Defence Procurement White Paper

#1
A White Paper on the future of Defence Spending has said that in future the MoD's purchases will be decided on

"open competition in the domestic and global market, buying off-the-shelf where appropriate".

And that "We will look first for products that are proven".

It goes on to say that "The MoD does not consider wider employment, industrial, or economic factors in its value for money assessments"

So, is this an end to Defence R&D in the UK and a move to buying other nations ships, vehicles etc.. which have been proven already. An end to prototypes with "Made in Britain" stamped on them, or simple a bump in the road?

Would this mean that companies like BAE ill go to the wall? Will the RAF try to order French jets instead of the Eurofighter like India?

And will it matter to the Services where the kit is sourced from? Will we miss BAE's products, or just their waterproof ammo bags?

Thoughts Arrsers?
 
#2
Stupid idea.
 
#4
Can the MoD use this idea retrospectively? If so, Westland - you owe us £2 Billion please.


Is the Noble Lord suggesting that Wasteland re-inventing the Blackhawk wheel at huge expense with the Merlin was not the most gifted and far sighted of decisions of all time and gave the MOD a world class capability and the UK a fantastic export success at no huge expense to the taxpayer?

I mean, look at what a flop that Blackhawk has been, its only sold 3,000 units compared with our fantastic Merlin thats stormed the market and sold <cough> not a lot Minister <cough>
 
#7
Thoughts Arrsers?

I recall reading about this in The Times last Thursday... Seems like the propagation of news down to the lower ranking media such as commercial radio is as slow as it ever was.

Naturally the sacred three* will still be sourced in the UK.

If it was up to me, the vast majority of our Equipment would be made only in Great Britain. We should be independant of foreign suppliers and net exporters of stuff that we use ourselves.





*Sacred three; Nuclear, Communications and Crypography.
 
#8
It's a tricky old world. "Off the shelf, proven" means "less than state of the art". "State of the art" means unproven, requiring development.

Take JSF. You can have F/A-18s for pennies on the dollar, and loads of them, or you can wait for, and pay through the nose for, F-35. It may well be an F/A-18 killer though.

Or A400M. You can wait for, and pay through the nose for, very few A400Ms. Or you can have as many C-130Js as you like. They might be a bit small though.

And somewhere in the middle is where we ought to be. Perhaps a proven airframe with some new wiggly amps to make the best of it. But even then, it can go woefully, woefully wrong. Chinook 3? Nah, we'll order them as that, but we'll waste a decade and several hundred million making sure we only get Mk 2.5s.

As said, Blackhawks, a tenner a copy. How many do you want? Nope, we'll take some homegrown thing and use that. About a thousand times more expensive. It's got a glass flight deck too. Wait, no, let's give it to the Navy when the Sea Kings peg it. Well if we do that, we'll need new avionics...

FOR CHRIST's SAKE!!! Throw BAe and Westlands to the wolves and buy American. Get it over with. It's coming anyway, even BAe know that. They're now a majority American company. Westlands is majority Italian, so just get the pain over with and save some serious geld.

As soon as Eurofighter is through it's production phase, Wart-on is royally****ed, and with it the rest of BAe UK.
But where will senior Civil Servants and about-to-be retired officers get a second career if we cast off (US)BAe and AgustaWestland??
 
#9
I always thought that MOD procurement needed to consider maintaining a manufacturing capability within the UK for certain defence items, such as ships, electronics, vehicles, ammo etc etc.
 
#10
I always thought that MOD procurement needed to consider maintaining a manufacturing capability within the UK for certain defence items, such as ships, electronics, vehicles, ammo etc etc.
It should do....right up to the point that those homegrown industries aren't competitive or offer value for money. That ceased about 30 years ago.

As has been said, there are no wholly UK owned defence companies left any more. The profits (and IPR) feck off overseas. Most of our gifted designers jumped ship ages ago and work abroad. UK MoD buying a Westland product just means a few extra Armarni suits for some Wop in Rome. Its a bit late in the day to fly the 'Buy British' flag cos all that means is procuring a sub-standard expensive product designed to prop up a political stand point just for the sake of it. In this day and age, MoD procurement should be about value for money and maximum capability. Buying British is as out of date as the idea of National pride and the notion that we can still stand alone. If we'd properly maintained heavy industry it would be a worthwhile idea but since we've become a nation in love with leisure and retail, you can **** off. I want max bang for bucks and I'm not really fussed if it was designed in the back streets of Beijing.
 
#11
I always thought that MOD procurement needed to consider maintaining a manufacturing capability within the UK for certain defence items, such as ships, electronics, vehicles, ammo etc etc.
So who makes our ammo then?
 
#12
Thoughts Arrsers?

I recall reading about this in The Times last Thursday... Seems like the propagation of news down to the lower ranking media such as commercial radio is as slow as it ever was.

Naturally the sacred three* will still be sourced in the UK.

If it was up to me, the vast majority of our Equipment would be made only in Great Britain. We should be independant of foreign suppliers and net exporters of stuff that we use ourselves.





