MPs attack defence kit planning

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by JoeCivvie, Oct 13, 2009.

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  2. Easy for MPS to talk about the problems of supply, but unless they understand that getting supplies in for US sourced kit is dependent on us getting the kit from the US in the first place, any report lacks credibility.

    Over the past year, I've worked with a huge range of Army personnel who handle supporting UOR kit and getting it into service - the problem is not one of complacency, or fat CS and idle jobsworths not doing anything. There have been huge challenges in bringing large numbers of kit and vehicle types into service very qucikly, often far faster than any normal military kit would be. It is a hugely challenging area, and people are working hard to improve the situation - both within MOD and beyond.

    I know reports like this are frustrating, and as a professional, it pains me to read it too. That said, we have to accept that when bringing kit into service, we are torn between getting it out as fast as possible, and holding it back long enough to build up spares and training support. Its an impossible call to make, and whichever route we take, the press attack us for it.
     
  3. Yes procurement can be arse, but it was ever thus, if you want an old example of HUGE spending for a crap result go and research "K Class" submarines.
    At least now the lads that need it are slowly getting better/useable kit (wmiks/gmg/better body armour/enough body armour/better vehicles etc etc)
    Career politicians complaining about waste and expense sticks in my throat anyway.... :roll:
     
  4. Serious question, based upon these quotes:

    Is the MoD still operating on 'Just in time' supply? This was brought in in the '90s(?) and immediately caused my unit problems.

    However, cannibalisation was always a problem. In fact, if a wagon was VOR'd, it would be stripped very quickly of any outstanding demands - unless you posted a guard on it. :roll:
     
  5. "If it is a question of granting to the government the supplies believed by them to be necessary for the proper equipment of our military and naval forces and for the preservation of the befitting diginity and influence of Great Britain in the s...erious complications that are threatend abroad... parsimony on such an occasion would certainly be folly, and might be a crime." - George Nataniel Curzon (1887)
     
  6. I'd be interested to know how the UOR system is affecting other "routine" programmes.

    I know from personal experience, about 12 years ago, that UORs were not allowed to affect normal business in MoD(PE) / DPA. That is, both were still to be delivered on time, cost, performance.

    But I understand routine work is now allowed to slip - in fact, the slip is enforced. It is well known that many infantry programmes have been slipped, often years, in addition to being diluted, because staff in the same IPT (but not necessarily the same staff) are working on UORs.

    If the IPTL is being denied the resources to do both (in simple terms, overtime for his civvies) then that is bad enough. If he doesn't have the experienced staff capable of doing two jobs at once, then that is a more serious systemic problem, which is difficult to fix and indicative of the dumbing down we see year on year.

    But more insidious is the potential here for hidden "savings". If routine work is being delayed, sometimes by years, then that core money (I'm sure someone knows the proper terminology) is not being spent. It follows that any claim that UOR funding is over and above the normal Defence budget may be flawed. In one infantry programme, many hundreds of Millions, if not a few Billion, were meant to have been committed some years ago to achieve a 2008 In Service Date. Nowadays the programme is barely mentioned.
     
  7. You are missing the point Jim30, that the UOR's shouldn't be needed in the first place. Remember Hercules XV 179 that was shot down because it had no foam in the fuel tanks? MoD refused to retrofit foam and refused to procure foam for the J model Herc in the preceding years despite many requests. Following the loss of XV179 and its crew foam has now ben fitted at great expense.

    Edward Leigh has evidently, picked up on the fact that "supplying kit under "Urgent Operational Requirements" (UORs) is simply fire-fighting - to fight a war properly one must be prepared in advance. We had a saying in MoD - "One man's UOR is another man's total incompetence and lack of foresight". That sums it up well. MoD make much of the "success" of their UOR system, but closer study would tell you that many UORs are necessary because people haven't done their job properly in the first place, or have been denied funding.
    The point here is that if the C130 had been built to a proper, recommended and recognised, specification at the time........... then there would have been no need to procure ESF "urgently" after the event.

    A major point is that the C130 failings have been shown by successive Inquests to be part of systemic failings, not isolated. The airworthiness of Nimrod has been accepted, the MoD's own report into Sea King (2003) said a system was not fit for purpose; and so on.
     
  8. [quote="nigegilb]
    - "One man's UOR is another man's total incompetence and lack of foresight". That sums it up well. MoD make much of the "success" of their UOR system, but closer study would tell you that many UORs are necessary because people haven't done their job properly in the first place, or have been denied funding.
    [/quote]

    A somewhat exaggerated position, and an absolutely absurd quote. Granted, some things that were required to be brought as core have had to be procured through the UOR route. UORs' will, however, always be necessary, as no armed force can maintain and sustain a range of capabilities to combat all known threats, let alone those that emerge as part of an enduring campaign.
     
