Gordon Brown Orders Defence Delays to Plug £2bn Hole

#1
From The Sunday Times, June 1, 2008

Gordon Brown orders defence delays to plug £2bn hole

Michael Smith

Gordon Brown has overruled services chiefs and told them to delay replacing ageing weapons, vehicles and aircraft to plug a £2 billion black hole in the defence budget.

The heads of the armed forces had suggested cancelling two programmes outright to preserve the rest of their replacements from “salami-slicing”.

The prime minister is understood to have vetoed individual large-scale cuts for fear of negative publicity. A total of at least eight programmes will now be delayed. The highest-profile postponement will be the Future Rapid Effects System (Fres), a new generation of armoured vehicles that was due to come into service next year but which has been repeatedly put back.

Procurement chiefs who predicted that the budget for 2008-11 was so bad it was heading for “a train crash” now expect the black hole to be even wider in the two years after that.

“It is only going to get worse,” said one defence source. “The service chiefs are in ‘survival mode’, trying to avoid making any decisions to kill off programmes in the vague hope Gordon might go.”

The army has been the main loser after a series of damaging inter-service rows over what needs to be cut to pay for two new aircraft carriers, each costing £2 billion. Brown insisted that the carriers, to be built in the Rosyth dockyard where many of his constituents work, go ahead.

In addition to the Fres delay, intended to save £800m, other postponements include the Future Integrated Soldier Technology (Fist) programme, an attempt to have every soldier “networked” to their headquarters using information technology. Postponing this programme will push £100m of spending three years into the future.

A software upgrade designed to give the army’s Bowman communications system a battlefield tracking system to avoid friendly-fire attacks has been delayed indefinitely, pushing back more than £300m.

The RAF will receive no replacements for the three Hercules transport aircraft lost in Iraq and Afghanistan or the nine scrapped over the past year due to fatigue problems, saving £600m.

Replacements for the ageing Nimrod fleet, whose faults have been blamed for killing 14 servicemen in an explosion over Afghanistan, are unaffected by the moves.

The navy has survived virtually untouched, being forced only to accept that it will now only get six Astute submarines instead of the nine originally planned and six new Type-45 destroyers, instead of the original seven. But both these cuts were already accepted in return for the carriers.

“We have recently concluded our planning round which prioritises across the defence programme,” the Ministry of Defence said. “Some decisions will be put on hold while the examination of the equipment programme is carried out.”
Defence cuts? What defence cuts? These are merely... slight delays in some defence related programs.

What a surprise, he doesn't want to make a decision or take any bad publicity so he simply puts everything back a few years. Of course in the meantime we're still left making do with what we have and the gaps between when the old stuff really should have been let go and new lot introduced gets ever wider. I especially like this paragraph,

Procurement chiefs who predicted that the budget for 2008-11 was so bad it was heading for “a train crash” now expect the black hole to be even wider in the two years after that.
And the cynic in me thinks of course and that couldn't be because he knows that short of a minor sodding electoral miracle he'll be out on his arrse in two years time. Of course I could just be generous and put it down to a decade of underfunding and general cack-handed-ness at organising stuff rather than purposeful actions.

Now if you'll excuse me I think I saw an outrage wagon going past that I need to get on. :x
 
#2
"Gordon Brown orders defence delays to plug £2bn hole"

Remind me again how much the one eyed tosser spent trying to bribe voters prior to the Crewe and Nantwich bye-election....lets hope the defence chiefs grow some!!!
 
#3
Depressing.

I'd suggest that this helps proves that Igor is a self serving w@nker who puts his own existance ahead of national interest.

I thought as much when I advised a certain international company to team with a well known company in Igors constituency, although there was no good reason for it, other than it being in his constituency and that he talks to the MD a lot. I reckon Igor phones Him......

The good Yanks would not believe that such a cynical move would strengthen their bid. I would suggest, m'lords, that this proves the case for.......

Tosser
 
#4
I take it he won't be spending the money required for Smart munitions to plug the Cluster Weapons capability gap the w@nker has just signed up to any time in the next 10 years then.

Lets hope T Atkins DOES survive these t0ssers!
 
#5
Is he even softer in the head than most of us think?????? With the laws or corporate manslaughter and health and safety now in force can that man be a bigger CNUT??????

Give us what we need and stop penny pinching (well a couple of Billion). I hope that PR*CK rots in hell and is haunted by the many who will die because of him!!!!

