CGS:upgrading challenger and warrior.

You mean the sort of thing the Army managed to do reasonably well with Centurion which started life with a 17pdr and managed to get to the Mk3 in about 4 years, reached the Mk13 before being replaced by Chieftain which made it from Mk1 to 12 before being replaced by CR1, which made it from Mk1 to Mk3 before CR2. Which so far has about as many projects as there are marks of Centurion to upgrade bits for the final total of Zero variants....

I refer you to my earlier post where I point out the scale of the problem, and how badly Cr2 compares with other tanks.
 
CR2/3 isn't/wasn't/won't be the problem. The real problem is the beancounters in the Treasury/MoD that refuse to keep a key piece of equipment relevant compared to its peers. Upgrades keep an equipment relative and I have no doubt that as CR nears its projected EOL the MoD will either update it (again) or decide we no longer need one.
Would the situation in Ukraine have some bearing on the the decision do you think (although I can guess what the answer would be)?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
CR2/3 isn't/wasn't/won't be the problem. The real problem is the beancounters in the Treasury/MoD that refuse to keep a key piece of equipment relevant compared to its peers. Upgrades keep an equipment relative and I have no doubt that as CR nears its projected EOL the MoD will either update it (again) or decide we no longer need one.
Part of the problem, surely, is that we also have VSOs with 'pets'.

Frankly, everyone's waiting for the whole Rangers thing to fall on its árse - not with any form of malicious glee, certainly not in my own case, but because it's wrong-footed, short-sighted and wholly fails, as Ukraine demonstrates, to address the current* threat.

As @Listy has noted in many posts and representations to the Commons Select Committee, the various R&D and, indeed, continuity establishments (which is what they really were) were folded in the face of loud warnings from 'dinosaurs'.

The excuse will be - again - that we had to prioritise. Across the piste, much was done in the short term to address 'now'. AWACS upgrades were gapped, for instance, with the result that we've had no option but to buy Wedgetail. Okay, that's not a bad outcome but it was forced nevertheless.

All of that said, it was some people's preference for and, arguably, sole understanding of, light, expeditionary war that has driven things. Some 'hard choices' were probably very easy to make. After all, we've not lost a single light infantry battalion... the unbalanced British Army remains as unbalanced as it was pre-review.

Don't forget that until the Germans proved that it was possible to make CR2 + smoothbore work, albeit with a new turret, the presumption was management to obsolescence and out-of-service. But - a big but - we had nothing in the pipeline to follow that. Again, as @Listy has noted (he's going to get sick of me quoting him, eventually...), MBT design is or should be a rolling programme, with roughly 20-year lead times.

That's simply not good enough.

Someone will come back to what I'm about to say with 'Easier said than done' but nevertheless...

Someone (singular and plural) at VSO level needed to turn round and say that while delivering in sandy places was needed in the moment, certain capabilities were not up for negotiation in terms of keeping us prepared in the eventuality of 'a' war, not 'the' war and that money either needed to be found or our commitments in said sandy places needed to be scaled accordingly.

They failed - either through a lack of moral courage, or through an abundance of personal prejudice.

Neither is admirable.



*Note: current, not emerging - it's here now, and we've got bügger-all with which to meaningfully address it.
 
No-one's announced that Warrior has been reprieved because, simply, we won't be going.
I know we won’t be going, I was just wondering if what’s happening in Ukraine would affect the MOD’s decision about upgrading/replacing/binning CR2?
 
CR2/3 isn't/wasn't/won't be the problem. The real problem is the beancounters in the Treasury/MoD that refuse to keep a key piece of equipment relevant compared to its peers. Upgrades keep an equipment relative and I have no doubt that as CR nears its projected EOL the MoD will either update it (again) or decide we no longer need one.