  9. A somewhat exaggerated position, and an absolutely absurd quote. Granted, some things that were required to be brought as core have had to be procured through the UOR route. UORs' will, however, always be necessary, as no armed force can maintain and sustain a range of capabilities to combat all known threats, let alone those that emerge as part of an enduring campaign.[/quote]


    I think the point being made is that UORs should be for urgent requirements to counter new, emerging threats. I think the rules probably say something like that anyway.

    The example quoted, ESF in C130, is a prime example of reacting, far too late (and in this case, after many deaths) to a foreseen threat (risk). If I recall a previous post by nigeglib, the existence of ESF was known about decades ago and included in the basic C130 by the manufacturer. Therefore, a deliberate decision was to made by MoD to remove it / not specify it, thus endangering crew and passengers. I'd call that lack of foresight and gross incompetence.
     
  10. A somewhat exaggerated position, and an absolutely absurd quote. Granted, some things that were required to be brought as core have had to be procured through the UOR route. UORs' will, however, always be necessary, as no armed force can maintain and sustain a range of capabilities to combat all known threats, let alone those that emerge as part of an enduring campaign.[/quote]

    So what part of that statement is incorrect in how it relates to the shooting down of XV179?

    For how many years have British troops been sent to their deaths in Snatch Landrovers whilst the Defence Budget was being spent on Eurofighters?

    How many troops have died as a result of being forced to carry out road convoys as a result of a lack of helicopters?

    There is a litany of evidence of a lack of foresight in recent years leading to a scramble to UOR everything in sight.

    If you can't see that you must be myopic.

    There is overwhelming evidence of systemic failures in procurement that Labour Ministers continue to deny. Good to see Edward Leigh getting to grips with the scale of the problem.
     
  11. So what part of that statement is incorrect in how it relates to the shooting down of XV179?

    For how many years have British troops been sent to their deaths in Snatch Landrovers whilst the Defence Budget was being spent on Eurofighters?

    How many troops have died as a result of being forced to carry out road convoys as a result of a lack of helicopters?

    There is a litany of evidence of a lack of foresight in recent years leading to a scramble to UOR everything in sight.

    If you can't see that you must be myopic.

    There is overwhelming evidence of systemic failures in procurement that Labour Ministers continue to deny. Good to see Edward Leigh getting to grips with the scale of the problem.[/quote]

    1. See highlighted comments - no change to my posn.
    2. Delete 'foresight' insert 'funding'.
     
  12. 1. See highlighted comments - no change to my posn.
    2. Delete 'foresight' insert 'funding'.[/quote]

    Foam was highly recommended for operations in Afghanistan in 2001/2.
    Foam was highly recommended for operations in Iraq in 2003.

    Both of the above reports were kept secret and not distributed to the Hercules Sqn.

    The requests were denied on BOTH occasions by military officers, but no evidence explaining the reasons for the decision could be provided at the inquest.

    Foam was offered by LM as a factory fitted option when the J Herc was procured in the 90s, no-one from the RAF/MoD was able to provide evidence as to why it was turned down. But it was suggested that RAF Hercules were not exposed to groundfire in their military role. XV179 was a Special Forces hercules flying at operational heights (less than 250 feet) when it was shot down. The very nature of the SF role would have led to an exposure to ground fire. Worse still, the crew had NOT been shown the evidence that the recommendations above were based on. If they had, they would have realised that at the height the aircraft was operating they were in real danger of suffering a catastrophic fuel tank explosion..

    Forget lack of foresight, insert negligence for not fitting foam.

    Lack of money only explains part of the story.
     
  13. Same old, same old.

    Let's simplify this:-
    Who signed/authorised a contract that was not fit for purpose? Only a moron would buy any equipment without a proper spares backup in place?

    Did no-one from the logistics world have an input?

    Does no-one with a brain ever look at these contracts? The evidence is certainly not good for a positive response.

    Complacency rules or that is certainly is the impression given.
     
  14. The budget managers.

    Not true - there are plenty of bright, competent & recently operationally experienced military and ex-military people looking at specifications and reviewing contracts. And some lawyers.

    Then it (yes, I am being cynical) gets sent via the budget management area and all the clever, sensible but "slightly more expensive than we have the cash for at the moment" stuff gets ruled through and is never seen again.

    Personally, I've amended clauses in draft contracts (even trivial stuff like out of date references), sent them through the review process, received a couple of generations later draft and had to re-submit the amendments.

    And once the contract is signed, we know how painful and expensive the contract change process is.
     
  15. To borrow a phrase, "I hear what you say"

    So, my question is;
    Which appointment, exactly, should be the one who forms up and explains that a pig in a poke is about to be purchased?

    Are "Budget managers" all CS or are military involved, directly?

    This, to me, is just so 'Sir Humphrey'...

    While I am in no doubt that my earlier cheap shot at people with brains was unwarrented the entire orgaisation, and I use the term advisedly, reminds me of a raft full of people paddling as hard as possible.

    In opposite direction.

    Meanwhile, Private Fcukdust is tripping IEDs, blokes are not getting the breaks they are entitled to, and the make do & mend culture continues unabated, apparently.