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Defence Budget Chaotic - Chancellor

Auld-Yin

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#1
BBC News reporting that Osborne considers the defence budget the most chaotic he has ever seen. Que some 'tidying' up exercises? As he says the budget is tied into contracts, that just leaves personnel :( ?

Defence budget chaotic, says Chancellor George Osborne

The chancellor said there was little the coalition could do about the defence budget
Chancellor George Osborne has described the UK's defence budget as "chaotic and disorganised".
In a Daily Telegraph interview, Mr Osborne blames the previous Labour government for what he calls the "horrendous" situation at the MoD.
The remarks follow a disagreement between Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Liam Fox over plans to cut defence spending.
Continue reading the main story The Spending Review: Making It Clear

Mr Cameron has said his defence secretary's fears are "unfounded".
'Contract bound'
Mr Osborne said defence was the "most chaotic, most disorganised, most over-committed" budget he had seen.
He told the Telegraph: "We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."
The chancellor said there was little the coalition could do about the situation.
"We are bound into contracts and that's just a fact of life," he said.
BBC political correspondent Mike Sergeant says the chancellor has entered this increasingly tense debate, but at the same time making it clear he has a good relationship with Dr Fox.
Negotiations on defence cuts could now go to the wire ahead of the spending review later this month, our correspondent adds.
'On the mend'
In a letter leaked to the Telegraph at the beginning of the week, Dr Fox warned the prime minister that "draconian cuts" could have "grave consequences".
In that letter, he said: "Party, media, military and the international reaction will be brutal if we do not recognise the dangers and continue to push for such draconian cuts at a time when we are at war."
Continue reading the main story


A special BBC News season examining the approaching cuts to public sector spending
The prime minister insisted that he and Dr Fox agreed there would be "well-funded... strong armed forces".
In the Telegraph interview, the chancellor said the British economy was "on the mend".
"The steps we have taken have provided a platform for stable sustainable growth and that is a huge achievement," he said.
Dr Fox also said a cabinet row about another sensitive area - welfare reform - had been settled.
Mr Osborne said people would be "impressed" by the package he has now agreed with Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith.
Welfare reform is is likely to be a major focus of debate during the Conservative Party conference which starts on Sunday.
 
#3
BBC News reporting that Osborne considers the defence budget the most chaotic he has ever seen. Que some 'tidying' up exercises? As he says the budget is tied into contracts, that just leaves personnel :( ?


Hasn't he called the head sheds of Big And Expensive, Lockmart et al to have a talk sans tea and biccies re removing the gold plating from their contracts?
 
#5
YouTube - Boeing JSF X-32B STOVL Demonstrator First Hovers

Bet that would be on time and budget, and probably more capable the Lockheeds version.

And I don't give a damn, I think that thing looks 100 times steelier than the Lockheed one simply because its so ugly
Very probably, the day we all got the chop, my engineering manager said rather prophetically that LM would have to completely redesign the F-35B to get it to work…*he was right then and he still has no confidence in the F-35B.

X-32 was a proven and lower risk if somewhat less sexy technology. But the big problem with Monica was it was rather fugly and you got altitude sickness sitting in the cockpit. The redesigned version with the conventional wing layout was rather neat though. The manufacturing technology, (one piece wing etc), was very slick on the X-32 programme.

 
#6
"We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."
He's gone and bloody done it now! Active Edge!
 
#7
"We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."

Wel that invites a 'please explain', I'll ignore the RN's role on the River Weser, and merely note the the RAF's was primarliy to detroy airfields, not entirely a role that has disappeared, rumour has it that all sort of countries have military airfields.

But the real question is what new army equipment, and its quantity, has no role beyond the N German Plain?
 
#8
"We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."


So that sandy place we visted twice in the last 15 years or so was actually a Film mock up on a German Training area? Or possibly a BBC Doctor Who outside location..?

Twat.
 
#9
Well if we keep lavishing money on the shower of greedy shite that is GD, despite the clear and unambiguous experiences we have already had with them, just to keep jobs in S Wales, then it comes as no surprise that we are over committed.
 