I never said Cr3 was the problem. As CC states, the problem is lack of heavy armour development establishments, working out what works and what doesn't.
When I was writing my book, about halfway through, I suddenly realised I was going over the same story again and again, of the Army management either aiming for something impossible, or their projects over running in time or cost, and the Army being unable to get the project over the line. Until the treasury stepped in and nudged the Army in the direction of killing the project. To be fair the Treasury are looking at massive black holes sucking up the cash, and they normally need to step in to concentrate the minds of the Army leadership, with questions like 'Do you really need this capability, or is it a nice to have option?'

I'd like to talk about the P.35. Which was just too expensive for what it was, and thus was chopped. However, what it represented was the cutting edge of technology, and if it had gone into service would have spurned development and lead us to a totally different world. So it's an interesting one.

Part of the problem, surely, is that we also have VSOs with 'pets'.

Frankly, everyone's waiting for the whole Rangers thing to fall on its árse - not with any form of malicious glee, certainly not in my own case, but because it's wrong-footed, short-sighted and wholly fails, as Ukraine demonstrates, to address the current* threat.

As @Listy has noted in many posts and representations to the Commons Select Committee, the various R&D and, indeed, continuity establishments (which is what they really were) were folded in the face of loud warnings from 'dinosaurs'.

The excuse will be - again - that we had to prioritise. Across the piste, much was done in the short term to address 'now'. AWACS upgrades were gapped, for instance, with the result that we've had no option but to buy Wedgetail. Okay, that's not a bad outcome but it was forced nevertheless.

All of that said, it was some people's preference for and, arguably, sole understanding of, light, expeditionary war that has driven things. Some 'hard choices' were probably very easy to make. After all, we've not lost a single light infantry battalion... the unbalanced British Army remains as unbalanced as it was pre-review.

Don't forget that until the Germans proved that it was possible to make CR2 + smoothbore work, albeit with a new turret, the presumption was management to obsolescence and out-of-service. But - a big but - we had nothing in the pipeline to follow that. Again, as @Listy has noted (he's going to get sick of me quoting him, eventually...), MBT design is or should be a rolling programme, with roughly 20-year lead times.

That's simply not good enough.

Someone will come back to what I'm about to say with 'Easier said than done' but nevertheless...

Someone (singular and plural) at VSO level needed to turn round and say that while delivering in sandy places was needed in the moment, certain capabilities were not up for negotiation in terms of keeping us prepared in the eventuality of 'a' war, not 'the' war and that money either needed to be found or our commitments in said sandy places needed to be scaled accordingly.

They failed - either through a lack of moral courage, or through an abundance of personal prejudice.

Neither is admirable.



*Note: current, not emerging - it's here now, and we've got bügger-all with which to meaningfully address it.

Feel free to keep brown-nosing :D My Ego can always do with a massage, especially in my suspicions about the spigot book's performance.
But a simpler way is to point every one at Dark Age of Tanks and say 'Read this, this is how we got here'.

I know we won’t be going, I was just wondering if what’s happening in Ukraine would affect the MOD’s decision about upgrading/replacing/binning CR2?

The Ukrainian situation is beyond Cr3. It will have no impact what so ever. This is due to lead times on new tanks, equally as a Cr3 is an upgraded Cr2 hull, we'd need the base hull first, and there's none extra. So the Cr3 buy is what it is, and that's your lot.

It may well effecct the next tank we get, whenever that is (if we do get one). But we need to be working towards that right bloody now, and preferably starting a few years ago!
 
I never said Cr3 was the problem. As CC states, the problem is lack of heavy armour development establishments, working out what works and what doesn't.
When I was writing my book, about halfway through, I suddenly realised I was going over the same story again and again, of the Army management either aiming for something impossible, or their projects over running in time or cost, and the Army being unable to get the project over the line. Until the treasury stepped in and nudged the Army in the direction of killing the project. To be fair the Treasury are looking at massive black holes sucking up the cash, and they normally need to step in to concentrate the minds of the Army leadership, with questions like 'Do you really need this capability, or is it a nice to have option?'

I'd like to talk about the P.35. Which was just too expensive for what it was, and thus was chopped. However, what it represented was the cutting edge of technology, and if it had gone into service would have spurned development and lead us to a totally different world. So it's an interesting one.



