Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Litotes, Apr 30, 2009.
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This was posted on www.iii.co.uk earlier:
Not good if you work for them.
Does this mean we can reduce the 14,000 pounds subsidy per person employed in the UK arms trade or will the BAE shareholders just add it to their profits?
Or does that mean that Genral Dynamics are back in the game for delivering the platform for FRES after being so spectacularly booted off the contract? IIRC the parting shot went along the lines of..."This is the worst managed project in the history of the MOD". or some such Daily Mail outrage phraseology.
If we are not careful, we are about to see the end of the UKs ability to produce armoured vehicles. The last big order to BAe Systems (LAND Systems) which is essentially the old Alvis-Vickers group was the Challenger 2. We pulled out of the BOXER, FRES was going to GD, although BAE were expecting a share of the production. All the MRAP have gone to the states, CLV (Panther went to Italy). There is no work to support the old Alvis-Vickers factories. They might jeep the Newcastle factory open as its the modt modern, built to manufacture the C2. With no new tank orders, this has a limited life.
This might be the start if BAE finally exiting the UK marketplace. They have been moving more and more in to the US market for years.
This is really bad news, especially as I thought the DIS stated that armoured vehicle design and manufacture was a key technology that should be preserved. Could you see NEXTER or KMW shutting down production?
Always amuses me when people on here and elsewhere seek to defend BAE as if it's some kind of British national champion. It's spent just about every penny it's managed to gouge out of UK taxpayers for providing substandard, years late, equipment to UKAF on buying up 2nd and 3rd tier US companies over the last ten years. I'd love to see a comparative table on the amount the company has invested in the UK and US over the last decade. It only pretends to be 'British' to get more money from gullible politicians.
I am not sure whether anyone is defending BAe as a 'Great' British company. But they are British and they do employ many people.
The question is whether they can turn themselves around from their 'Cold War' mentality of the perpetual need for equipment that they will exclusively supply for HM Armed Forces at whatever price they dream up and then double.
I can't think of any Land Systems provider that has not made a spectacular cock up (at tax payers expense) of bid, delivery or pricing to MOD since the invention of the tank. So it is a question of how MOD manges industry not the other way round.
I will not open that Pandora's box......
You're quite right, it isn't British any more. The MoD has seemingly operated an ABB (Anyone But BAE) policy for a while. Which is fine, as long as you're happy losing jobs in the UK as a result. And you're happy with funneling all your defence spending overseas. And you're happy with the way that prices charged by foreign competitors will rise when competition from BAE disappears. And if you're happy losing a UK sovereign option for any of your kit.
If the likes of the Scotswood plant end up closed then an awful lot of research and development ends.
The skills loss will be massive.
Where will that leave us five or ten years down the line?
One_of_the_strange, that is exactly my point, we lose this capability at our peril. I am no fab of BAE systems per se, but this capability must remain in the UK. However, if the Army thinks it can order armoured vehicles once every 40 years, then it won't be from a UK company as that level of demand will simply not support a manufacturing base.
We need to be buying updated vehicles (amongst other things) on a regular basis.
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