Defence Equipment 2008 - grim reading

#2
Grimest bit is the jargon.

If I forget to buy something at the weekly Tesco shopping run I'll have to blame it on the fact that I'm not maintaining a "main gate drumbeat," but I have put a "rehabilitation unit" in place to ensure that this doesn't happen again. I'll also need a "System of Systems Integration (SOSI)" to ensure I'm not entering a "development cul de sac."

Good job we're not in a hurry for FRES, A400, new Nimrod etc etc...

They do admit that Lord Grayson did bring a bit of "poke" (my word; they said it in Civil Service speak) to the procurement system. Pity he's gone.
 
#3
I thought the Harriers had been pensioned off now, and weren't used for carriers any more.

This is a difficult document to read. What happened to plain English ??
 
#4
RABC said:
I thought the Harriers had been pensioned off now, and weren't used for carriers any more.

This is a difficult document to read. What happened to plain English ??
Probably 'We're screwed over again'. :x
 
#5
RABC said:
I thought the Harriers had been pensioned off now, and weren't used for carriers any more.

This is a difficult document to read. What happened to plain English ??

errrr...if it was written in plain english it'd would be too politcially explosive and a bit of a career stopper for a few "Golden boys" in MoD, both green and besuited..........

At least, that's my guess :)
 
#7
Don't you need a Sea Harrier for an aircraft carrier ?? That would seem logical. Or has the ipod budget precluded that ??
 
#8
I'm not sure the language is that opaque, certainly in the 'Conclusions and Recommendations'.

Lots of

'We are disappointed to learn that DE&S is unlikely ....'

'We are concerned to hear that the MoD ....'

'It is disappointing that .... '

'we are surprised that the MoD does not consider it an issue ...'

which by the conventions of these things is pretty pointed.

And you can almost smell the sweat in the transcript of evidence by CDM and his acolytes.

That said, I doubt this report in itself changes anything (there's little in it that wasn't known before) but it does add to the feeling that the 'fantasy defence' bubble must burst soon as the tensions grow between current operations, future programmes, finance and political aspirations.

But doubtless MOD's response will tell us how everything is wonderful ....

O&C
 
#9
Sky News said:
'No Defence For Soaring Arms Spending'

Geoff Meade
Defence correspondent
Updated:03:01, Thursday March 27, 2008

An influential Commons Committee has laid in to the soaring price of major defence projects, in its latest report published today.

Defence spending 'unrealistic'Backbench MPs warn that Britain needs to be realistic about what it can afford.

In its boldest review yet, the Defence Select Committee says whole programmes may now face the axe, and cautions against the sort of "salami slice" clawbacks of the past.

It singles out the costly and overdue replacement for the ageing spy plane, whose safety was questioned when 14 lives were lost in Afghanistan, as a prime candidate for the chop.

"The Nimrod MRA4 aircraft programme goes from bad to worse. Almost £800 million over budget and forecast to be nearly eight years late. The MoD must carefully examine whether it should cut its losses and withdraw from this sorry saga," insists committee chairman James Arbuthnot MP.

Fuel leaks and design problems were identified in the mid-air fire that caused the biggest single British loss of life in the current Afghan conflict. It resulted in the fleet being grounded and brought an apology from the Defence Secretary.

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But what other weapons might be candidates for cancellation?

Last year Britain confirmed it would spend £3.9bn on two replacement aircraft carriers. But building still hasn't started on what would be the Royal Navy's biggest ever warships.

It is already admitted that - if launched - the new flat tops will have to make do with Harriers, the backbone of seaborne air power since the Falklands campaign.

Delays in their American-designed replacement - Lockheed's F35 Lightening II - mean neither numbers nor final price can be agreed.

And nearly a year after the first of the new "Astute" class submarine was launched there are no current planes to build more than four of the eight the Navy had originally wanted.

The report does credit the MoD with responding to current operational needs, and the RAF is about to announce plans to spend £2.5bn on replacing its airborne tanker fleet.

But with the Army is impatient for a new £16bn fleet of armoured vehicles.

The faster the military spends, the worse the cash crisis come. Some tough decisions are round the corner.
Why do we need aircraft carriers?

Why do we need submarine hunting Nimrods?