Feel free to keep brown-nosing :D My Ego can always do with a massage, especially in my suspicions about the spigot book's performance.
But a simpler way is to point every one at Dark Age of Tanks and say 'Read this, this is how we got here'.



The Ukrainian situation is beyond Cr3. It will have no impact what so ever. This is due to lead times on new tanks, equally as a Cr3 is an upgraded Cr2 hull, we'd need the base hull first, and there's none extra. So the Cr3 buy is what it is, and that's your lot.

It may well effecct the next tank we get, whenever that is (if we do get one). But we need to be working towards that right bloody now, and preferably starting a few years ago!
Would we not be better off approaching the Americans and offering to get on board with their next tank?
Thus we keep our toe in the tank development game, whilst scale of economy means we'll get a next gen tank at a decent price, jobs back home and it'll most likely export.
 
Would we not be better off approaching the Americans and offering to get on board with their next tank?
Thus we keep our toe in the tank development game, whilst scale of economy means we'll get a next gen tank at a decent price, jobs back home and it'll most likely export.
That and MGCS are options. Of course they also come with the problems of COTS.

I've said repeatedly on here that scale of purchase is available to us, we just need to design smart.
 

Londo

LE
"we're not reinstating WR" . . . yet ;) .
That's what I am hoping .
Much as I like the idea of Boxer in service , it's really not much more than an armoured taxi.
We need a tracked IFV as well .
 
Would we not be better off approaching the Americans and offering to get on board with their next tank?
Thus we keep our toe in the tank development game, whilst scale of economy means we'll get a next gen tank at a decent price, jobs back home and it'll most likely export.
We could buy from the US, but I doubt they’d think we’ve got much to offer in terms of development.
We might be able to sell them Horstman suspension?
 
We could buy from the US, but I doubt they’d think we’ve got much to offer in terms of development.
We might be able to sell them Horstman suspension?
The armour?
I thought they used a form of Dorchester or Chobham in the Abrams.
 
Would the situation in Ukraine have some bearing on the the decision do you think (although I can guess what the answer would be)?
No, even if they recalled every A mech, Gun Fitter, ECE they wouldn't get the CR3 ready in time and, once Ivan has crossed the border after being invited to do so by the Ukrainians (at least those with a Russian Heritage) it would be too easy to say well there will not be another reason so we will just run the CR3 into the deck.
 
Part of the problem, surely, is that we also have VSOs with 'pets'.

Frankly, everyone's waiting for the whole Rangers thing to fall on its árse - not with any form of malicious glee, certainly not in my own case, but because it's wrong-footed, short-sighted and wholly fails, as Ukraine demonstrates, to address the current* threat.

As @Listy has noted in many posts and representations to the Commons Select Committee, the various R&D and, indeed, continuity establishments (which is what they really were) were folded in the face of loud warnings from 'dinosaurs'.

The excuse will be - again - that we had to prioritise. Across the piste, much was done in the short term to address 'now'. AWACS upgrades were gapped, for instance, with the result that we've had no option but to buy Wedgetail. Okay, that's not a bad outcome but it was forced nevertheless.

All of that said, it was some people's preference for and, arguably, sole understanding of, light, expeditionary war that has driven things. Some 'hard choices' were probably very easy to make. After all, we've not lost a single light infantry battalion... the unbalanced British Army remains as unbalanced as it was pre-review.

Don't forget that until the Germans proved that it was possible to make CR2 + smoothbore work, albeit with a new turret, the presumption was management to obsolescence and out-of-service. But - a big but - we had nothing in the pipeline to follow that. Again, as @Listy has noted (he's going to get sick of me quoting him, eventually...), MBT design is or should be a rolling programme, with roughly 20-year lead times.

That's simply not good enough.

Someone will come back to what I'm about to say with 'Easier said than done' but nevertheless...

