BOWMAN - would you go to war with it?

#1
BOWMAN has now been declared In Service, fantastic!

Tony and his cronies are about to send more lads to the Gulf so will they take BOWMAN (great flag waving opportunity!) on the back of this declaration. If so would the system actually provide what it is supposed to do and be sustainable or have the 'Big Cheeses' signed of a system that is far from ready to be In Service??

Comments?? :x
 
#2
Having only had experience with Bowman through rumour and various uninformed briefings i have to say i am optomistic however would i go to war with it? Only time will tell.

But anything has got to be better than Clansman?
 
#3
Depends what u want out of it I suppose, aren't the radios already in service with the septics/canadians?

Hasn't 12 Mech Bde just completed their conversion.
 
#4
The Canadians use it in a totally different way, 12 Bde are in the middle of converision (some have,some in process, some to go!!) but not all of the system is robust yet as far as i know.

Voice is good but that is about it, but is that enough. We cant fix it without external support and would the civie company really come out to repair a duff radio in the middle of Bagdad! ("Incoming!!"), me thinks not :cry:
 
#5
There is a great deal of water still left to flow beneath the bridge before we'll see BOWMAN in Iraq.

12 Bde handled the conversion process very well - indeed, the reason that the process is continuing apace is thanks to the vision and foresight of a few R Sigs personnel. :D
 
#6
Absolutely agree ref the Corps involvement :D , not sure if i agree with your other remark.

Even with commercialisation there will always be a need for CNR so it will go eventually. If our glorious leader (TB) decides to send troops from 12 then Bowman is all they have to take.

The point being just because BOWMAN is now 'In service' it does not make it ready to be deployed. Will this stop some MP sending BOWMAN anyway? Surely as far as the Govt goes, in service means in service? :?:

If its not ready to be deployed why was it given its ISD (it didnt conform to its ISD spec did it!)
 
#7
Zorro said:
If our glorious leader (TB) decides to send troops from 12 then Bowman is all they have to take.
maybe not
they may send the troops and use wagons etc that are already in theatre?
saves on lots of big boats going back and forward with trucks all the time and constant repaints from sand to green and back

i reckon it will take a while before bowman gets anywhere near live bullets

http://www.mod.uk/dpa/projects/bowman.htm
 
#8
From Friday's Telegraph

£1.9bn Army radio burns troops
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 01/10/2004)

The Army's new Bowman radios are giving the soldiers carrying them radiation burns, according to troops involved in trials of the £1.9 billion system.

The radios are also much larger and heavier than the "old technology" Clansman sets they are designed to replace, the journal Defence Analysis reports today.

The man-portable platoon level radio, which is carried on the back of the platoon signaller, has given soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment radiation burns on certain power settings, Defence Analysis reports.

The Royal Anglians were the first British soldiers to be equipped with the system, which was introduced in July, and have been trialling and testing it alongside manufacturers General Dynamics.

They also complain that the radio weighs 15lb, more than three times heavier than the equivalent Clansman radio, a problem common to all of the Bowman tactical radio sets.

The Royal Marines were so alarmed by the weight that they attempted to opt out of Bowman and purchase their own sets off the shelf but were blocked from doing so by ministers, Defence Analysis says.

It also reports problems with the size and weight of larger vehicle mounted sets with problems fitting it into the Challenger 2 tank and the Warrior armoured personnel carrier. The problem for light infantry is even worse. When the company level radio was fitted to a three-quarter ton Land Rover, it was so heavy it broke the vehicle's chassis and it is now to be fitted on a reinforced two-ton Pinzgauer vehicle.

The problems with the replacement for Clansman date back to the mid-Eighties. The new Bowman system was supposed to be ready for service in the early Nineties but there were a series of procurement failures.

Problems maintaining communications with the Clansman radios, which were designed in the Sixties, forced British soldiers in Kosovo to use their mobile telephones to communicate with each other. Since the mobile telephone system was controlled from Belgrade this meant that the Yugoslav forces could monitor British Army communications with ease.

That humiliating situation forced the Government into action and a year later the BAE Systems-led Archer Consortium, which was developing the Bowman "armoured internet" system, was sacked at an estimated cost of £330 million.

General Dynamics won the £1.9 billion contract to replace them and Lord Bach, the procurement minister, announced in March that the new Bowman system had been brought into service.

He acknowledged that Bowman had "a difficult history" but added: "I remain confident that Bowman will revolutionise the way we conduct operations."

The problems with Bowman follow heavy criticism of the MoD's procurement programmes by the Commons defence select committee.

The committee complained in July about "unacceptable" cuts, cancellations and delays in vital equipment projects because of cost overruns of more than £3 billion in the past year alone.

"The performance of the Defence Procurement Agency in 2002-2003 can only be described as woeful," it said. "We are forced to conclude that our Armed Forces have been let down by the organisation tasked with equipping them."

The MoD said that there had been some problems with "minor radio-frequency burns" to soldiers carrying the Bowman radios but these had now been resolved.

As for the weight problems, it was undertaking a post-design project with Land Rover to investigate the feasibility of an upgrade of front and rear axle weights to allow Bowman to be fitted to the Land Rover.
 
#10
It also reports problems with the size and weight of larger vehicle mounted sets with problems fitting it into the Challenger 2 tank and the Warrior armoured personnel carrier. The problem for light infantry is even worse. When the company level radio was fitted to a three-quarter ton Land Rover, it was so heavy it broke the vehicle's chassis and it is now to be fitted on a reinforced two-ton Pinzgauer vehicle.
Why bother with such a beast?