We have cone heads who make and design kit to save our lives so give them the money and stop paying for immigrants and chav tozzers. Oh hang on make the chavs join up and earn their money!

Rant over.

P.S. nearly over what I want to know is how the hell you can get a carrier into Afghan?????????? Must be a hell of a sized jingly wagon
 
#6
Out of the list on what the Army will be having cut, sorry, 'delayed'. The one that particularly send's a chill down my spine is the Bowman GPS system designed to prevent blue on blue.

The majority of the other 'delays' are new capability orientated but the Bowman one is more of a safety thing.

I hope that no incidents occur that could have been avoided using this technology.


Oh yes, and Gordon, you are a f*cking t0sser.


W-60
 
#7
The RAF will receive no replacements for the three Hercules transport aircraft lost in Iraq and Afghanistan or the nine scrapped over the past year due to fatigue problems, saving £600m.
We we're never going to anyway. Any funds that did arise from the loss of said 'frames were spunked on C17.
 
#8
I don't disagree that Broon is a cnut of the first water.

But: we overspent £7 Billion (hardly pennies, Conco) in the equipment programme so what do you expect to happen?

The 'Bowman kit designed to prevent blue-on-blue' is more journo nonsense: it is designed to facilitate situational awareness; IFF can help prevent 'blue-on-blue' = different capability. And anyway, nothing can totally insure against this happening anyway.

We need the carriers if we are to continue pursuing our defence interests around the world: have a look at the Military Tasks before posting irrelevancies like 'we can't get a carrier into Afghan' - no shit, Sherlock.

A complete non-story that we 'exposed' last week here on ARRSE: none of this should come as any surprise to any reasonably sensible onlooker with even a passing interest in defence matters.

/thread
 
#9
What I find more shocking is that everyone has known this would happen, but there have been no difficult questions asked Parliament.
I think the Tories have missed a trick here.
 
#10
From The Sunday Times, June 1, 2008


The navy has survived virtually untouched, being forced only to accept that it will now only get six Astute submarines instead of the nine originally planned and six new Type-45 destroyers, instead of the original seven. But both these cuts were already accepted in return for the carriers.
Good to see the fine tradition of journalistic inaccuracies :roll:

The Navy has survived virtually untouched eh? Right so all those ships that have been sold off, decommissioned or put into 'extended readiness' (no naval vessel has EVER come back out of 'extended readiness') so that we can have the carriers (as 1SL put it recently 'jam tomorrow') is a figment of my imagination then?

Without breaking OPSEC, we NEED more than 6 Astute SSN's as they cannot be in more than one place at the same time. As for the Type 45's, the original figure was 12 as agreed in the 1998 Strategic Defence Review, not 7 so the Sunday Times hack can double away and recheck their figures.

These cuts were not agreed to-that's why we got rid of so many other ships as we were basing the future RN on having 9 Astutes, 12 Type 45's and 2 Carriers.

FFS, we still haven't even got around to deciding what's going to replace the Type 22's and Type 23's yet....
 
#11
I wonder if Broon will ever start ruffling feathers in the city by going after the corporate tax dodgers, the ones who by the governments own (low) estimates take away £25 billion every year in tax from the treasury.

Then again since the government like to employ these tax avoidance companies for other things i doubt they'll be doing that, plus the cuts to the tax office means the city companies can drive a bus through the gaps left.
 
#14
Yokel said:
Remind me how much will the Olympics cost?
My thoughts too. Hmmmm, priorities? Defence v London Olympics? But don't worry, while one day we may be reissued with SLRs and 58 pattern we'll also boast half a dozen Olympic bronze medals in archery, fencing, the 50m freestyle and other insignificant events.
 
#15
O2Thief said:
Yokel said:
Remind me how much will the Olympics cost?
My thoughts too. Hmmmm, priorities? Defence v London Olympics? But don't worry, while one day we may be reissued with SLRs and 58 pattern we'll also boast half a dozen Olympic bronze medals in archery, fencing, the 50m freestyle and other insignificant events.
er, I think you will find that the 'strategic reserve' weapons which were stored after the SLR was taken out of service, were given to sierra leone by tony blair.

Ski.
 
#16
Bruin apparently is spending £60 billion on quangos.Why cannot some sort of cull take place in that area,to redeploy some(or all!!) of this funding elsewhere?
 
