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  1. How are nations with significantly lower defense budgets able to design, build and operate numbers of extremely advanced defense equipment where the UK seems to require vast resources to produce a similar product at a far higher cost and taking a longer period of time?

    Eg: NH90, Visby class, CV90, Boxer, Gripen, etc.

    or am I simply being mistaken and foolish...

  2. If I were to have a guess, I would guess at, the fact we pay all the poor nations to feed themselves, we pay benefits to people who dont warrant it, we supply the third world with everything they want from us, whilst we let our own country go to the wall, and we dont spend on things we actually need, like an armed force.

    Failing that, I dont have a clue, sorry.
  3. I was looking through the online papers today and whilst reading a defence piece in the Daily Mail, I saw this poll:

    Should Government spending on schools and hospitals be redirected to Britain's armed forces?

    It irritated me because that is not the question that the majority want to consider - with the revenue generated by both official and stealth taxes, the UK should be able to afford health, education and defence. It is undeniable that our social welfare burden is excessive and if it were slashed, we'd have a lot more money to allocate to the real public services. According to this we're spending somewhere in the region of £45bn as a combined sum on Housing Benefit, Disability Benefit, Income Support, Incapacity Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance: in comparison, TOTAL MoD spending for the same year was £35.6bn.
  4. Two words: niche capability

    Gripen is great, but Sweden doesn't have to produce nuclear submarines, tanks, aircraft carriers, sustain a large air transport capability, have the logistics to put thousands (or in the case of Telec 1, tens to thousands) of troops on the other side of the globe, etc.
  5. It's a long time ago (very long time) but anyone remember the old ACE, ACE2, ACE3 etc? (Army Certificate of Education for those of you not old to remember - before EPC, EPC(A)) etc).
    It was then explained that the the social security budget took up over 60% of all income coming into the government so, even with 20 odd changes of government since then, nothing changes.
    As to countries having huge defence capablities, Gren is absolutely right. We have paid for Pakistan and India to have nuclear capabilities. Not directly, of course. We pay a vast amount in foreign aid to these countries. If we didn't, they would have to buy food and education for their people. By us doing that, it leaves them tons left over to buy armaments instead so, ergo, we have bought the weapons. Much the same as the African countries. Give em aid to buy food, they can then spend their money on guns (or Swiss bank accounts). Mind you, some of them also use the food money to buy the guns, regardless of what the aid is stipulated for so you still end up with a shedload of starving people but nice, shiny warheads.
  6. It's alright, $1.1 billion of that aid comes straight back every year in the form of our arms exports (we give out $12 billion each year), I'd imagine a large proportion of that money finds its way back into the UK.

    I think half the problem is that because we build most our arms here, the government doesn't have to be efficient with spending, as it all stays here. In fact, the more help that BAE Systems get, the more arms they can sell to Johnny Foreigner, the more money ends up in the UK.

    Looking at the figures on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry
    we don't make much in the way of small arms, but in R&D terms we're second only to the USA. So that $1.1 billion export a year may well be far lower than the actual figure (ie if a new chopper or uav or whatever is designed by UK engineers but produced elsewhere, we don't show in the export figures despite the money ending up here).

    Disclaimer- I don't actually work in the industry, this is just what I have gleaned from wikipedia etc. May be anything from a little to a lot wrong.
  7. blody hell, you old barsteward! EPC wasn't new when I did it, and that was many moons ago!
  8. Lordy, I did one of those thingies - EPC? - in Berlin yonks ago. Is EPC right? But not the point, since passing the shagging thing has gotten me exactly the square root of feck all ....

    Really wanted to say, small countries and defence spending .... many of them have developed a realistic view of their place in the world and the defence capabilty required to maintain it. Unfortunately we (UK of GB & NI) are still locked in a 'world map coloured red', 'punching above our weight' (God, I detest that phrase), 'Rule Britannia', the last 50 years never happened, 'Spitfires above the Kentish fields' wink-bag fantasy of being a great power. And so we go forward into adventures designed by GW Bush and bought into by Tony Blair .... Bit sad innit???

  9. How?


    Name the 3 BIGGEST employers in the world.

    Chinese Army: 2.3 Million: Population: 1,330 Million

    Indian State Railway: 1.5 Million: Population: 1,150 Million

    NHS: 1.3 Million: Population: 62 Million

    And there you have it.
  10. Firstly this isn't correct. Walmart employs more than the NHS. Secondly although the NHS employs a hell of a lot of people the total expenditure per person is not huge. Indeed America spends 3-4 times as much of its GDP on healthcare and actually a surprisingly huge amount of this is in public expenditure (through medicare, medicaid, state government expenditure etc). One can argue that the NHS is too big and inefficient and bureaucratic and I would agree. However whichever way you decide to reform it (privatisation whatever) the number of people in the healthcare industry is not going to be significantly reduced if the structure of the industries in other economies is to be believed.

  11. Only if you include WAL*MART's overseas employees. They employ just over 1 Million in the USA and have a 50% staff turn over per annum. Also, may of their staff are part time and they are not state employees paid out of Tax revenues.
  12. They still have more employees than the NHS. And regardless you haven't explained exactly how the NHS stops us funding our armed services properly. How many people do you think the NHS could remove from the 1.3 million it employs? How much would this save? How many pieces of good kit could this fund?
    The United States spends twice as much of its GDP as a percentage on health and a substantial element of this is expenditure yet as a nation they manage to spend a lot more on their military.
  13. I remember ACE 3, 2 and 1 as I'm that old!

    Back onto subject though, I think it's because we ask for bids for Defence Projects from Mr Industry who will initially supply a low bid which subsequently turns into an astronomical amount when the final bill arrives. The commercial officers who are employed by the MoD are, in the main, good people who do a good job but they get shafted by those who are in a position to award contracts.

    Did I mention cronies, buddies from the old school etc? I leave it to you to decide!
  14. In the first year yes, but these costs would then start to surface in other cost-centres for years to come e.g. health, crime etc.

    The notion of welfare is to reduce the inequalities that drive 'strife'; the most equal societies being the most settled.


  15. Only works in the minds of the socialist gliteratti…

    In the real world, the haves increasingly resent seeing their hard earned wonga being spent in increasing amounts on an underserving underclass.