FRES - Has the Army screwed itself?

#1
There have been a series of rumblings about internal strife in the MoD lately. There have been debates on here on why Drayson went. The reasons are various - head to head and disagrement with Swiss Des, a head to head and stand up disagreement with the IAB on the downselect of the FRES UVI, Treasury interference etc etc.

We are now going to start paying the price. Two articles today suggest that the more conservative members of MoD/IPT and Treasury will now get their way with FRES going to the right. IOC goes back to 2017 and Drayson's ideal of 2012 goes out the window.

Telegraph Article

Army forced into retreat

We also hear that none of the vehicles in Trials of Truth were good enough. Personally I think that is bollocks. Another comment I've heard was the trails were inconclusive as there was no way to differentiate the vehicles as the trails were set too easy.

I know there are some non compliance issues with each of the platforms. But the French don't have a habit of buying crap and neither do the Germans. Allegedly Nexter was the Drayson choice and the IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.

With Drayson resigning, who was, for all his faults, a kick arse industrialist with pedigree and was fighting for us to kit early, the Army is now beholded to a career politician.

If it is true that the IAB decided to kick back which seems to be the straw that broke the camels back, leading to Drayson's resignation, I'd just like to thank them personally in their good work in putting back the FRES programme by 5 years.

What a prize fcuk up.... :?
 
#2
The point of FRES was to have light armoured vehicle other than the Warrior to be able to transport around to troublespots by air. Even if the FRES appeared the UK does not have enough air transport to get it there quickly and in numbers so it seems pretty pointless. The money would be better spent on more transport helicopters and more body armour for the troops.
 
#3
[quote="in_the_cheapseats.

IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.

[/quote]

Might be talking out your Arrse here, the GD Pihranha is also known as the LAVIII, currently doing rather well in Kandahar Province with Canadian flags on it.
 
#4
So a total fleet requirement set by the Treasury as opposed to what the Army actually needs to equip/replace already ancient vehicles. Magic.

I can imagine the argument from the Treasury:

You want 3,000 new vehicles? But we just paid to buy 700 of those new Bulldog things and a couple of hundred Poodles and Shitzhus. What did you say they were called again? So by our reckoning you already have about 1,000 new vehicles; why do you all of a sudden want 3,000 of these FRES things? Tell you what we'll do, budget tight and all that, you keep your 1,000 new vehilces and we'll let you buy another 1,000 more. OK?
 
#5
Augustus said:
[quote="in_the_cheapseats.

IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.
Might be talking out your Arrse here, the GD Pihranha is also known as the LAVIII, currently doing rather well in Kandahar Province with Canadian flags on it.[/quote]

No it isn't. GD are offering the Piranha Evolution for FRES UV. Currently only 1 in existence I believe and entirely untested. Meanwhile, back to the real world, VBCI and Boxer are already/about to enter series production.

The LAVIII design is also already decades old. I don't think it has much growth potential left.
 
#6
Augustus said:
[quote="in_the_cheapseats.

IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.
Might be talking out your Arrse here, the GD Pihranha is also known as the LAVIII, currently doing rather well in Kandahar Province with Canadian flags on it.[/quote]

Nope, you are - the GD offering is the LAV 4.5 or Evolution which is a 8x8 veh. Only one vehicle has been made, the test bed and that is the one that took part in the trials of truth. If you had been to any of the shows over the last couple of years you would have seen it.

Get your info right :roll:
 
#7
in_the_cheapseats said:
Augustus said:
[quote="in_the_cheapseats.

IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.
Might be talking out your Arrse here, the GD Pihranha is also known as the LAVIII, currently doing rather well in Kandahar Province with Canadian flags on it.
Nope, you are - the GD offering is the LAV 4.5 or Evolution which is a 8x8 veh. Only one vehicle has been made, the test bed and that is the one that took part in the trials of truth. If you had been to any of the shows ove the last couple of years you would have seen it.

Get yout info right :roll:[/quote]

:roll:
 
#8
I suppose this is another case of 'good day to bury bad news'. The whole sheite storm that is the FRES debacle stands as nothing next to dodgy party contributions and the loss of a third of the populations bank details.

I despair. :(
 
#9
Not an expert, but i believe FRES was envisaged by the MOD in the mid 90's in line with our role as a "peacekeeping" army, light, transportable, less thtreatening etc.

Trouble is the armies needs have moved on, the Israeli's have realised that if the majority of people are going to be living in urban areas, and urban warfare gives the insurgent a more level playing field, that is were the fighting is going to take place,then APC's need to be better protected, hence heavier armour, therefore heavier and slower, the whole concept of FRES is probably out dated.

The constant up armouring of Warrior, Bulldog, Mastiff is testamony to the focus on more protection over mobility.

