Economist article - Buy kit off the shelf

#2
Nice idea but last time I checked all of the three FRES options were fairly crap. Hell, they don't even have V-shaped hulls from what I've read and recent experience seems to point to that as a rather handy feature to possess. But the general principle is sound, although politics will probably kill it for any program of a decent size. We've got to prop up BAe and domestic high tech design and manufacturing jobs and all that.
 
#3
V-hulled is not the be all and end all of armoured protection, and some of the FRES vehicles have an internal V hull beneath the flat base ceramic armour designed to defeat EFPs, not to mention they have predominanly open wheels, which means mine strikes should simply carry up the sidewall.

Oh, and if everything was about proping up BAE we would've gone for the SEP program, which while the most expensive (and most advanced) was actually designed to meet the requirements of the program from the off, instead of being a modified unit, but the MOD decided to be cheap and eliminated SEP from the trails
 
#4
Grey24-7 said:
V-hulled is not the be all and end all of armoured protection, and some of the FRES vehicles have an internal V hull beneath the flat base ceramic armour designed to defeat EFPs,
They do? Then I stand corrected. You couldn't tell me which of the three vehicles has this could you? A more informed debate is a better debate and all that. :)
 
#5
Interesting article, not that I know much about FRES nor do I wish to, however for my sixpenneth worth, JPA was an off the shelf package then bastardized, by geeks at worthy down. The MOD should have just got oracle to redesign it the program to suit the needs of the military we wouldnt have face these problems. Also the lack training of HR staff has been invaribly poor, from a technical perspective, due to the 'we can work around it attitude.'

MOD procurement from my personal opinion has been classed as poor. Defence trials seriously need looking at, as this is where the most monies are being wasted. As my above example states above, if you have a piece of kit that is cost effective and the personnel have lack of training using it, these are the two main ingredients for disaster.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
JPA is not a good example because it was not designed as an admin tool for the military.

Buying the Bradley of the Abrams or the M16 family of rifles etc

Far too often we design something that comes out more expensive and later than the Yanks and we don't sell them very much because the Yanks are cheaper and have already sewn up the market.
 
#7
I think there is a good case for off the shelf so long as the offsets are in place. Seeing as the Turks for example are able to build and maintain their own F16s, I think it is perfectly workable that we can import the designs, kits, tooling etc and still be able to build it in our own factories with our own labour force therefore retaining a viable industry. The biggest cost for UK designed equipment has to be the R&D and the inflated timescales for the in service dates.
 
#8
"Buying the Bradley of the Abrams or the M16 family of rifles etc"

I have a book from the 1980's which complains about all of the above, citing them as procurement nightmares that should never have happened. Strange how times change isn't it!
 
#9
"Yawn".

How many of you armchair generals know anything about Defence Procurement?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
jim30 said:
"Buying the Bradley of the Abrams or the M16 family of rifles etc"

I have a book from the 1980's which complains about all of the above, citing them as procurement nightmares that should never have happened. Strange how times change isn't it!
Indeed they were, but they were someone else's nightmare.

That said we are having problems with Joint Strike Fighter or whatever its called.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#11
StabTiffy2B said:
"Yawn".

How many of you armchair generals know anything about Defence Procurement?
I'm sorry am I not allowed to have an opinion?

Lets leave it up to the experts, after all they are doing such a good job.
 
#12
how many people in mod procurement know anything about defence procurement ?:twisted:
just from memory
sa80
bowman
Nimrod awacs
saxon
the special forces chinooks bwhahhahahaahhaahaah :roll:
the "new" nimrod

my son would make a quicker more effective decision than the mod an as he's five that would involve finishing school going to uni learning engineering etc etc :roll:
 
#13
StabTiffy2B said:
"Yawn".

How many of you armchair generals know anything about Defence Procurement?
I think i can say quite a bit, and the public shambles is only what joe civvi can grasp (or more accurately what a newspaper editor thinks joe civvi can understand).

The reality of UK Defence procurement is even worse than is in the public domain.

But then I am not a general, and I don't even have an armchair.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
StabTiffy2B said:
"Yawn".

How many of you armchair generals know anything about Defence Procurement?
I know lots.

The point with FRES seems to be making sure what is bought has some "stretch" in it to allow future upgrades etc. No bad thing if its going to be in service for 25 years. Although I suspect the alternative view is buy now off the shelf and cheaper then buy again in 12-15 years rather than 25-30. There's also the point that FRES is supposed to be more than a vehicle.
 
#15
Off the shelf isn't always the way ahead, but then neither is a bespoke solution.

DMICP was supposedly a 'from the ground up' brand spanking new programme to cover all current and future medical needs for the all three services, it was tested, adapted and tested again (several times) and gradually rolled out in a pre planned country wide programme. (has everyone got it yet?)

Its (supposedly) going to have a tie in with the NHS and have a link for operational tours too.

It was sold to the users (by various working groups/roadshows or some such cobblers) as being far better than the 'off the shelf' EMIS or Meditel. In many ways it is better, but its nothing like as good as it could, or should, be.

Its still full of problems and bugs, the training wasn't up to standard and in many cases wasn't on time. Don't get me started on the hardware its currently stuck on, or the server capacity, or what happens when the main database goes down. Next time anyone phones the EMS service desk, ask them what their feelings are on DMICP. Half of their staff quit over DMICP as there was no provision for a proper help desk.

I don't think there will ever be a way of purchasing for the MOD that will be 100% effective. We will never see quality kit arrive if the proposed users are ignored and if after sales service/help isn't part of the deal.
 
#16
the Chinook fiasco could have been avoided it was penny pinching.
lot of programmes that have rolled on and on and on producing feck all
 
#17
the Chinook fiasco could have been avoided it was penny pinching.
lot of programmes that have rolled on and on and on producing feck all
 
#18
BuggerAll said:
JPA is not a good example because it was not designed as an admin tool for the military.

Buying the Bradley of the Abrams or the M16 family of rifles etc

Far too often we design something that comes out more expensive and later than the Yanks and we don't sell them very much because the Yanks are cheaper and have already sewn up the market.
Just to scare everyone off buying American...I'll just mention ITAR.

Those who know what I mean can stop screaming now, those that don't...you don't want to, honest.

S_R

edit: they also have at least one glaringly obvious 'mistake' with the GD Piranha varient being described as an American design just to twist the bias of the piece a bit more.
 
#19
gobbyidiot said:
The argument about "retaining a capability" has been used for years and all we've got for it is poor equipment at ridiculous prices - and so says The Economist.

http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11024621
This story has the ring about it of the Nimrod/Boeing AWACS contract.

AWACS was there to be bought, but no, the politicians decided to develop the British version, Nimrod. Billions of £ later the whole thing has been a terrible waste of money and cost airmens lives. Don't we learn anything?
 
#20
StabTiffy2B said:
"Yawn".

How many of you armchair generals know anything about Defence Procurement?
I do, but I'm more of an armchair Corporal.

Buying COTS is very much MOD policy, it just doesn't always fit the bill. No comment on FRES though as it's not "my bag".
 

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