MOD Dithering all the way to disaster

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Aug 23, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. From The Sunday Times
    August 23, 2009
    Dithering all the way to disaster
    RECOMMEND? (10)
    Now that we know the full devastating findings of Bernard Gray’s report into defence procurement, it is no wonder that the government tried to suppress it. The words are damning — not just of the procurement process but also of a government which has presided over a system so “incompetent”, as Mr Gray calls it, that it is “harming our ability ... to conduct difficult current operations”.

    The prime minister’s repeated claims that our armed forces have all the equipment they need are exposed as pure deceit. Current projects, the report finds, are £35 billion over budget — an average of 40% — and arrive five years late. As Mr Gray puts it: “How can it be that it takes 20 years to buy a ship, or aircraft, or tank? Why does it always seem to cost at least twice what was thought? Even worse, at the end of the wait, why does it never quite seem to do what it was supposed to?" This is not just about ineptitude in procurement, bad as that is. Most defence departments around the world, even and especially the Pentagon, are guilty of waste and giltplating. But there is a deeper root cause of the failures identified by Mr Gray: a government which, as a deliberate political tactic, has avoided taking tough decisions and has ducked almost every major strategic decision over the past decade. Just as the government dithered and delayed on decisions relating to the country’s need for power, so that we are now faced with the imminent prospect of power shortages, it has similarly ignored the crucial decisions on our defence needs.
  2. has it actually been any diffrent since the Second world war :x
    The people who make the decisons concentrate on spending the least and usually end up spending too much before ditiching the project.
    Technical experts are ignored until its too late or turd polishing is carried on way too long.

    The UK spends the 2nd largest amount of money on defence in the world we don't get the 2nd most effective forces for the cash :(
  3. Probably the last successful non-wartime, non UOR procurement was HMS Dreadnought, in 1906. A radically new design of battleship, laid down and launched within a year. As opposed to the two new aircraft carriers, NOT laid down in over a decade...
    Many years ago I did an economics course. I can't remember much except that Monopolies are inefficient due to the lack of competition. In the UK the bloated monster that is BAE has far too much monopoly power, so most of our procurement suffers. That, coupled to the fact that the Treasury has had too much practice at controlling Departments run by people opposed to one Gordon Brown by strangling their budgets, but has now acquired a taste for doing this on principle, has left us with a slow, constipated and corrupt procurement system that needs root and branch reform. Starting with a permanent ban on ex MOD procurement staffers taking directorships with BAE...
  4. Absolutely. And then actually buy the right equipment, for the right price, at the right time - which may or may not be UK sourced. By attempting to support British industry, in all its guises, we are compromising far too much. A little healthy competition is exactly what's needed; it may cause short term pain but we will enjoy long term gain. But which government will actually step up to the mark and sacrifice British jobs in in order to maximise the Defence budget?

    BAe is not the only guilty party here - EDS, populated by retired officers is a monument to waste and corporate inefficiency.
  5. All this would be sooooooooooooooooo funny if guys and gals were not being killed.
  6. I would take all this with a pinch of salt just now, later in the report it states the MoD procurement area should be privatised, now we've seen reports like this come out before when the government are desperate to privatise areas, but would we want the whole of DE&S privatised, who would buy it, would we then have BAE, Thales, GDUK, etc being both the buyer and seller, how exactly would this make it any better, and what about the military personnel in the DE&S, would they be privatised too, or more than likely thinned out and their experience and knowledge lost in the process?

    Just now from every report that comes through all we're seeing is the MoD getting slated, then the magic word 'privatised' being used in the same paragraph, how exactly would a company that's all about profit make anything better, or would we end up with the MoD turning into the 21st century railway privatisation?

    The reality is there needs to be some changes, but i doubt the right decisions will be made as it would cost the government money, and of course it's a lot easier for them to get DE&S, DSDA, etc off the balance books and onto private finance books. Long term programmes are the ones that are costing us the most, and being delayed and have cost overruns, they need to be worked out better, UORs on the other hand usually come into service on time and within budget, but again they aren't perfect due to the quick nature of doing it and things can be missed, some type of happy medium needs to be worked out by people who actually know what's going on in the MoD.

