Gizmodo on how Afghanistan has changed kit

#1
#2
What will be just as interesting is how much (or little) will be kept once HERRICK finishes.




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#3
How Afghanistan Changed the British Army, for Better and for Worse | Gizmodo UK

Reading this article about all the kit that has come through UOR and because of Afghanistan and all the others that gush about how good our kit is, I sometimes wonder if my favourite gadgets and gizmo's website is'nt secretly funded by the MoD.
Either than, or the author is just noticing that the kit we've got now is generally a fuckload better than what was around 10 years ago.
 
#4
What will be just as interesting is how much (or little) will be kept once HERRICK finishes.
I'm tempted to offer 5:1 on UGLs being withdrawn instantly, on the basis "We'll never need them again, obviously", despite having needed some kind of rifle-launched grenade, in every major conflict since the Mills bomb was invented.

Call me cynical, why dont'cha.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#6
I'm tempted to offer 5:1 on UGLs being withdrawn instantly, on the basis "We'll never need them again, obviously", despite having needed some kind of rifle-launched grenade, in every major conflict since the Mills bomb was invented.

Call me cynical, why dont'cha.
UGL is now a core item. It will be staying, along with most of the FIST kit.
 
#8
There has to be a distinction between big kit and little kit. The former seems to take forever to come into service and when it does, it is very good indeed except that the 8-track player is now outdated so you can only play early Bee Gees music. Nothing wrong with that, but I digress.
Little kit is where the crux lies; the Government, acutely aware of the criticism about kit, has cornered the niche market in satisfying Tommy Atkins. Thermo-mug, quality clothing, outstanding boots, your body weight in socks, t-shirts and Gucci add-ons... When asked, Tommy replies that the kit has never been so good. Of course, it hasn't because the personal kit issue is wonderful. When I went through basic, the kit was so bad that we all bought our own from Silvermans or wherever.
It doesn't quite matter that you could penetrate the side of a Snatch (fnar-fnar) Landrover with a semi-erect penis.
The Sun will report that all is well for Tommy (and Johnny so as to get a picture of super GILF Joanna Lumley).
Job done and those cnuts at Number 10 are happy.
Sorry to sound a little skeptical. Clearly time of the month.
 
#9
I'm tempted to offer 5:1 on UGLs being withdrawn instantly, on the basis "We'll never need them again, obviously", despite having needed some kind of rifle-launched grenade, in every major conflict since the Mills bomb was invented.

Call me cynical, why dont'cha.
I remember back in secondary School which was a long long long time ago sometime in the late 80's. Was reading a mates magazine (one of those soldier of fortune, garrotte weekly jobs) and it had pictures of sa-80's with ugl's another with a silencer (which was almost the length of the sa-80 itself) and the other was the cut down carbine version, was the last time I saw them until afghan


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#10
What will be just as interesting is how much (or little) will be kept once HERRICK finishes.
Well dump everything that's knackered, then strike off everything which has little practical use in any theatre other than Afg and what you're left with is the stuff that we no longer have the budget for.

I think that covers it.
 
#11
There was a rifle launched grenade issued in NI, CLAW or something like that
Nope. Not in NI. IIRC, CLAW was a laws-of-physics defying weapon concept developed and developed and developed in the 1980s, without ever delivering.

Then came GW1, and we bought - in a big big hurry - a sh1tload of Israeli-made muzzle-launched bullet-trap rifle grenades, which (to save the embarrassment of being seen to kill off an extremely expensive procurement project which had been entirely unproductive) were labelled CLAW, even tho' they had nowt to do with Project CLAW.

I seem to recall some (AP natures?) being issued in limited quantities in part of S Armagh, in response to a specific threat.

They certainly weren't issued to my mob, in a Ballykinler resident Bde Res Bn role, working all over S Armagh, and many other parts of the Province 1991-93.

The frontwheelskid's grenades were not perfect; in GW1 there were [IIRC] a number of ammo incidents with them in pre-op training. They were not used [again - IIRC] in anger in GW1, 'cos Sadman Hussein's army folded and ran away.

Remaining stocks were (I think) just wasted away, unused, and then disposed of.
 
#12
There has to be a distinction between big kit and little kit. The former seems to take forever to come into service and when it does, it is very good indeed except that the 8-track player is now outdated so you can only play early Bee Gees music. Nothing wrong with that, but I digress.
Little kit is where the crux lies; the Government, acutely aware of the criticism about kit, has cornered the niche market in satisfying Tommy Atkins. Thermo-mug, quality clothing, outstanding boots, your body weight in socks, t-shirts and Gucci add-ons... When asked, Tommy replies that the kit has never been so good. Of course, it hasn't because the personal kit issue is wonderful. When I went through basic, the kit was so bad that we all bought our own from Silvermans or wherever.
It doesn't quite matter that you could penetrate the side of a Snatch (fnar-fnar) Landrover with a semi-erect penis.
The Sun will report that all is well for Tommy (and Johnny so as to get a picture of super GILF Joanna Lumley).
Job done and those cnuts at Number 10 are happy.
Sorry to sound a little skeptical. Clearly time of the month.
We're barely a week in - and you have already won Stonker's award for "Post Of The Month" .

Top banana.

Now, only serious bribery* could knock you off the top spot.
=====
*Stonkernote: Serious bribery would require a competitive Arrser to present me with the bird from the Secret Hideaways hotel ad, restrained with masking tape and a ball gag, in the back of their [inexpensively] modified van.