#10
Not to mention we gave them 500mil to not give us a single vehicle, and that's on top of the billion spunked on FRES already with nowt to show for it.
 
#11
"We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."

So that sandy place we visted twice in the last 15 years or so was actually a Film mock up on a German Training area? Or possibly a BBC Doctor Who outside location..?
My thoughts exactly.
 
#13
Chickens coming home to roost!

In my last five years, I saw several projects go through IG and MG that should have been throttled at the concept phase, primarily because they were unaffordable and the requirement had not been fully identified. But, driven by a culture of mis-placed optimism and "can-do and must-do because my CR (sorry, appraisal) depends on it", both mil and CS staff were incredibly inventive with their figures (both in costs and potential savings) in the full knowledge that they would not be around to pick up the pieces! I became tired of being the Cassandra but take no pleasure now in being proved right.

Litotes
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
I heard the PM on the radio this morning saying that he was more shocked by the chaotic state of the MoD budget than by any of the other departments. The oaf Brown and his cronies left behind a disaster. It is going to be painful to clear it up.

The problem with Defence is that we could have no defence, save an awful lot of money and provided nobody threatened us it would be a winning policy. Winning right up to the moment when the attack came. Appeasement and low defence budgets were very popular in the 30's at home and abroad - in Germany.
 
#15
"We are going to have a bunch of kit that makes us extremely well prepared to fight the Russians on the north German plain. That's not a war we are likely to face."


So that sandy place we visted twice in the last 15 years or so was actually a Film mock up on a German Training area? Or possibly a BBC Doctor Who outside location..?

Twat.


Shall we just ignore the rather arkward fact that much of our kit was found wanting when we actually fought a full on hot war?

Biggles flying in straight lines into the teeth of murderous AAA fire at 50ft to deploy JP233 when the rest of the world was using LGB's from 20,000ft and we had to dig out the ancient Pave Spike pods left over from when the Bucanners were still flying with the Navy for example?

SA80 that was touted as the best gat every to grace a squaddies shoulder and turned out be be a complete load of **** when used in anger in dirty places?


Plenty of other examples of shite kit that would have gotten severely burned fingers if we'd gone up against the Russians on the IGB.
 
#16
I heard the PM on the radio this morning saying that he was more shocked by the chaotic state of the MoD budget than by any of the other departments. The oaf Brown and his cronies left behind a disaster. It is going to be painful to clear it up.
Sorry, but as I have said before, we cannot pin all the blame on the odious tw@t and his cronies - much as we would like to.

We need to face the uncomfotable fact that the MoD budget is a cluster becuse of our (Mil + CS) incoherent approach to long-term procurement, and that fact that single-service agendas result in expensive, niche pipe dreams being chased like a teenage girl who'se just stolen daddy's credit card for a day out on the King's Road.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
Sorry, but as I have said before, we cannot pin all the blame on the odious tw@t and his cronies - much as we would like to.

We need to face the uncomfotable fact that the MoD budget is a cluster becuse of our (Mil + CS) incoherent approach to long-term procurement, and that fact that single-service agendas result in expensive, niche pipe dreams being chased like a teenage girl who'se just stolen daddy's credit card for a day out on the King's Road.
Of course there have been bad decisions made by uniformed and CS bods in the MoD but Labour where running the show for 13 years. They did nothing to sort out the choas. Indeed their style of government exacerbated it. Play one off against the other and chase short term spin over coherent policy. The succession of useless Ministers speaks volumes.

Whether the Tories can do any better will be one of the things by which they will be judged in 5 years time.

BTB A policy I would like to see brought in would be that any public servant would have a legal obligation to speak up when a Minister or the government tells an untruth.
 
#18
Shall we just ignore the rather arkward fact that much of our kit was found wanting when we actually fought a full on hot war?

Biggles flying in straight lines into the teeth of murderous AAA fire at 50ft to deploy JP233 when the rest of the world was using LGB's from 20,000ft and we had to dig out the ancient Pave Spike pods left over from when the Bucanners were still flying with the Navy for example?