I see the need for most of the rest but those two seem like white elephants we can ill afford.
 
#10
The Nimrod does a lot more than just sub hunt. In fact they can 'find' just about anything that can be seen or 'heard' electronically.

And re the Sea Harrier on Carriers, the SeaHarrier was a specific version of the Harrioer with an air-to-air radar which is quite handy when you want to shoot down other aircraft. The normal Harrier does not have a radar, as it is not really required for dropping bombs on targets. This is part of the problem, the carriers (current and future) do not have an aircraft to protect them and so are useless against any enemy who has a credible airforce.
 
#11
HVM_Boy said:
The Nimrod does a lot more than just sub hunt. In fact they can 'find' just about anything that can be seen or 'heard' electronically.

And re the Sea Harrier on Carriers, the SeaHarrier was a specific version of the Harrioer with an air-to-air radar which is quite handy when you want to shoot down other aircraft. The normal Harrier does not have a radar, as it is not really required for dropping bombs on targets. This is part of the problem, the carriers (current and future) do not have an aircraft to protect them and so are useless against any enemy who has a credible airforce.
So we can take the £3.9Billion and spend it on something else. Like decent accommodation? Abolishing pay as you starve? Offering soldiers a salary that might be slightly comparable with what I can earn in civvy street, thus encouraging me to join up again?

Any other ideas on what we could spend £3.9billion on?
 
#12
Nimrod does a feck more than kill subs kind of handy having a plane that can bimble about the seas that surround us with radar and gubbins onboard.
but a billion and 8 years late time to look for another option
http://www.aiaa.org/aerospace/Article.cfm?issuetocid=194

unfortunately there aren't really that many options not only does it have to be able to fly for a long time it also needs to be able to sometimes fly low level
which airliners don't really like doing plus airliners don't come with bomb bays
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#13
OshkoshMan said:
Why do we need aircraft carriers?

Why do we need submarine hunting Nimrods?

I see the need for most of the rest but those two seem like white elephants we can ill afford.
Ref The Nimrod - The UK is an island and we have nearly been starved out by submarine warfare twice in the last 100 years. It's probably the best ASW/ASuW platform there is.

Also the MR4 is more than just a subhunter. As others have said, its packed full of sensors and carry various weapons. More like a cross between a B-52/RC-135/P-3/Bear.

IIRC the way they're converting the airframe is at the root of the issues. Bit like re-tailoring a bespoke suit as it was explained to me.
 
#14
OshkoshMan said:
Sky News said:
'No Defence For Soaring Arms Spending'

Geoff Meade
Defence correspondent
Updated:03:01, Thursday March 27, 2008

An influential Commons Committee has laid in to the soaring price of major defence projects, in its latest report published today.

Defence spending 'unrealistic'Backbench MPs warn that Britain needs to be realistic about what it can afford.

In its boldest review yet, the Defence Select Committee says whole programmes may now face the axe, and cautions against the sort of "salami slice" clawbacks of the past.

It singles out the costly and overdue replacement for the ageing spy plane, whose safety was questioned when 14 lives were lost in Afghanistan, as a prime candidate for the chop.

"The Nimrod MRA4 aircraft programme goes from bad to worse. Almost £800 million over budget and forecast to be nearly eight years late. The MoD must carefully examine whether it should cut its losses and withdraw from this sorry saga," insists committee chairman James Arbuthnot MP.

Fuel leaks and design problems were identified in the mid-air fire that caused the biggest single British loss of life in the current Afghan conflict. It resulted in the fleet being grounded and brought an apology from the Defence Secretary.

Advertisement

But what other weapons might be candidates for cancellation?

Last year Britain confirmed it would spend £3.9bn on two replacement aircraft carriers. But building still hasn't started on what would be the Royal Navy's biggest ever warships.

It is already admitted that - if launched - the new flat tops will have to make do with Harriers, the backbone of seaborne air power since the Falklands campaign.

Delays in their American-designed replacement - Lockheed's F35 Lightening II - mean neither numbers nor final price can be agreed.

And nearly a year after the first of the new "Astute" class submarine was launched there are no current planes to build more than four of the eight the Navy had originally wanted.

