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CDS - "MoD should not prop up ailing British industries"

#4
Suspect he might have been reading Lewis Page.


And on that note I'll sit back and watch the fireworks
Trans

I did see something ages ago by Page about this, namely his usual "Why-do-we-insist-on-buying-British-when-you-can-get-bigger/better/faster/cheaper-kit-from-the-US-for-1/10000000th-of-the-price" garbage. That said, I seem to recall binning it pretty much instantly (as I do with anything written by Page, particularly "The Register" - you'll find more believeable journalism in The Sport).
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
The MoD always seems to bgger it up by gold-plating the spec so that the price goes to where no-one else wants it, and then bgger it up some more by insisting on changes which become a blank cheque to the supplier, amd whose implementation ultimately delays the project so that might have been wizard in year x is humdrum when it eventually comes out in yr x + y, by which time the qty has been cut so that the unit price has gone up even more. It's a hundred years now since Fisher had a revolutionary new battleship built in a year, complete with technical advances that were amazing for their day. Compare with the AEW Nimrod fiasco which bled £8bn without delivering ANYTHING, and later four expensive ships sunk because of no AEW (oh there were men in them, too). Aaaaaaargh!
 
#6
The problem with not supporting our industries are that they are the ones with a vested interest in retaining security/supply lines in times of conflict. Its all very well outsourcing cheaply to India - but if they have agreed not to support us to keep the peace with Pakistan then magically things are not going to happen on time.

Even with people we are working side by side with - if America tell their companies that they want priority over our order because their tax man insists on it or they will do a quick check into the Director's affairs then what do you think will happen? Safety dictates that we keep all the essentials where we can monitor carefully who can maintain secrecy where required and monitor closely who is involved and a certain level of confidence in remaining a priority with our suppliers.

Of course I am talking about an outdated theory which is only liable to be re-looked into when we find ourselves without boots or socks or something because the Chinese have put a "delay" on allowing things through customs because they don't want us upsetting someone they are doing business with.
 
#7
The problem with not supporting our industries are that they are the ones with a vested interest in retaining security/supply lines in times of conflict. Its all very well outsourcing cheaply to India - but if they have agreed not to support us to keep the peace with Pakistan then magically things are not going to happen on time.

Even with people we are working side by side with - if America tell their companies that they want priority over our order because their tax man insists on it or they will do a quick check into the Director's affairs then what do you think will happen? Safety dictates that we keep all the essentials where we can monitor carefully who can maintain secrecy where required and monitor closely who is involved and a certain level of confidence in remaining a priority with our suppliers.

Of course I am talking about an outdated theory which is only liable to be re-looked into when we find ourselves without boots or socks or something because the Chinese have put a "delay" on allowing things through customs because they don't want us upsetting someone they are doing business with.
Hear what you're saying Kimmi, but is the argument of "We need an organic defence industry because we can't rely on external suppliers in time of conflict" still a valid one? After all, how do the Canadians /Aussies /anyone-else-without-a-large-homegrown-defence-industry manage.....??
 
#8
Hear what you're saying Kimmi, but is the argument of "We need an organic defence industry because we can't rely on external suppliers in time of conflict" still a valid one? After all, how do the Canadians /Aussies /anyone-else-without-a-large-homegrown-defence-industry manage.....??
Not to distant past Belguim refused to sell us ammo due to a little misunderstanding with the argies in the South Atlantic
 
#10
We design gold plated equipment that is unexportable…

Challenger II: No one buys it, too expensive
T45 DDG: No one buys it, too expensive
T23 FFG: No one buys it, too expensive
AS90: No one buys it, too expensive
Army Lynx: No one buys it, too expensive

Add your examples here>
 
#11
We design gold plated equipment that is unexportable…

Challenger II: No one buys it, too expensive
T45 DDG: No one buys it, too expensive
T23 FFG: No one buys it, too expensive
AS90: No one buys it, too expensive
Army Lynx: No one buys it, too expensive

Add your examples here>
SF
If I may, can I add:

SA80
Nimrod MRA4
Merlin HM1
ASTOR

I'm sure there are plenty more!!!!
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Well going back a little bit further:-

Upholder class SSKs. All were sold to Canada at knock-down prices. Other than that no exports cos no one could afford it
T42 Destroyers. Only 2 exported and they were to an military junta that invested an unreasonable ammount of GDP in arms. Oh, and they were used to train fast jet pilots that attacked oiur task force in 1982.
 
