MoD seeks a way out of Typhoon contract

Answer that needs to be asked - Will the monies saved be spent somewhere else in defence?

Pprune's reaction:

The Ministry of Defence is trying to find a way out of a £5 billion contract to buy Eurofighter Typhoons from the consortium that builds the aircraft.

Britain is committed to buying 88 more of the £60 million aircraft, having already bought 144 for the RAF.

.... The MoD is working on a compromise that would enable it to count 72 Typhoons that it is about to sell to Saudi Arabia as part of its 88 commitment.

.... The Italian Government is rumoured to want to cut its Tranche 3 commitment of 46 aircraft and, if both Britain and Italy cancel, it could force the end of Eurofighter production.
I feel the Times is a bit late to the party on this one.

Tranche 3 has been an embarrassment for a long time now, so it was a dead cert that UK would want to pass them on to someone else. 72 to the Saudis was a godsend and the only surprise when the contract was announced was that the procurement executive weren't dancing through the streets of Bath in celebration of getting off the Tranche 3 hook.

But then the nasty fly in the ointment of a criminal investigation into bribery in connection with Saudi arms contracts came along -- but that had to be made to go away and it was.

Once plod had been seen off, then the way was clear for the carriers.

So will the money be spent elsewhere on defence -- yes, it already is. On two carriers. Good trade lads.
Lets just hope it is spent on Carriers and JSF and not wasted away on rubbish. Maybe they could buy some more unflyable Chinooks. Still need Typhoons with the ground attack capability or we will have a major capability gap when the GR4 gets retired. Fighters make movies, Bombers make history.
The current Typhoons are all being upgraded to the ground attack version.
Clairon - the contract doesn't allow for Tranches to be passed on like that (something most of the press missed). If the MoD tried to do that as things stand, the penalty for doing so would be susbtantial, and as well as costing a tidy penny would mean that workshare was reallocated away from the UK.

It may simply be that Drayson, who seems to have at least some idea about business (unlike most of his predecessors in that post) has floated this story to attempt to get a good deal. There was much speculation that Tranche 2 was teetering on the brink of cancellation - Eurofighter GmbH then came back with a much better deal (including the air-ground kit integration the RAF wanted) and the deal was signed.

The money already spent on CVF hasn't come out of the Tranche 3 budget, and any cancellation of Tranche 3 is likely to lead to the money being spent on some vital capability - like the London Olympics, or a national network of bereavement centre for homosexual gerbils, etc, etc
The monies saved won't be used elsewhere, they'll be used to combat overspend.

We do have a way out, it's called Saudi Arabia. We like it, BAe likes it, the Saudi's like it - we just need to convice the Europeans that it won't have any effect on them. That shouldn't be too difficult because the more people buy Typhoon the more customers everyone has and the Saudis are hardly short of a bob or two.

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