SA80 that was touted as the best gat every to grace a squaddies shoulder and turned out be be a complete load of **** when used in anger in dirty places?
Errr... you mean the kit that HM Treasury refused to pay a little extra on as we were never going to fight in hot, sandy sweaty places ?

As for Biggles. Biggles had speant 40 years preparing for a war where flying higher than a tall hedge row would get you blatted out of the sky by untold hordes of Soviet mutlilayed SAM defences thicker than flies around a dung heap across rolling North German plains that just begged for low level high speed flight or sudden death.

How the **** do you think the RAF was going to fly against an enemy who bought the said Soviet systems lock stock and barrel? The way they're trained to deal with a threat or stooge around at 30.000ft and missing all the time?
 
#19
Errr... you mean the kit that HM Treasury refused to pay a little extra on as we were never going to fight in hot, sandy sweaty places ?

As for Biggles. Biggles had speant 40 years preparing for a war where flying higher than a tall hedge row would get you blatted out of the sky by untold hordes of Soviet mutlilayed SAM defences thicker than flies around a dung heap across rolling North German plains that just begged for low level high speed flight or sudden death.

How the **** do you think the RAF was going to fly against an enemy who bought the said Soviet systems lock stock and barrel? The way they're trained to deal with a threat or stooge around at 30.000ft and missing all the time?
The Iraqi systems that were merrily swatting down Tornadoes were the same ones as the Russians had in spades. The amount of AAA and low end SAMS they faced in Iraq was a sideshow compared to the amount of shit the Russians would have thrown up.

Jammer pods and ECM rendered all the Russian supplied high end SAMS in Sadaams arsenal effectively worthless.

Face facts: The RAF was geared up to bomb runways in a WWII stylie because they had failed to grasp how far ECM and PGM's had come on. Anyone with a clue in their head could see the basic flaw with JP233 - Just throw up a curtain of AAA and wait for attacking jets to obligingly fly into said curtain. The RAF missed the technological the boat and had failed to heed the lessons of Vietnam and the Yom Kippur War and if Europe had gone hot, the RAF crews would have been slaughtered.
 
#20
Biggles flying in straight lines into the teeth of murderous AAA fire at 50ft to deploy JP233 when the rest of the world was using LGB's from 20,000ft and we had to dig out the ancient Pave Spike pods left over from when the Bucanners were still flying with the Navy for example?
USAF F-16s didn't use any PGM during the 1991 war. USAF F-15Es used some, but generally employed unguided ordnance (lack of LANTIRN pods), and their attack profiles at the start of the war were to go in low level. One F-16 package going to downtown Baghdad at medium level got whacked, losing two aircraft.

The F-111s were intended to do low level, with their training in Saudi being carried out at 400ft with the aim of getting down to 200ft before the start of the war. One F-111F went down (fatally) at low level during October 90, and this led to the imposition of a 500ft hard deck for training - much to the protest of the '111 crews, who regarded this as unrealistic. When the war kicked off, the 48th TFW went in at 200ft, and almost all their ops were conducted at that height until about 23rd January when the OCA campaign changed to shooting down Iraqi aircraft that were flying and bombing the HASs - for the latter role, the F-111s went up to 15,000ft out of the AAA envelope. They were more readily able to do this in comparison to the RAF because of the F-111F's PGM capability.

Conversely, the F-111Es from Upper Heyford and operating out of Incirlik didn't utilise PGM (they had no self-designation capability). What they did was either bombing area targets from 25,000ft, or if accuracy was required, going in at low level was employed - for instance, the attack on the Al Abbas dam (actually the target was the hydro power station there) on the first night. They used nothing but Mk82, CBU-87 and Mk84. Plans to get F-4Es from the 3rd TFW at Clark (which had Pave Tack) never came off, so the F-111Es were dumb bomb only.


Pave Spike was an RAF inovation for the Bucc - the first pods arrived in 1979 and operational capability came in the early '80s. The problem the crustaceans faced was getting a designator pod which was really well suited for Europe - Pave Spike was a daytime only system, even though it could cope with less than perfect weather. The only day/night pods around at the time were the Pave Knife (12 built) and Pave Tack. The latter fitted neatly on the F-111F, but not so well on the F-4E (the crews called it 'Pave Drag' such was the effect on performance). It was trialled on the F-15E prototype, but the size and weight convinced the USAF not to integrate it and to wait for LANTIRN for that aircraft.

