MoD withdraws £114m comms system (and ARRSE gets a mention)

#1
Did a quick search but apologies if this has already been posted:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8247143.stm

However, it was not universally well received, with a number of posts on the unofficial armed forces website, Army Rumour Service, saying it has been "cursed with some of the worst procurement decisions, shoddy workmanship [and] non-existent quality control".
Surely no one on here would say such a thing about the MoD?? :twisted:
 
#2
However, it was not universally well received, with a number of posts on the unofficial armed forces website, Army Rumour Service, saying it has been "cursed with some of the worst procurement decisions, shoddy workmanship [and] non-existent quality control".
It certainly has beaten a lot of competition for that slot.
 
#5
At what point will some one actually look deeply into MoD procurement? True, we generally only hear about the crap ones but have any of our major or even minor projects been a success story? I can only think of a couple. Who's fault is it?
 
#6
I would still like to know what recent (say 20 years) equipments we have gone our own way with have resulted in significant export success. One of the main supposed advantages of propping up our own industry is so they can then take the kit into the export market thus putting back into the nations coffers their subsidy via tax revenue.

We tried to do a list a while ago but it was a very short one.

Se we get some good kit that no one else ever buys or we get shite kit that no one else ever buys
 
#7
Good idea meridian. I could give you the lists of aviation related products over the past 20 years and see what export success we've had with it?
 
#8
However, the MoD denied Cormorant was "obsolete", saying it would "continue to be on standby for use when needed".
does that mean "will be stored until as obsolete as a green goddess, and then issued in an emergency"
 
#9
The only aviation one we could come up with was Hawk and Maritime Lynx and I think these would predate the modern integrated industrial approach the MoD seems to be constantly waxing about.

The Typhoon and Tornado to Saudi were'nt really open competitive deals so although they did bring cash/oil in it wasnt entirely on the merits of the equipment.

Might be worth doing a parallel list of kit we bought off the shelf that was excellent and kit we developed that despite being an export failure was still a workhorse

Its a complex situation I guess and I don't doubt anyone who has an industrial defence base to support does any better

Over to you chaps
 
#10
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
At what point will some one actually look deeply into MoD procurement? True, we generally only hear about the crap ones but have any of our major or even minor projects been a success story? I can only think of a couple. Who's fault is it?
Well, I've been designing stuff for the MoD for most of my career so I'll offer my view ... By and large the MoD gets what it asks for. That's because it's the only way industry can get paid - and we do like to get paid. Mmmmm money. It's what paying the mortgage is all about. That, and being commercial businesses.

Trouble is, the MoD usually has very little idea of what it actually wants. It can't find out as it lacks the systems architecture and engineering skills to do so, and it still hasn't worked out that all employing consultants produces is richer consultants. Then there's the grudge fights between Customer 1 and Customer 2, often along inter-service or capbadge lines. This gets even more interesting when some ex-military become civil servants as they can't hack real life and turn it into a three-way match.

Then there's the people. Military staff are parachuted in with none of the necessary skills or knowledge. And as soon as they get up to speed they get posted out. The rest are civil servants whose skills are such that they can't get more money for doing the same thing in industry and the occasional fast streamer who bounces from post to post, never stopping long enough to learn something useful.

And the culture .... it rewards long hours and following process, not results. As long as you've ticked the boxes and sweat enough you can deliver nothing and be rewarded for it.
 
#11
The section quoted by the BBC seems to be from ARRSEpedia.

However:

BBC version:

"cursed with some of the worst procurement decisions, shoddy workmanship [and] non-existent quality control".

ARRSEpedia

"cursed with some of the worst procurement decisions, shoddy workmanship, non-existent quality control measures and so-called support arrangements which verge on criminal neglect. "

Ahhh.....
 
#12
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
Ignoring the attempt to further drag this into kes's speshul place...


At what point will some one actually look deeply into MoD procurement? True, we generally only hear about the crap ones but have any of our major or even minor projects been a success story? I can only think of a couple. Who's fault is it?
AS 90...? apart from a tendancy to not like working in hot, sandy, dusty conditions and blow up on protest it seems to do the job without any complaints
 
#14
The-Lord-Flasheart said:
True, we generally only hear about the crap ones but have any of our major or even minor projects been a success story? I can only think of a couple. Who's fault is it?
Challenger? Warrior? Rapier? Lt Gun? the entire CVR(T) series?, Mamba, Exped Equipment? Minimi? USGL? Mastiff? SV? New tankers?......not all without some problem, occasional overruns, some technical issues but utlimately delivering world class equipments.

Who?

Everybody from the EC (changing requirements), DE&S (optimistic business cases), Industry (optimistic proposals), FLC (poor quality feedback)........What Sam Cowan called the conspiracy of optimism - if you want to keep your project you have to talk it up not say "well actually it will really take 5 years not 3 and cost 1.5 times as much as the budget"
 
#18
meridian said:
I would still like to know what recent (say 20 years) equipments we have gone our own way with have resulted in significant export success. One of the main supposed advantages of propping up our own industry is so they can then take the kit into the export market thus putting back into the nations coffers their subsidy via tax revenue.

We tried to do a list a while ago but it was a very short one.

Se we get some good kit that no one else ever buys or we get shite kit that no one else ever buys
Well on Tornado,we had the TARDIS (Tornado Advanced Radar/Map Display Information System) which was meant to be completed by 2006 &,as yet,80% of the fleet only has the pilots display upgraded & not the nav's.
http://www.baesystems.com/Newsroom/NewsReleases/2003/press_03122003.html
 
#19
One_of_the_strange said:
Well, I've been designing stuff for the MoD for most of my career so I'll offer my view ... By and large the MoD gets what it asks for. That's because it's the only way industry can get paid - and we do like to get paid.
I also worked in the defense industry (Microwave Associates, British Aerospace and Sperry Gyroscope) after demob and concur 100%. It often took longer to retrieve and return a 'US/UK Eyes only' document than it did to implement the design for which the document was required!
A test rig for Jindivik was rejected because it only had 'Pass' and 'Fail' indicators. When seven flashing LEDs were added (driven by a pseudo-random number generator that had nothing to do with the actual test circuitry) it was accepted!
And security was a joke. One contractor 'lost' a complete set of circuit diagrams and frequencies for Martel...
It's great to be retired!
 

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