330, and the scrap of Hercules, Tri's and VC-10, we will be maintaining a more capable air force for possibly less money, for more time.

    Although our fleet will be smaller, so will our role after Afghanistan as far as the SDR is concerned. On top of that, looking at the buying price isnt very revealing, you have to look at the price to maintain it for the next 3 decades, compared to how much we would be likely to spend keeping our current lot air worthy with upgrades.

    It may have been a stupid choice to go with the A330 and then have to spend a whole load extra, but we're stuck with it now and theres no other direction to go. Im sure in the long run it will end up cheaper to keep in the sky.