F-Lynx is given the go

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Fugly, Dec 10, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Fugly

    Fugly LE DirtyBAT

  2. Its funny how this political spin has developed.

    A few months ago the headline was 'thousands of jobs will be lost if FLynx doesn't go ahead'

    And it really is spin. From AW''s point of view, they aren't terribly fussed one way or another with FLynx. 62 aircraft isn't a large order and certainly won't secure all those supposed jobs for ever or even in the mid term. As for the export market? Super Lynx is currently filling the order book for some time to come and is keeping Yeovil rather busy. It would be difficult to see which market and what country would wish to buy FLynx. Those potential customers have either already got Super Lynx or Seahawks. Lets suggest that those airframes have 20 years of life in them. Are they really going to buy FLynx in say- 2020 and beyond? An airframe and basic design that is already 30 odd years old with very little future growth as it is.

    AW are very busy with the VH71 (US Presidential Merlin) and the rest of the Merlin program so the tiddly FLynx is more of an embuggerance to them (and to be honest, they aint actually making much of a profit out of it believe it or not).

    We traditionally give Westland a hard time and in most cases, it is quite justified. In the case of FLynx it is something we (the MoD) have brought on ourselves and shouldn't be shocked when it doesn't deliver what its supposed to. The Navy are as happy as larry because as usual, AW are very accommodating towards them and on the flip side, the RN are very good at specifying exactly what they what. After all, the Lynx is a perfect ASW helicopter (hence the large amount of Navies that have purchased it over the years). The Army on the other hand are a bit of a poor, retarded, illegitimate third cousin removed that has learning difficulties in AW's eyes. Hands up who can answer how many Armed Forces around the world has bought an army version of Lynx over the past 30 years?............Beuller, Beuller, Beuller....no? No one.

    A bit of history. Back in the mid 60's as a part of an Anglo-Frog agreement (the Boxheads were involved too) decided that each of their armed forces needed a compendium of common helicopters. A small recce, a naval ASW platform, an army utility, an attack heli and a medium troop lift. To bring the costs down, the development was shared between the three countries. Unfortunately, the Germans pulled out and went the American route with UH1s and CH53s. This left the remaining two countries out in the cold a little bit on costing for the whole project. It was decided that the parts of the project that would go were the attack helicopter as that was deemed the biggest cost and the biggest risk. The result was Gazelle, Naval Lynx, Army Lynx and Puma. The Army Lynx was very much scaled down from what it was originally specified to be again due to costs. If you look at what was in the project and what was sold export, youll see that the Gazelle, Puma and naval Lynx have flourished but the Army Lynx never found any buyers. The big reason was it was a huge compromise. It could neither kill tanks nor lift blokes terribly well. Something that didnt attract potential buyers. Hence why the market was filled with Hueys and Cobras.

    The situation we find ourselves in today is similar. For the RN to get what Westands want to sell them, we (the Army) had to buy into it too. We will get an aircraft that has limited capability (compared to the current and future market) and will be a huge compromise. The navy will have a great aircraft that fits their bill very well.

    Thats the problem when you're skint and your procurement process is run by flids.

    And before anyone suggests 'why don't we just buy off the shelf UH blah blah or EC whatevers'. My question would be 'with what? Smarties? Chocolate buttons?'. Even though FLynx has only just been official signed, its been a done deal for a long time, we've been too deeply committed and the cash was tied up with it ages ago. A pull out would not have produced the money to go elsewhere. Again, political shenanigans.

    The choice from the treasury has been simple; Go with FLynx or do without. That has been the party line for a long time and unfortunately has meant as time has marched on, costing has gone up and because of our fixed budget, capability has been ripped out to meet the price. Who the fuck would buy a battle field helicopter without a helmet mounted display today let alone in a few years time?? Even the Albanians have it!
  3. Fugly

    Fugly LE DirtyBAT

    This is another nice piece of spin - the "also" bit was never an issue, the upgrade was never going to happen unless the MoD signed up for FLynx as well.

    Nothing like a bit of blackmail, but why should we be surprised, considering our track record on procurement.

    "We should buy this. It's not very good, but daddy owns the company". "Sold" (DE+S board meeting, leaked to the Daily Sport).

  4. On a completely unrelated subject, how would you view this;

    A bloke has a completely knackered old car (he's poor and not terribly bright) and he has a big dilemma. His missus needs to get to the hospital urgently but his car has just blown its engine up. The shady new car salesmen approaches him and tells him he can stick a brand new engine in the car so he can get his missus to hospital. The bloke has no option so agrees. The Arfur Daley tells him that sticking the new engine in comes with a caveat. He will only stick the engine in if he agrees to buy a shiny new, highly polished Cortina with a body kit on it (but its actually badged as a Mondeo). The bloke has no choice but to agree because he really needs to get his doris to the hospital. Once the bloke returns from the hospital, the car dealer comes to him again and says 'right, heres the contract you signed before I stuck that engine in your car. You promised you'd buy this shiny new Cortin.....errr Mondeo'. So the bloke coughs up for the car he couldn't really afford and didn't really want (he did need a new car though but preferred to choose one himself that actually suited his needs). The car dealer then whips the engine out of the old knackered car and sticks it in the new one the bloke has just bought he then charges him a huge amount for the privilege and then rips the radio, CD player and air con out. He again charges the bloke for this 'service'. The bloke asks the salesman why he has just paid for a used engine. The salesman says its not 'used', it's 'proven'. Blokey drives off in his 'new' car feeling he may have been ripped off. Salesman retires to the Algarve.

    As I said, a completely unrelated story...... :roll:
  5. Fugly

    Fugly LE DirtyBAT

    Indeed, a VERY unrelated story. It does seem to ring a bell somewhere though! :D

    As with all big projects looked at by MoD, the amount of money pissed away on arguing the small print before reaching Main Gate usually spirals the total cost so high that the entire project is under threat before it has even begun. The result, once the autographs have occurred, is a system that looked good on paper but ends up vastly lacking in key areas, under-supported, and - well, not fit for purpose in some cases. But as usual, the end user (us) has to adapt and muddle on as ever. Meanwhile, somewhere in the Seychelles, a recently retired senior officer looks at his copy of the FT, checks his bank account, and has a good chuckle.

    Or maybe i'm just getting a tad cynical nowadays!
  6. I have absolutely no comment.
  7. :D
  8. Deviating from subject slightly, some years ago I was sent a rather funny cartoon showing the F-Lynx with various product logos all over it as advertising. The title was something along the lines of 'F-Lynx funding problems resolved'. Did anyone else see this and if so, does anyone have a copy of it?