So there's a strong possibility you'll be gazumped.
 
#13
W
*Stonkernote: Serious bribery would require a competitive Arrser to present me with the bird from the Secret Hideaways hotel ad, restrained with masking tape and a ball gag, in the back of their [inexpensively] modified van.

So there's a strong possibility you'll be gazumped.
Should she ever be found in such a position with the knowledge of ARRSE, you will need to be very speedy indeed or you will be using me as a contraceptive.
 
#14
UGL is now a core item. It will be staying, along with most of the FIST kit.
FIST kit?

I wonder how much of the kit labelled 'FIST' has any connection with the outputs of the actual Project FIST?

Smells to me as though a URL RGL has been badged FIST. Fine - as long as it stays in service, and is replaced in due course. Note that BOWMAN is a FIST concept made real. Is that scoring 10/10 in user's eyes yet?

There is an awful lot more in project FIST that smells of defence contractors promising the world, knowing that when they fail, they'll still be ££££££££££££ richer, and HMG will keep shtum, rather than be embarrassed, capturing conveniently successful UOR procurements along the way, as a way of diverting attention from the rest.

That, at least, is the track record.
===

Edited to add: This (from 2007) is interesting:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02/05/army_tech_obsolete/
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
FIST kit?

I wonder how much of the kit labelled 'FIST' has any connection with the outputs of the actual Project FIST?

Smells to me as though a URL RGL has been badged FIST. Fine - as long as it stays in service, and is replaced in due course. Note that BOWMAN is a FIST concept made real. Is that scoring 10/10 in user's eyes yet?

There is an awful lot more in project FIST that smells of defence contractors promising the world, knowing that when they fail, they'll still be ££££££££££££ richer, and HMG will keep shtum, rather than be embarrassed, capturing conveniently successful UOR procurements along the way, as a way of diverting attention from the rest.

That, at least, is the track record.
FIST was a semi-failed project that brought a number of new items to the infantry but had it's latter phases cancelled. I've since heard the term used colloquially to refer to all the LLMs, HMNVS, UGLs, LDSs, laser range finders, thermal sights, etc. that have been given to the infantry over the last few years. Some of these are from FIST, but many of them have nothing to do with the project.

As for bowman, do other armies have anything better? The American stuff seems to fail just as much as ours does and most of the bowman 'faliures' are due to user error or a poor understanding of radio waves and therefore poor siting. There seem to be a lot of complaints about radios not working in woodblocks, but NASA comms experts would have problems getting 2km range out of a 354 in a forest.
 
#18
See - that's how procurement works. Negotiation on the basis of satisfying vested interestss.

Two parties (the contractors and the senior officers) get what they want: no ****** else [the taxpayer/the front line soldier] is allowed to get a word in - because they're hogtied, bent double and being royally screwed from both ends.

=====

B_B: Thank you for your unwitting assistance in crafting this parable :-D
 
#19
FIST was a semi-failed project that brought a number of new items to the infantry but had it's latter phases cancelled. I've since heard the term used colloquially to refer to all the LLMs, HMNVS, UGLs, LDSs, laser range finders, thermal sights, etc. that have been given to the infantry over the last few years. Some of these are from FIST, but many of them have nothing to do with the project.

As for bowman, do other armies have anything better? The American stuff seems to fail just as much as ours does and most of the bowman 'faliures' are due to user error or a poor understanding of radio waves and therefore poor siting. There seem to be a lot of complaints about radios not working in woodblocks, but NASA comms experts would have problems getting 2km range out of a 354 in a forest.
You are asking the wrong questions.

They prob'ly don't have anything better.

Try: "Do have anything as bad that is sooo expensive?", or is there summink out there that is good enough for gunmint work, available NOW and reasonably priced.

We have a procurement system that lives in the high times of the Cold War - when we believed [wrongly] that Ivan's technology nearasdammit matched our own, and could be prodiced in a massive nation whose manpower and industrial capacity would give Unca Sam pause for thought - so we paid top dollar for counter measures.

The USSR is defunct. We ain't gonna fight Moscow in my liofetime, or yours.

The major manufacturers of all forms of silicon-chip-based hardware routinely revise/revolutionise their product lines 2, 3, 4 times a year. So do the Taliban. They all do business at low cost.

I'm left wondering why we're still paying shedloads to have contractors spending years developing technologies to meet specs [like FIST] that are out of date years before they could ever reach production. Should we not look to a new way of getting what is needed?

I'm also left wondering why rifle-launched grenades have ever been dropped from the 'essentials' list. 30 years of NI might be a part of that.

On your last line - I'm thinking "Didn't we do this "the comms we bought cannot work" thing in Holland, Sept '44?"
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#20
I have a few questions re the article:

1:
old-style Desert DPM (that’s Disruptive Pattern Material, in case you were wondering) – great for wandering around big open deserts, but sticks out like a multicoloured sore thumb as soon as you get near buildings
If I remember the results of the American Trials Dessie DPM Performed extremly well in Urban (and of course Desert) Environments, certainly better than most camos.


2:
they’ve just completed a deal with a Spanish vehicle designer to design (and then build in the sunny UK) new modular troop carriers, called Foxhound.
Who's the Spanisdh designer? Ricardo is a Brit Company (est by Sir Harry Ricardo) as is FP Europe, a subsiduary of the American parent Force Protection.


Can anyone enlighten me?
 

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