The report does credit the MoD with responding to current operational needs, and the RAF is about to announce plans to spend £2.5bn on replacing its airborne tanker fleet.

But with the Army is impatient for a new £16bn fleet of armoured vehicles.

The faster the military spends, the worse the cash crisis come. Some tough decisions are round the corner.
Why do we need aircraft carriers?

Why do we need submarine hunting Nimrods?

I see the need for most of the rest but those two seem like white elephants we can ill afford.
One minute you're fighting in the Desert. Next minute the Russians are conducting Naval Exercises in your back yard.

One minute you're on Patrol in Ulster. Next minute some Argie is landing troops on a far flung piece of British Soil.

One minute you're sat at home minding your own busness. The next a man called Hitler invades Poland.

Hopefully you're starting to see why we need to maintain "All" of our capabilities... Politicians will always have verbal disagreements and we will always be the ones who have to square off four benches and do their fighting for them!
 
#15
Closet_Jibber said:
OshkoshMan said:
Sky News said:
'No Defence For Soaring Arms Spending'

Geoff Meade
Defence correspondent
Updated:03:01, Thursday March 27, 2008

An influential Commons Committee has laid in to the soaring price of major defence projects, in its latest report published today.

Defence spending 'unrealistic'Backbench MPs warn that Britain needs to be realistic about what it can afford.

In its boldest review yet, the Defence Select Committee says whole programmes may now face the axe, and cautions against the sort of "salami slice" clawbacks of the past.

It singles out the costly and overdue replacement for the ageing spy plane, whose safety was questioned when 14 lives were lost in Afghanistan, as a prime candidate for the chop.

"The Nimrod MRA4 aircraft programme goes from bad to worse. Almost £800 million over budget and forecast to be nearly eight years late. The MoD must carefully examine whether it should cut its losses and withdraw from this sorry saga," insists committee chairman James Arbuthnot MP.

Fuel leaks and design problems were identified in the mid-air fire that caused the biggest single British loss of life in the current Afghan conflict. It resulted in the fleet being grounded and brought an apology from the Defence Secretary.

Advertisement

But what other weapons might be candidates for cancellation?

Last year Britain confirmed it would spend £3.9bn on two replacement aircraft carriers. But building still hasn't started on what would be the Royal Navy's biggest ever warships.

It is already admitted that - if launched - the new flat tops will have to make do with Harriers, the backbone of seaborne air power since the Falklands campaign.

Delays in their American-designed replacement - Lockheed's F35 Lightening II - mean neither numbers nor final price can be agreed.

And nearly a year after the first of the new "Astute" class submarine was launched there are no current planes to build more than four of the eight the Navy had originally wanted.

The report does credit the MoD with responding to current operational needs, and the RAF is about to announce plans to spend £2.5bn on replacing its airborne tanker fleet.

But with the Army is impatient for a new £16bn fleet of armoured vehicles.

The faster the military spends, the worse the cash crisis come. Some tough decisions are round the corner.
Why do we need aircraft carriers?

Why do we need submarine hunting Nimrods?

I see the need for most of the rest but those two seem like white elephants we can ill afford.
One minute you're fighting in the Desert. Next minute the Russians are conducting Naval Exercises in your back yard.

One minute you're on Patrol in Ulster. Next minute some Argie is landing troops on a far flung piece of British Soil.

One minute you're sat at home minding your own busness. The next a man called Hitler invades Poland.

Hopefully you're starting to see why we need to maintain "All" of our capabilities... Politicians will always have verbal disagreements and we will always be the ones who have to square off four benches and do their fighting for them!
No I don't. We don't need 2 big fuck-off aircraft carriers when all they can carry is harrier. Unless we're planning to get involved in a mid-ocean battle, there will always be land nearby to operate more suitable aircraft from.

I don't see the need for our submarines since (with exception of the belgrano- which arguably wasn't required) they haven't sunk anything since world war 2.

With the exception of the falklands (which our intelligence services failed to detect) I'm certain there was more than "1 minute" between the dramatic change in defence requirements.