What about buying Striker straight off the shelf, the yanks have sorted most of its problems out and it is held in high regard by its troops, more so than Bradley. Also makes it easier to beg parts off the yanks if we are using the same kit.
 
#10
Crunchie said:
Not an expert, but i believe FRES was envisaged by the MOD in the mid 90's in line with our role as a "peacekeeping" army, light, transportable, less thtreatening etc.

Trouble is the armies needs have moved on, the Israeli's have realised that if the majority of people are going to be living in urban areas, and urban warfare gives the insurgent a more level playing field, that is were the fighting is going to take place,then APC's need to be better protected, hence heavier armour, therefore heavier and slower, the whole concept of FRES is probably out dated.

The constant up armouring of Warrior, Bulldog, Mastiff is testamony to the focus on more protection over mobility.

What about buying Striker straight off the shelf, the yanks have sorted most of its problems out and it is held in high regard by its troops, more so than Bradley. Also makes it easier to beg parts off the yanks if we are using the same kit.
So you suggest buying the the more lightly armoured US version of the CA LAV III that is being replaced by the US own upgrade programme FCS and is as Crap Spy has pointed out, is a vehicle already in service 10 years and doesn't have any stretch left?

Good forward thinking, mate
 
#11
CrapSpy said:
in_the_cheapseats said:
Augustus said:
[quote="in_the_cheapseats.

IAB wanted GD and the unproven Piranha.
Might be talking out your Arrse here, the GD Pihranha is also known as the LAVIII, currently doing rather well in Kandahar Province with Canadian flags on it.
Nope, you are - the GD offering is the LAV 4.5 or Evolution which is a 8x8 veh. Only one vehicle has been made, the test bed and that is the one that took part in the trials of truth. If you had been to any of the shows ove the last couple of years you would have seen it.

Get yout info right :roll:
:roll:[/quote]

I grovel to all.

Time to renew my anorak - it's obviously not what it used to be.
 
#12
in_the_cheapseats said:
Crunchie said:
Not an expert, but i believe FRES was envisaged by the MOD in the mid 90's in line with our role as a "peacekeeping" army, light, transportable, less thtreatening etc.

Trouble is the armies needs have moved on, the Israeli's have realised that if the majority of people are going to be living in urban areas, and urban warfare gives the insurgent a more level playing field, that is were the fighting is going to take place,then APC's need to be better protected, hence heavier armour, therefore heavier and slower, the whole concept of FRES is probably out dated.

The constant up armouring of Warrior, Bulldog, Mastiff is testamony to the focus on more protection over mobility.

What about buying Striker straight off the shelf, the yanks have sorted most of its problems out and it is held in high regard by its troops, more so than Bradley. Also makes it easier to beg parts off the yanks if we are using the same kit.
So you suggest buying the the more lightly armoured US version of the CA LAV III that is being replaced by the US own upgrade programme FCS and is as Crap Spy has pointed out, is a vehicle already in service 10 years and doesn't have any stretch left?

Good forward thinking, mate
..............................................

................the whole concept is a waste of money. Foward thinking is more helicopters to transport everone about..
 
#13
As said not an expert, just read that the Striker is poular with its users, wasn't on initial invasion, but upgraded and armoured extensively since.

What about those ones in that documentary, even tho they were for Artic use, sure they could be adapted quickly, you know the ones, big 4 legged troop carrier and a smaller 2 legged recce version, AT-ATs or something.

In-the -cheapseats, i bow to your superior knowledge :wink:
 
#14
Crunchie said:
As said not an expert, just read that the Striker is poular with its users, wasn't on initial invasion, but upgraded and armoured extensively since.

What about those ones in that documentary, even tho they were for Artic use, sure they could be adapted quickly, you know the ones, big 4 legged troop carrier and a smaller 2 legged recce version, AT-ATs or something.

In-the -cheapseats, i bow to your superior knowledge :wink:
No worries, mate. Fully equiped with anorak, with additional hood, at this end :D
 
#16
Crunchie said:
you know the ones, big 4 legged troop carrier and a smaller 2 legged recce version, AT-ATs or something.
All Terrain Armoured Transports (Walkers) are susceptible to TOW (cables) and the diddy ones, All Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) are easy to destroy using improvised large log devices. :p
 
#17
No announcement has been made as promised, and the ISD has been put back several years, because BA Systems has not yet been able to come up with a clever enough plan to suck the MoD budget dry and stiff the taxpayer.

Standby announcement of new trials including a BA Systems offering.

Standby further announcement of BA Systems offering being the best value for money and thus contract winner.

Standby even further announcement of massive budget overrun and further ISD shift to the right.

Let's face it, I'm hardly predicting anything new, am I?
 