    Another comment in the report i noticed was that they slated the MoD's 'Smart Acquisition' policy, saying that it didn't work and cost time and money instead of making things 'faster, cheaper, better', this of course was the initiative that was sent out to the privatised world and McKinsey came up with the whole thing, costing tens of millions to do so.
  7. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Remember the Nimrod AEW?...Years behind & millions over budget & in the end we ended up buying the Boing E-3 Sentry anyway,then the was the Tornado F-2(now F-3),Also introduced to compliment the Nimrod & flew with a 'Blue Circle' radar because the Foxhunter radar was haveing 'teething probems', despite RAF aircrew who went on exchange tours with the USAF preferring the F-15.
    Then we had the E-2000 Eurofighter Typhoon,again millions over budget & years late & the Nimrod MR4,millions over again & doubtful this time if it'll enter service,again the same with the F-35 & associated new aircraft carriers.
    One has to wonder how much money would have been saved by buying off the shelf equipment & adapting it to UK needs?..
  8. its adapting to "uk needs" thats the scary bit :cry:
    apache has turned out well
    The F4 did'nt :(
    SA80 20 years to make a rifle that works :( etc etc
  9. Hmm, exactly how much of MOD procurement is in the hands of MOD, and how much of it is political interference from ministers?

    I mean, if the MOD wanted to buy a new combat support aircraft, would the politicos actually allow them to buy A10 off the shelf? or would they be forced into buying a redesigned UK manufactured and equipped version off BAE (to protect jobs and directorships in swing labour seats) which would then end up two years late and double the budget!
  10. You've got to view Defence Spending as a shuffling of public funds (ie from one dept to another). If we keep Westlands in Yeovil or BAeS in business, then that's £millions the Govt doesn't have to pay out in dole, other benefits etc in those areas; and we'd be naive to think that the safety of MP's seats doesn't affect the decisions. Personally, my argument is that if BAeS, Westlands, VT and the other thieves can't cut it without having to be a burden on the Forces, then they should be let go. After all, Thatcher had NO qualms in doing the same with the shipbuilding on the Clyde, or the miners in Yorks / Notts / Wales etc.

    Hopefully this will be one of the sacred cows that goes to the slaughter in the imminent Defence Review; the whole "Buy British At Any Cost" mentality. A nicety when we had loads of cash to squander and defence was quite a high priority for the govt of the day. I'd suggest that the operational and economic territory we find ourselves in now, and for the foreseeable, demands a little more intelligent, and if necessary harsh (to BAeS shareholders at any rate) decision making.

    As for the "F15 beats Tornado, Arleigh Burke beats T45" argument; tell us something we don't know. At UNIT cost, they're cheaper - but that's not where US Defence contractors make their money. They'll sell you an F16 for $100,000 for f**k's sake. Next week though, when you want the support necessary to make it slightly more effective than the Lightning-on-a-plinth-in-Clarkson's-garden, you'd best have your chequebook with you.
    That said, with all I have alluded to above, I feel that we'd be better off paying some worker in California (or indeed the Ukraine) to make us an MBT / fighter or whatever, and thereby getting a decent one ( admittedly with high support costs) than keeping some punter in Yeovil or Warton in a job just to avoid paying him dole.
  11. I agree - the urge to "Buy British" and even more damaging "Buy European" is at the root of this. We should buy the best kit off the shelves where possible. Indeed as a premier and prestige fighting force in the international arena we should be able to negotiate substantial discounts.

  12. Correct. We don't get the SECOND most effective force for the cash. We get the MOST effective force for the misused defence budget and ineptitude shown by the parsimonious one eyed cnut in charge of this Country. So why should he bother his lardy arrse to get on top of things. You can guarantee that a lot of our cash goes to some friend or other, who provides sub standard equipment. Ater all, what does it matter to these sort if brave men are getting killed to make them even richer.
  13. "As for the "F15 beats Tornado, Arleigh Burke beats T45" argument; tell us something we don't know. At UNIT cost, they're cheaper - but that's not where US Defence contractors make their money. They'll sell you an F16 for $100,000 for f**k's sake. Next week though, when you want the support necessary to make it slightly more effective than the Lightning-on-a-plinth-in-Clarkson's-garden, you'd best have your chequebook with you."
    did we not buy the apache and upgrade it ourseleves? the problem sits with ministers and coruptnous, look at the Wolf debacle, Bowman, etc, some serious nest building there 8)

  14. I'm not sure but I thought Apache was built under license - can anyone confirm? Hence the designator WAH-64? Happy to wind my neck in if I am talking shiiiite (the allegation has been made before!)

  15. Pretty sure they were built in Yeovil with Boeing supplied kits, after all the body is the same as the American one. Just different systems.