Someone (singular and plural) at VSO level needed to turn round and say that while delivering in sandy places was needed in the moment, certain capabilities were not up for negotiation in terms of keeping us prepared in the eventuality of 'a' war, not 'the' war and that money either needed to be found or our commitments in said sandy places needed to be scaled accordingly.

They failed - either through a lack of moral courage, or through an abundance of personal prejudice.

Neither is admirable.



*Note: current, not emerging - it's here now, and we've got bügger-all with which to meaningfully address it.
Personally, until the government appoint a Minister and Team with the direct responsibility for ensuring the Army, Navy & Air Force get it's act in order .........Oh, Wait!

The Secretary of State for Defence is able to give each VSO 6 months to deliver a draft affordable, sustainable and achievable future eqpt plan utilising eqpt that is already (or soon to be) in production and if they can't or won't they should volunteer to leave, but until that happens VSOs will continue to be told what they want to hear by not so VSOs.
 
Would we not be better off approaching the Americans and offering to get on board with their next tank?
Thus we keep our toe in the tank development game, whilst scale of economy means we'll get a next gen tank at a decent price, jobs back home and it'll most likely export.
The Americans are well into developing what they want from their next MBT some have even been openly saying despite it's frequent upgrades the M1 is now obsolete (I think obsolescent is more accurate), and Germany & France are too.

Why would we buy M1s from the USA when we have a perfectly usable obsolescent MBT already that is currently being upgraded to meet or exceed what is already out there?

And yes I'm aware that's what the Aussies are doing.
 
The Americans are well into developing what they want from their next MBT some have even been openly saying despite it's frequent upgrades the M1 is now obsolete (I think obsolescent is more accurate), and Germany & France are too.

Why would we buy M1s from the USA when we have a perfectly usable obsolescent MBT already that is currently being upgraded to meet or exceed what is already out there?

And yes I'm aware that's what the Aussies are doing.
What is there out there at the moment peer wise that the Abrams will meet that it would be at a disadvantage against?

Not that I am proposing we start a purchase order for a few hundred gas guzzlers.
 
What is there out there at the moment peer wise that the Abrams will meet that it would be at a disadvantage against?

Not that I am proposing we start a purchase order for a few hundred gas guzzlers.
The Americans have started working on what they think they will need in the 2035 or 2040 time frame. They're not going to wait until their tank is obsolete before starting on a 15 or 20 year program to develop and field its replacement.

Concepts for next generation tanks are looking at what amounts to cutting edge fighter jets on tracks. The tech will be more about sensors, electronics, and software rather than new armour or bigger guns (although those may be involved as well).

If the UK decide to sign up as a pre-launch customer for the next gen US tank you will almost certainly not be allowed anywhere near the development process for any of the cutting edge tech. That would be reserved for American firms only. You would however be permitted to sign a very large cheque which will grant UK companies the privilege of bidding on providing the wheel rims or the optional BV. The UK don't currently have a major cutting edge tank manufacturing program and aren't going to buy enough tanks either for the US to see any reason why they should bring you in on the ground floor.

The realistic choices are:
  1. Get in on the Franco/German tank project early and negotiate to be the development partner for some of the more interesting bits of electronics kit.
  2. Wait until the French/Germans and US both have new tanks and then invite them to submit competitive bids for a straight commercial purchase.
  3. Wait a few years until the dust has settled and buy all the really good kit from third party manufacturers and do your own integration into your own design.
 
No, even if they recalled every A mech, Gun Fitter, ECE they wouldn't get the CR3 ready in time and, once Ivan has crossed the border after being invited to do so by the Ukrainians (at least those with a Russian Heritage) it would be too easy to say well there will not be another reason so we will just run the CR3 into the deck.
As I said earlier, start knocking out bagged charges and Sabo rounds again!
Why would we buy M1s from the USA when we have a perfectly usable obsolescent MBT already that is currently being upgraded to meet or exceed what is already out there?
Agreed there, never understood why the Yanks put a Gas Turbine in a Panzer, the things make an Oil tanker seem frugal!
 

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