*Sacred three; Nuclear, Communications and Crypography.
surely some mistake. Parts of the Nuclear Arsenal are bought from the United States
 
#14
I always thought that MOD procurement needed to consider maintaining a manufacturing capability within the UK for certain defence items, such as ships, electronics, vehicles, ammo etc etc.
The politicians will not spend enough money on the armed forces to sustain any of the manufacturers. When something is ordered, it becomes subject to gerrymandering and delays in order to manipulate votes and government budget figures - which mainly why projects cost so fecking much. Ergo, we no longer have the option of buying British.

E.g. If I was dictator, I would indeed be ordering 4 or 5 major naval ships per year - even if that meant putting older ships into a reserve fleet to save a bit on Navy running costs. At least those annual orders would keep strategic shipyards turning over at a commercially efficient pace. It probably would drive costs right down, as the yards would see a pipeline of new work to bid upon. The steel demand would make British steel mills a bit more viable - another strategic & economic benefit. The equipment in the supply chain would also benefit from the constant trickle down of orders. The bonus on top would be that, apart from UK retaining a strategic shipbuilding capability, a decent Navy and a few hundred thousand quality jobs - the surfeit of cheap(er) British equipment would be heck of a lot more competitive in the world's military hardware market.

Repeat for armour, aircraft, small arms, ammunition, electronics, vehicles, trains, nuclear power stations, etc, etc..

Simples; unless you're a socialist politician....
 
#15
The politicians will not spend enough money on the armed forces to sustain any of the manufacturers. When something is ordered, it becomes subject to gerrymandering and delays in order to manipulate votes and government budget figures - which mainly why projects cost so fecking much. Ergo, we no longer have the option of buying British.

E.g. If I was dictator, I would indeed be ordering 4 or 5 major naval ships per year - even if that meant putting older ships into a reserve fleet to save a bit on Navy running costs. At least those annual orders would keep strategic shipyards turning over at a commercially efficient pace. It probably would drive costs right down, as the yards would see a pipeline of new work to bid upon. The steel demand would make British steel mills a bit more viable - another strategic & economic benefit. The equipment in the supply chain would also benefit from the constant trickle down of orders. The bonus on top would be that, apart from UK retaining a strategic shipbuilding capability, a decent Navy and a few hundred thousand quality jobs - the surfeit of cheap(er) British equipment would be heck of a lot more competitive in the world's military hardware market.

Repeat for armour, aircraft, small arms, ammunition, electronics, vehicles, trains, nuclear power stations, etc, etc..

Simples; unless you're a socialist politician....

So a bit like it used to be up until about 1950? ;-)
 
#17
So a bit like it used to be up until about 1950? ;-)
Absolutely.

Look at the V-bomber story: an Air Ministry requirement produces (in an unbelievably short time) three exceptional aircraft from rival manufacturers. Nowadays, UK industry couldn't even realistically respond to a requirement for something as simple as a new rifle or a few million rounds of small arms ammunition.
 
#18
That was Heseltines reasoning when he flounced out of cabinet after contriving some half baked theory
that Westland should be a panel basher for Agusta rather than Sikorsky. It was a non story then, as now.
His on again, off again, leadership challenge was another political failure that resulted in the creation of
a ceremonial office to satisfy his ego. Deputy Prime Minster is not worth a bucket of cold piss when you
consider the last three holders of that title. But it is Heseltine who caused great damage to manufacturing.

Whatever happened to Sikorsky? Have they had much success since that infamous episode? Or are they
reduced to employing some bloated ex-defence minister to consult on foreign sales.




<Heselteenie> We don't want Wastelands being bought by Sikorsky and building this POS! We want a British helicopter! <Heselteenie>

Yes, that's right folks, that a British built Blackhawk, built under licence in Wastelandshire, by Wastelands in 1988.

Meanwhile, while the much vaunted Merlin Hesselteenie championed has turned out to be a spectacular sales flop, Sikorsky went off and cosied up to PZL Mielec in Poland who are building 200 UH-60 cabs for the US Army and will be manufacturing the Sikorsky S70i Blackhawk for which there is an estimated market of 1,200 helicopters.

Yes, the 'British' solution played out magnificently.
 
#19
Here’s one Westland prepared earlier. In the 1950’s to be exact. A design which bears a passing
resemblance to a heavy lift version of the Blackhawk. A sort of British 'Sky Crane'. Which is a bit
of a coincidence since some of the components were from a Sikorsky S-64 ... err… Skycrane. :mrgreen:
Now let me think…

Wastelands made a rather good living taking proven Sikorsky cabs since 1945 and building them under licence and suitably upgraded here in the UK and sold them like gangbusters.

Wastelands then get a rush of blood to their heads and team up to build the EH101 woptocopter with Augusta…

Augusta had made a rather good living taking proven Bell and Boeing helicopters and building them under licence and selling them like gangbusters before getting a rush of blood to it's head and teaming up with Wastelands to build the EH101 woptocopter…

I wonder? Should they have stuck to building proven and popular US helos with strong sales?

Nah! No market for them things, I mean, anyone would think the RAF is the biggest user of Wokkas outside the US Army!
 
#20
It goes on to say that "The MoD does not consider wider employment, industrial, or economic factors in its value for money assessments"

That statement is complete and utters balls on every count. MoD procurement decisions are regularly over-ruled following successful lobbying by the MP in whose constituency a losing bidder is. It's why competitions take so long and overheads are so high, with companies who have no chance of winning being encouraged to spend millions bidding.
 

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