#18
whitecity said:
No announcement has been made as promised, and the ISD has been put back several years, because BA Systems has not yet been able to come up with a clever enough plan to suck the MoD budget dry and stiff the taxpayer.

Standby announcement of new trials including a BA Systems offering.

Standby further announcement of BA Systems offering being the best value for money and thus contract winner.

Standby even further announcement of massive budget overrun and further ISD shift to the right.

Let's face it, I'm hardly predicting anything new, am I?
The depressing thing is you aren't far off. BAe really trying for a SEP solution.

However, there is a bit of hope.

Down select to one vehicle was announced today.

Note though it says nothing of the down select being of the best vehicle but a lot of chat about the best commercial proposal.

The best vehicle has appears to be already been past over - Drayson's resignation has shown that. Unless something changes extraordinarily we will be presented with the compromise that too often happens out - political necessity and a suite of data (presented as a benevolent gift to the poor Army who MUST feel blessed....) that suits our glorious leadership.

I await a publication of the unadulterated results of the Trials of Truth to prove me wrong.

Having been involved in the GD "take the piss" exercises with BOWMAN, do we really expect anything but a piss take if they get the UVI job, Comms supplier and Veh provider in one go.

Can I please just remind the general audience of what GD's favourite line was during BOWMAN

"I'm sorry, but that isn't in the contract...." :evil:
 
#19
A point of view from the 'orrible civilian side, if you'll excuse me:

Things "Not in the contract" are very high on the c*ck-up risks when it comes to military/industrial projects. Mainly because not writing it into the contract means that the work to achieve it is not properly planned and supported, end result being a horrible series of problems due to badly integrated systems and design decisions taken at earlier stages being not optimal for, or even detrimental to, the revised design.

If the MoD can't get the contract good enough or at least fixed in the first place, then that's where the blame lies.

I'll get down off my soap box now...

The one thing I don't quite get is that the Artec Boxer, which has the most British design input, was going to be procured along with the Germans and Dutch, to replace 432 and Saxon, IIRC. When the MoD and associated politicians were swept up in C130-transportable-mania, it was shelved, and this was probably partly related to Big-And-Expensive Systems snapping up Alvis (who were going to be the UK manufacturer) and thus becoming the giant overlord of military mis-procurement.

Since the UK's involvement in places sandy, it's become apparent that the heavier vehicles aren't so stupid, so the Boxer would make sense to come back in. GD's (really the Swiss firm Mowag, although they are owned by GD) have an admirable record of producing vehicles with the minimum of government and political inteference, but since theirs is the only vehicle not in production, that raises the spectre of politicians demanding the latest things they've seen on the discovery channel and ballsing the whole thing up.
 
#20
incendiarycutlery said:
Things "Not in the contract" are very high on the c*ck-up risks when it comes to military/industrial projects. Mainly because not writing it into the contract means that the work to achieve it is not properly planned and supported, end result being a horrible series of problems due to badly integrated systems and design decisions taken at earlier stages being not optimal for, or even detrimental to, the revised design.

If the MoD can't get the contract good enough or at least fixed in the first place, then that's where the blame lies.

The one thing I don't quite get is that the Artec Boxer, which has the most British design input, was going to be procured along with the Germans and Dutch, to replace 432 and Saxon, IIRC. When the MoD and associated politicians were swept up in C130-transportable-mania, it was shelved, and this was probably partly related to Big-And-Expensive Systems snapping up Alvis (who were going to be the UK manufacturer) and thus becoming the giant overlord of military mis-procurement.

Since the UK's involvement in places sandy, it's become apparent that the heavier vehicles aren't so stupid, so the Boxer would make sense to come back in. GD's (really the Swiss firm Mowag, although they are owned by GD) have an admirable record of producing vehicles with the minimum of government and political inteference, but since theirs is the only vehicle not in production, that raises the spectre of politicians demanding the latest things they've seen on the discovery channel and ballsing the whole thing up.
Excuse my edit, IC. You aren't wrong. Mowag have an enviable reputation. The trouble is that the majority of "capability" for future vehicle doesn't just come from the veh, it come from the whole package, hence NEC. Oh and they aren't Mowag anymore, they are GD.

My problem is two fold.

1. The reason why several companies are involved in FRES as it is too big for one coy IF you want full access to technology transfer.

2. GD was the nightmare child on Bowman (tell me if I'm wrong please). If they then have responsibility for EA, comms and veh, I do not believe that HMG is best served. GD gets too much power whatever the role of the SOSI/ UVI/UVM etc.

Perhaps I am being a little naive - after all, the French have never been our "partners" and after all..... they are French...... :roll:

God bless politics and I thank all for not being part of HM Forces anymore - it really would be too depressing to be on the Staff these days.
 

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