Right, as much as I enjoy watching the current ding-dong punchup surrounding CVF, I feel the need to relate this to another topic by meandering off on something I know a little bit more about. ...that being the f*ck up previously know as FRES. In much the same manner as those that are questioning the utility of the proposed CVF buy, I would question the logic that went into this programme, which I would contend was based on either of the following*: a) We all got swept up in the medium-weight, network centric orgy of the previous decade, and indulged our fantasies in an unproven doctrine based upon powerpoint slides and Playstation graphics... or b) The senior leadership of the Army got fed up with looking out of the window at an increasingly beat-up AFV fleet, and attempted to build an infallible case for their replacement based on a) above, which they never really believed in. Either way, by not being able to articulate exactly what we wanted, we have ended up with a fiasco that could have been more easily sorted if we had just bought a COTS item back when we were considering FFLAV/MRAV/TRACER in the 90s. What worries me most is how little thought actually goes into some of our equipment strategy, and how much of this is based on either axiom and myth handed down from generation to generation, or far-fetched fantasies whose basic premise could have been scotched by even the most basic of history lessons. Lets take the whole FRES SV/CVR(T) debate for instance. I recently read an HQ DRAC paper in which it was confidently claimed that the British Army would continue to practice 'recce by stealth' in the future, and that our equipment would be development on this premise. I had hoped that I might have seen references to studies or historical perspectives that have demonstrated the benefits to a modern manouvre army of this doctrine, as opposed to the US doctrine which advocates a more robust approach to recce**. I was disappointed. In fact, can anyone actually think of an example in which current FR doctrine has been used effectively against a modern opponent? One only has to look at the equipment tables of a post-1944 Armd Recce regiment to see that medium tanks had supplanted many of their light brethren and armoured cars - and it han only be assumed that this was learnt the hard way... Anyway, back to my point, which is...who is actually thinking hard about how we do stuff beyond the endless position papers written in a matter of weeks by hordes of over-worked SO2s? How many senior officers are actually doing any kind of the intellectual PT which they should be paid to do, instead of spinning PR and regurgitating briefs written for them by their staff? * - there is a 3rd option, as espoused by Booker, North et al, in that FRES was based on the need to intregrate ourselves further into the EU ** - actually, the US approach to 'FIND' is more comprehensive, of which armored (sic) cavalry Squadrons equipped with Abrams and Bradley are but a part mods - feel free to move this to the RAC forum if you feel this has too much of a mechnaical slant on it!