#13
Is anyone here knowledgeable enough to tell me why we shouldn't go down the Russian route of having separate Design Bureaus who compete to have their designs put into production at factories that are closely supervised / more or less run by the government itself?
 
#14
Is anyone here knowledgeable enough to tell me why we shouldn't go down the Russian route of having separate Design Bureaus who compete to have their designs put into production at factories that are closely supervised / more or less run by the government itself?
Firstly, I seem to remember the Russians came up with the Kalashnikov by this route. That seems to have been rather successful, and at an excellent price.

Although I don't have any experience in procurement, I feel we could get a lot more for our money by not trying to specify something state-of-the-art which will, in any case, not be so by the time it is delivered. As an example, the Russians specified nice big, fat, FO mortar shells made of cast-iron which were dirt cheap to knock out and were bl00dy dangerous to be on the receiving end of, as they were larger calibre than anything we had.

We also seem to remarkably stupid in not sourcing SAA from our own industrial suppliers, who could be made to compete reasonably on price and in return would have jobs for life, judging by the number of wars we have become involved with. The only problem with that, is that when we last did this, some enterprising traitorous swine in the MOD went and sold the good Radway Green stuff to foreigners, and then had to buy rolled-brass sh!t from Asia, which had a habit of exploding in the breech of the Sterlings as it was fired. Seem to remember getting a few bits in my neck as I turned away on one occasion.

BTW, I take it the Radway Green site and all the machinery have been sold long ago?
 
#15
I feel we could get a lot more for our money by not trying to specify something state-of-the-art which will, in any case, not be so by the time it is delivered.
That's the beauty of the Russian system . . . the design bureaus (Mikoyan, Sukhoi, Izhmash et al) build and test their own prototypes, but once the design has been approved the government takes over responsibility for mass production and delivery.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#16
Our much-vaunted Defence Exports are, I'm afraid, pretty much of a sham - or at least, a one-trick pony. If you take away the sales of fast jets to Arabia, the rest is pretty small beer (It's around 75% of the total). That contract alone has had many implications, most of them bad. Firstly, it gave BAES a LOT of political clout in the UK. Next it gave them suffiecient cashflow that they could say Balls to the MOD whenever they felt like it, and lastly it gave them sufficient cash to buy up anyone they felt like in the UK. BAES have got us by the short and curlies, and know it - and all because the Yanks would not sell the F15 to the Arabs, as some in America influenced by another Middle Eastern State) objected. Such is international politics!

Oh, and the 'Defence Industry' do NOT employ 300,000 people. Half that employed, if that, and many more in support - but 300,000 sounds better...
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
We are dependent on other countries anyway. In '82 we managed to get updated Sidewinders from the US otherwise the Task Force might well have been stuffed. And the Shrike under the wing of the Vulcan that had to divert to Brazil had PROPERTY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT stencilled on it. Has long been thus; in WW2 the Fleet Air Arm had no decent planes at all (except for the Swordfish) until Wildcats and later Corsairs and Avengers came to us from the US. And the Liberty ships from the US and US-built escort carriers pretty well saved our bacon in the Atlantic. To say nothing of being able to train pilots and refit damaged ships in the US.
 
#19
Failure to buy off the shelf has led to a large number of MOD projects being massively over-budget, incapable of being able to deliver on budget and in a lot of cases not being able to do what they were designed to do.

The British armed forces does need to be at the fore-front of arms development but that doesn't necessarily follow that they have to be the gueine pigs!

He is dead-right!
 

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