FRES pay now buy later

Discussion in 'Tanks, planes & ships' started by jay2o, Feb 4, 2009.

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  1. So far the UK Defense Ministry has shelled out $223 million on the utility variant of its Future Rapid Effect System (FRES) armored vehicle program. You remember – it’s that element of the program where the ministry is arguably back at square one.

    Quentin Davies, the British minister for defense equipment and support, said February 3 that up until the end of last year £133 million ($223) had been spent on the FRES utility variant – with a further £25 million spent on specialist vehicle variant.

    The ministry had selected – albeit with a DNA-string of caveats – the General Dynamics Piranha 5 vehicle as the basis for FRES utility. The two sides then spent almost half-a-year discovering that neither could agree the most basic of terms – issues which both were well aware of when the vehicle was selected as the “provisionally preferred design.” The crux of the issue from the outset is understood to have been intellectual property rights.

    With regard to FRES Utility Davies told the British Parliament at the end of January: “The MOD is currently considering how to take forward the procurement of the Utility Vehicle element of the Future Rapid Effects System program in order to ensure we provide Defense with the best possible capability at the best value for money.”

    So far getting nothing for £133 million doesn’t smack of “best value for money”.

    The Defense Ministry’s revised priority is now the reconnaissance element of FRES. Davis said “The Specialist Vehicle element of the FRES program continues to make good progress and received Initial Gate approval to enter its Assessment Phase in June 2008. A range of program options are currently being considered for the Reconnaissance variant, FRES Scout.”

    The hope must be that FRES Scout will do better than FRES Utility. The ministry’s track record on reconnaissance vehicle programs – however – is itself not without blemishes.

    Take for example the Anglo-U.S. Tracer/Future Scout Cavalry System program. This was an overly ambitious armored reconnaissance vehicle program that unraveled as costs, requirements, and budgetary pressures took effect at the beginning of this decade.
  2. Where has this come from?
  3. ares defense blog, the link is in the above post
  4. Uh, I'm guessing the Ares blog on the Aviation Week site he linked to at the bottom. Or am I misunderstanding your question?

    Edit: A second too slow.
  5. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I reckon the whole FRES UV is going into the round filing cabinet, where it belongs
  6. dont say that! :(
    dont kill the dream
  7. I know another vehicle program was put on hold recently. Not as sexy as FRES but without it FRES wouldnt get very far!
    Reason for the hold was actually the recent economic difficulties and pound against the dollar!
  8. It's not unusual to spend a wedge of cash in the Concept and Assessment phase to ensure the requirement is defined and research done. I don't know the overall project value but i suspect £130M is probably a very small %. Spending fcuk all prior to committing £bns to the whole project is not sensible.

    That said, there may have been some 'faffing' in the early phases, i don't know and it could be that some cash has been wasted - time will tell.
  9. The spend on Boxer, the first go, was £57M so £130M sounds about right for a project with no partners.

  10. Just for a laugh, this is the British Boxer prototype which the Germans are playing with since we declined it. Recognition feature is the Davros the Dalek turret which Britain specified.
  11. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    'Some faffing'

    Is that the understatement of the century :D

    And does the figure of £133m actually include spends on projects that were not FRES but very strongly related, like Boxer and Tracer for example?
  12. Doubt it; Tracer was in development when I was serving in the early Nineties. The Boxer programme was specifically halted to release funds for FRES. I'm sure the £130M did include some of the joint venture stuff done with the US though.
  13. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Sadly, it doesn't. FRES has its own budget figures of £131m so far. Boxer cost us an additional £48m (MoD site figure against the Janes figure of 57m) when we pulled out of the joint venture.

    Sad reading, isn't it.
  14. Well it is if FRES comes to nothing; it would be criminal. However spending £130M now would be justified if FRES comes in within Performance / cost / and time parameters then it will be a....... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
  15. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Adux, do you work on FRES?

    The whole story is a very sad one indeed, didnt the chairman of the select committe call it the Most Disastrously Managed Program.

    The combined figures for the UK/German MRAV or Boxer and the US/UK TRACER is in fact £188 million, as quoted in the Defence Select Committe Report HC159.

    So thats a grand total of £318 million for precisely the square root of fcuk all, ok we have some smart looking PowerPoints and capability requirements but absolutely nothing in terms of tangible capability

    What capabilties would that have actually enabled I wonder