You may well want to point out that a falklands scenario could happen again but I would suggest to you that a repeat of the falklands war would not receive the support from multicultural, casualty-averse britain. (I know we're losing a lot of good blokes just now, but not nearly on the scale of what happened in 1982)
 
#16
Why are we discussing "why do we need this that and the other" when we should be asking "why arn't we getting the funding needed for all these important pieces of kit?"

I was always told that the first responsibility of the government was defence of the realm, then law and order and that every thing else came second to that?

Oh and add the usual at war for 7 years on a peacetime budget but then id look a little to much like a parrot.
 
#17
RABC

The Sea Harrier hs gone, as discussed at great length on PPRuNe here.
Now we have GR7/9 Harriers embarked (when we can find the aircraft - losing the Sea Harrier meant losing about a third of our carrier capable aircraft). It'll be fine, as lonng as we don't find ourselves at war with anyone with an air force. Or a navy.

Contrary to what one of the HVM Boy has said, the new carriers will have a proper air/air capability in the form of the F35. Whilst it will be primarily an attack aircraft, it will have air/air radar and air/air weapons.

The bottom line is this - what happens when we face an enemy with an air force or a navy. What if the US isn't there? Just a handful of MiGs would make heliborne operations impossible. Just a submarine or two would make things very arkward from a logistics viewpoint - now how is that Telic and Herrick are supported? In both Iraq and Afgahnistan the enemy cannot contest our control of the sea or sky in any real way. But look at an atlas. Next time it's likely to be a country with an extended costline. Next time they won't have had 12+ years of sanctions, no fly zones etc. If we cannot control the maritime and air environments we are doomed to fail.
 
#18
OshkoshMan said:
Closet_Jibber said:
One minute you're fighting in the Desert. Next minute the Russians are conducting Naval Exercises in your back yard.

One minute you're on Patrol in Ulster. Next minute some Argie is landing troops on a far flung piece of British Soil.

One minute you're sat at home minding your own busness. The next a man called Hitler invades Poland.

Hopefully you're starting to see why we need to maintain "All" of our capabilities... Politicians will always have verbal disagreements and we will always be the ones who have to square off four benches and do their fighting for them!
No I don't. We don't need 2 big fuck-off aircraft carriers when all they can carry is harrier. Unless we're planning to get involved in a mid-ocean battle, there will always be land nearby to operate more suitable aircraft from.

I don't see the need for our submarines since (with exception of the belgrano- which arguably wasn't required) they haven't sunk anything since world war 2.

With the exception of the falklands (which our intelligence services failed to detect) I'm certain there was more than "1 minute" between the dramatic change in defence requirements.

You may well want to point out that a falklands scenario could happen again but I would suggest to you that a repeat of the falklands war would not receive the support from multicultural, casualty-averse britain. (I know we're losing a lot of good blokes just now, but not nearly on the scale of what happened in 1982)
They will (eventualy) carry JSF which will be a modern "suitable" aircraft.

And mate 2 thirds of the earths surface is covered in blue wet stuff be nice to have an airfeild we can plonk anywhere on it.

Your right 1 minute is an exageration but then it does take a very long time to build these assets such as ships if we do need them.

Can you tell where the next battles will be? bet in 2000 you didn't expect to be in iraq or afghanistan.

If it came to a "the cnuts invaded us AGAIN!" push then the we would be recieving alot more support.
 
#20
instinct said:
Why are we discussing "why do we need this that and the other" when we should be asking "why arn't we getting the funding needed for all these important pieces of kit?"

I was always told that the first responsibility of the government was defence of the realm, then law and order and that every thing else came second to that?

Oh and add the usual at war for 7 years on a peacetime budget but then id look a little to much like a parrot.
My understanding was that the powers that be feel we're spending too much on defence, partly because our officers are a bunch of mongs when it comes to establishing contracts with civvy contractors.

We also spend more of our GDP on the defence budget than many countries (I think we're something like 5th in the world for defence budget as a percentage of GDP).

In other words, we're spending too much on defence because our government wants to punch well above it's weight in terms of foreign policy and supporting our buddies from the USA.

The commons committee has recognised this and are looking into what can be done. Clearly they're not going to reduce commitments because that would involve a loss of face on the world stage (although popular with some at home, I would suggest) so they're looking at efficiency and stopping some of the waste of money that's going on in our procurement programmes.

Fair enough.
 

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