LANTIRN and TIALD were the solutions pursued, therefore, and the US only just about got LANTIRN into service in time for GW1 - and there was a shortage of targeting pods which affected the F-15's ability to use PGM. So the coalition had the A-6, F-117 and F-111F with a handful of Strike Eagles as the only night-capable PGM droppers - which meant either rearranging vast tracts of desert to no effect from medium level for most aircraft types, or going in low, using TTPs which were considered by NATO to be worthwhile against the Soviets or a surrogate client of theirs - without appreciating that the airfields in Iraq were vast and hard to shut, and that the amount of optical AAA around Iraqi airfields was in fact substantially greater than expected - and couldn't be jammed because it was optically-laid (in fact, the Iraqis simply locked the AAA guns into position and there were enough guns to ensure that some of the fire hit aircraft on occasion. Yes, the USAF had decided that medium level with PGM was the way forward and was heading in that direction - but even as late as 1991, the number of aircraft that it had capable of doing this was far lower than is popularly supposed. Most of their aircraft (and those of the USN) dropped unguided ordnance, and very often from low level.

It's not - sadly for the crustacean bashing fun- accurate to blame 1991 on RAF Biggles 'do-or-die low-level all the way because it's what we did in the last big show' tactics (for a start, they didn't do that in WW2) - this was what NATO, and thus the coalition planned to do. The USAF embraced JP233 as an integral part of the opening OCA campaign (which included B-52s going in at 300ft against a couple of target sets - armed with British 1,000lb bombs which had better penetration characteristics than the US 500lb & 750lb bombs, BTW), and had to be delivered at low level, accompanied by other GR1s which conducted loft deliveries against airfield facilities and AAA positions. When it became clear that the Iraqi AF wasn't going to do much in defence, the USAF shifted to medium level. The RAF followed a little while afterwards

It's here that criticism which might be levelled against the RAF, in that they took longer to send the Tornados up to medium altitude (the Jags were there from the start). However, that owed much to the realisation that medium-level delivery with unguided munitions was going to be pretty inaccurate.

And they couldn't get the Buccs in theatre in part because there was a political issue. The Saudis were rather anxious about the number of western aircraft in theatre for PR reasons ('What? More sideways-scuttling infidels? Mmmm....' being the Saudi opening position).

After it became clear that the GR1s couldn't bomb precisely from medium level (nor could the F-16 or the F-111E, for that matter) and a daft idea to turn the Tornado into a modern-day Stuka doing dive attacks was given a polite ignoring by the crews, the government finally allowed the Buccs to be sent after getting the Saudis on board.

When they moved to PGM dropping with Pave Spike from the Buccs and the two TIALD pods in theatre on TGR1s, the TGR force was right up there in terms of accurate attacks. This was using kit that had been bought, or was in the process of being procured, hardly the sign of being left trailing in the wake of everyone else.

Face facts: The RAF was geared up to bomb runways in a WWII stylie because they had failed to grasp how far ECM and PGM's had come on. Anyone with a clue in their head could see the basic flaw with JP233 - Just throw up a curtain of AAA and wait for attacking jets to obligingly fly into said curtain. The RAF missed the technological the boat and had failed to heed the lessons of Vietnam and the Yom Kippur War and if Europe had gone hot, the RAF crews would have been slaughtered.
More complicated than that. They were geared up to fight on the Central Front in combat conditions which were not as closely proximate to those found in Iraq/the KTO against a Soviet client state as was assumed at the start. Their ECM (particularly Sky Shadow) was good, and when they got PGMs into use, they used them well. And the lessons of Vietnam and Yom Kippur were don't fly about at medium level because radar-guided SAMs and the enemy air force stand a damn good chance of malletting you, particularly in good weather and in daylight. Fast, low, in darkness and with jamming support and SEAD (and own ARM such as ALARM) and you probably stood a chance, no matter how much AAA and Radar SAMs WARPAC might have. Thankfully, we never found out.
 

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