#17
The T45 was always scheduled to be 12 units in theory (although I have a magazine article dated 95, that claims that only 6 would be bought). I've never seen 7 cited as a target figure, so Mick Smith is unusually off on that one.

WRT to the attrition buy, my understanding was that Treasury had always refused to fund attrition buys of C130's on the grounds that A400M would replace the capabilities lost for the normal transport aircraft lost. Thats not new.

As for 6 Astutes - this represents a worrying development, as the RN figure is higher to maintain the expected level of tasking. It demonstrates a stunning lack of understanding of what the RN is expected to do.

As always Broon will claim to be taking the tough long term decisions, but in reality he's fudged it, knowing full well that a Tory govt will have to take the decisions instead. I'm convinced this guy is issuing "WEREWOLF" orders to take out industry, as per herr Hitler in 45...
 
#18
SkiCarver said:
O2Thief said:
Yokel said:
Remind me how much will the Olympics cost?
My thoughts too. Hmmmm, priorities? Defence v London Olympics? But don't worry, while one day we may be reissued with SLRs and 58 pattern we'll also boast half a dozen Olympic bronze medals in archery, fencing, the 50m freestyle and other insignificant events.
er, I think you will find that the 'strategic reserve' weapons which were stored after the SLR was taken out of service, were given to sierra leone by tony blair.

Ski.
Well, it's either bows and arrows or spears then. Choose yer weapon! :roll:
 
#19
O2Thief said:
SkiCarver said:
O2Thief said:
Yokel said:
Remind me how much will the Olympics cost?
My thoughts too. Hmmmm, priorities? Defence v London Olympics? But don't worry, while one day we may be reissued with SLRs and 58 pattern we'll also boast half a dozen Olympic bronze medals in archery, fencing, the 50m freestyle and other insignificant events.
er, I think you will find that the 'strategic reserve' weapons which were stored after the SLR was taken out of service, were given to sierra leone by tony blair.

Ski.
Well, it's either bows and arrows or spears then. Choose yer weapon! :roll:
I'm afraid the use of arrows or spears would breach the human rights of the enemy!

Ski.
 
#20
The MoD's (and I suspect the country's) financial train crash expected in 2012 has been well 'telegraphed':

MOD Website - Defence Spending

The Ministry of Defence is committed to making value for money savings worth £2.7Bn over the CSR period to reinvest in Defence. Initiatives to achieve this include: a 5% year-on-year reduction in the MOD’s administrative overhead, including a 25% saving in the Department’s Head Office in London and the continued simplification of single Service Budgetary and headquarters structures.
MOD Website - Defence Spending

There have also been reports that changes to the funding of Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) will affect the defence budget. The Treasury will continue to pay for UORs up front from the reserve budget. In the new Comprehensive Spending Review period, anything over an agreed amount (to be decided in the future) will be split 50:50 with MOD, with MOD repaying their 50% two years later.
£1bn Shortfall will cripple MoD (29 Oct 07)

During the 1980s, up to 4.4 per cent of the UK's GDP was spent on defence. That figure is now just 2.5 per cent. As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), the Government announced that the defence budget would rise from £34 billion next year to £36.9 billion in 2010/11. However, analysis handed to the Defence Select Committee suggests that the Ministry of Defence's spending plans will be around £350 million less than needed for each of the next three years – a shortfall of more than £1 billion in all.
MoD told to pay back Treasury (12 Nov 07)

Ministers will face questions next week about a move to claw back billions of pounds from the over-stretched Armed Forces budget. The Treasury has changed its rules for funding urgent supplies for troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan from its reserve fund, forcing the Ministry of Defence to meet more of the costs itself, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.
MoD uses equipment budget for daily costs (17 Dec 07)

Treasury documents show that the Ministry of Defence has been forced to transfer the money out of its capital budget to the fund it uses to pay for front-line operations. The MoD said the money had been transferred to cover the increasing price of fuel used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It admitted the Treasury was not meeting the higher cost of operations.
Defence spending is lowest since the 1930s (19 Apr 08)

Britain spends less of its wealth on defence than Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey despite the constant demands placed on its Armed Forces, official figures show. According to the Conservatives, defence spending as a proportion of the UK's gross domestic product is at its lowest since 1930, before the UK recognised the rising threat of Nazi Germany.
What with delayed payments for equipment procurement, deferred debts to the Treasury and PFIs requiring settlement, so many of the MoD's chickens will be coming home to roost by the end of this CSR period that it will be neck deep in guano.
 

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