Maybe just go back to 42 sets :lol:
 
#11
as a bit of a thicky when it comes to technology , can anyone explain in terms i'll understand , why in the age of digital technology , when everything is getting smaller , we've introduced a radio that is 3 times heavier and bigger than the last one , not too bad if your on a sigs det , but what about the poor old platoon sigs bod who's going to have at some stage to manpack this f*cking portacabin with an aerial , oh , and only MINOR rf burns .............that's ok then :roll:
 
#12
RCSignals said:
When the company level radio was fitted to a three-quarter ton Land Rover, it was so heavy it broke the vehicle's chassis and it is now to be fitted on a reinforced two-ton Pinzgauer vehicle.
WTF, before you know it we will be driving 4 tonne FFRs :roll:
 
#13
The reason that BOWMAN kit is so heavy is due to an incredibly byzantine procurement process, in which far too many people (usually passed over Majors and abandoned Lt Cols in crappy offices across the South West) all want to 'have an impact' on the project.

BOWMAN kit (like most kit) needs to undergo a process called 'ruggedisation'. This means it needs to withstand a variety of environmental factors. These factors are laid down by MoD.

The highlights of the BOWMAN programme are (and these are all true):

1. Equipment must be able to withstand 4'' rain in a 24 hour period.
2. Equipment must be able to function effectively within 300m of Ground Zero of an atomic blast not exceeding 100KT.
3. Equipment must be capable of functioning effectively after a drop from a height not exceeding 21.5''
4. Equipment must be capable of being lifted by no more than 4 average adult males (excluding printers).
5. Equipment must be capable of being operated by an average adult male wearing arctic mittens.
6. Equipment must be easy to use (!)
7. Equipment must come fitted with a large array of pointless flashing lights.
8. The BOWMAN programme must enable a huge number of serving officers the opportunity to leave the service to go and work for GD(UK).
9. BOWMAN must present the user with geographically incorrect information.
10. BOWMAN must not allow the user any flexibility whatsoever.
11. BOWMAN platforms must take at least 4 days and the power output of 3 Nuclear Power Stations to initialise.
12. BOWMAN must seriously compromise the safety of British soldiers unfortunate enough to deploy with it.

I hear that soldiers are 'receiving burns' from BOWMAN antennae. Whilst RF burns are hardly a new phenomenon, the truly alarming thing is that the upper echelons of the MoD are bowing to political pressure to get this dangerously unsafe project in. If you think that a couple of R Anglian soldiers with flash burns is hot news...stand by. :(
 
#14
The_Sloping_Wire said:
4. Equipment must be capable of being lifted by no more than 4 average adult males (excluding printers).
5. Equipment must be capable of being operated by an average adult male wearing arctic mittens.
:(
Gender free then I suppose - coupled with there will always be 4 people to lift the thing - I can see it now H&S and Duty of Care people getting in on this one :roll:
 

DangerMouse

Old-Salt
Moderator
#15
George_W_Bush said:
Zorro said:
If our glorious leader (TB) decides to send troops from 12 then Bowman is all they have to take.
maybe not
they may send the troops and use wagons etc that are already in theatre?
saves on lots of big boats going back and forward with trucks all the time and constant repaints from sand to green and back

i reckon it will take a while before bowman gets anywhere near live bullets

http://www.mod.uk/dpa/projects/bowman.htm
Apparently Bowman 12 Mech Bde is deploying on TELIC with Bowman, in Spring.
 
#16
The_Sloping_Wire said:
The highlights of the BOWMAN programme are (and these are all true):.....................................


2. Equipment must be able to function effectively within 300m of Ground Zero of an atomic blast not exceeding 100KT.
Oh good. At least something will still be able to function
 
#17
BOWMAN..... utter shite.

as someone who has been equipped with it and has used it on exercise a vast number of times, i can confidently say that BOWMAN is the worst thing to ever be put upon HMF!
VHF radio sets that can't recive transmissions from 500 metres away. batteries that last less than an hour (and yes they were fully charged before we deployed). the wieght, the reliability (or lack thereof), the fact that it just doesn't work! it's all wel and good being given this kit and told to make it work, but there must come a time when someone has to stand up and say "IT DOESN'T F*CKING WORK, NO MATTER WHAT!!!" and even then the govt. won't listen!

BOWMAN: Better Off With Map And Nokia!
 
#18
DangerMouse said:
Apparently Bowman 12 Mech Bde is deploying on TELIC with Bowman, in Spring.
Ha! Classic ARRSE! This decision has yet to be made - unless DangerMouse has left Warminster and found himself elevated to the higher echelons of the MoD without anyone knowing!

We won't know what (or who!) will go on Telic 6 for certain until mid November!

Wait out!
 
#19
papa_lazaroo said:
BOWMAN..... utter shite.

as someone who has been equipped with it and has used it on exercise a vast number of times, i can confidently say that BOWMAN is the worst thing to ever be put upon HMF!
VHF radio sets that can't recive transmissions from 500 metres away. batteries that last less than an hour (and yes they were fully charged before we deployed). the wieght, the reliability (or lack thereof), the fact that it just doesn't work! it's all wel and good being given this kit and told to make it work, but there must come a time when someone has to stand up and say "IT DOESN'T F*CKING WORK, NO MATTER WHAT!!!" and even then the govt. won't listen!

BOWMAN: Better Off With Map And Nokia!
If it doesnt work, can't we just get our £3 billion back from GD(UK) and but one that does work? Surley there must be a warranty 8O
 
#20
If it doesnt work, can't we just get our £3 billion back from GD(UK) and but one that does work? Surley there must be a warranty
MOD was in such a panic to get BOWMAN sorted that the contract they signed with GD(UK) is practically a licence for them to print money for years to come.

GD are even arguing that there are no performance requirements for COMBAT. So it doesn't matter how slowly it works in trials, if it ever passes an OFT that is.
 

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