National Audit Office- RAf Transport fleet unfit.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by HectortheInspector, Mar 30, 2010.

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  1. The NAO has rubbished the PFi programme behind the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project.

    The Ministry of Defence failed to get the best deal for taxpayers when buying a fleet of transport planes for the RAF, the spending watchdog has said.

    The National Audit Office said the 14 Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft would be delivered more than five years late.

    The planes would have to be fitted with suitable protection costing hundreds of millions of pounds before they could be used in Afghanistan, it added.

    The MoD said the £10.5bn fleet would provide value for money.

    Conflict zones

    The dual-use Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be capable of transporting troops and carrying out air-to-air refuelling.

    They were due to be delivered in 2006, but they will not be in service until the end of 2011.

    Instead, the RAF is relying on ageing Tristars and VC10s to carry out such roles.

    The report said the private finance initiative (PFI) deal faced years of further delays if the MoD were to decide the aircraft should be "retro-fitted" with flight deck armour and other protective equipment to enable them to operate in "high-threat environments".

    The National Audit Office (NAO), Whitehall's spending watchdog, said the process could cost "several hundred million pounds" if it went ahead.

    The NAO said that when the MoD originally began work on the procurement programme, it was not envisaged they could be required to fly directly into conflict zones, and no funding was provided for protective equipment.

    Instead it was decided the additional equipment would have to be "retro-fitted" once the RAF started taking delivery of the new aircraft in 2011.

    In the meantime, it said, the MoD was spending £23.5m replacing flight management systems and cockpit displays on the Tristars so they could carry on operating.

    'High standards'

    Overall, the NAO said it was impossible to assess whether the PFI deal provided value for money to the taxpayer and it criticised the MoD for failing to carry out a "sound evaluation of alternative procurement routes".

    Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, which oversees the work of the NAO, strongly criticised the use of PFI.

    "By introducing a private finance element to the deal, the MoD managed to turn what should have been a relatively straightforward procurement into a bureaucratic nightmare," he said.

    An MoD spokesman said the Tristars currently in operation were "fitted with the highest possible standard" and the new planes' levels of protection would "match or exceed" these.

    "The MoD is pleased the NAO has acknowledged that this FSTA [Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft] project has achieved all of its delivery milestones since the contract was signed," the spokesman added.

    "We recognise that some aspects of the procurement in the early stages might have been improved but we are content that the UK has secured a good deal for the taxpayer and for the RAF."
  2. Buy don't PFI!

    I seem to remember the grown ups in my Service arguing that from the outset in the mid 90s. Unfortunately, even when faced by evidence that leasing our first C-17s ensured we paid more than had we bought them outright, HMT still didn't change their minds. Added to the fact that leasing further complicates the requirement to add capabilities such as DAS.

    However, if HMT can push the additional short term costs into the future (or another government's term), they don't care.


  3. PFI is a rip off for MOD, places too many constraints on the end user and only benefits the PFI crooks proving the deal.

    FFS what's wrong with Government! It's warplanes they are buying, not a bunch of cheap leased 737's to fly chavs to Benidorm. :x
  4. I am afraid that all the arguments put forward by us Army and RAF types circa 1998 to 2000 in the MoD were ignored on cost grounds. We stated very strongly that DAS kits needed to be fitted to all tpt aircraft, as we needed flexibility in deployment, into potentially high threat areas. Kosovo and deployments into Africa confirmed the requirement as I recall.

    Can you imagine the consequences of a tpt aircraft coming down with a load of tps on board? And it was senior to "us" military types and CS types that kept on stating that there would never to a scenario where that threat would exist, virtually told we can't afford it so we will change the scenario. Oh, they said, we can always retro fit - which is not easy to do and much more expensive and not timely. Not impressed particularly as I was told we were being obstructive and not "blue sky thinking" fighting yesterdays wars.

    Good, in some ways, to see we were right after all - but not good we are still waiting for the correct capability to move our troops in safety. Good job "we" won the battle to get C-17 over An 124 - that would have been a disaster.

  5. I'm sure some genius higher up the food chain will sagely pronounce that all they have to do is scatter some kevlar vests on the floor if the natives are hostile.
  6. PFI has never been a good idea.
    the completely bonkers suggestion that the airbuses couldbe leased to civi airliners in slack times :?
    hello what fecking slack times has the raf air transport fleet been sunning themselves in cyprus wondering what to do with itself in the last 20 odd years :evil: I think not.

    yes they do spend time on the ground broken at cyprus because there the only air transport fleet held together by necromacny and finding virgins suitable for the dark gods anywhere near swidon is pretty hard :twisted: :x
  7. My bold. And just who was running HMT during that critical period? Who was that masked man?
    Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
    Is it Gordon Brown?
  8. The same man who never came into MoD when I was there. Funnily enough we were fighting in Kosovo, Sierra leone, DRC and other places throughout that busy period and our great Scottish Leader - George Robertson was there amongst us constantly, even John Reid, Tony and John Prescott visited - and that other chap _ now what was his name? oh yes - Gordon Brown - (Macavity - the man who was never there) never showed any interest - a bit like Mandleson - calling the Guards "chinless wonders" as I recall. Bet he wouldn't say that now.

    No wonder George Robertson scuttled off to NATO, having upset our glorious invisible leader over SDR, he knew he had no further in Labour politics.

    End state - Treasurey push for PFI - with bizarre plan to allow spare capacity to be used by the civil airline industry. Result? Old knackered aircraft and MoD statement read like an old Japanese watch.

    "Shortcomings in the early stages of the project put the MOD in a position where the operational pressures of an aging fleet and the need to maintain the vital air bridge restricted its ability to deliver a solution which achieved value for money.

    "Despite taking five years longer than planned to sign a contract, the MOD's progress in delivering the Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft project has improved since contract signature, and the project is meeting its delivery milestones. But there is more work for the MOD and its suppliers to do to get the best out of the deal."

    Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 30 March 2010

  10. Allo? Iz zat Airbus military vendee?

    Flog us 13 A330 MRTT's please, and send the bill to HMG..

    Merci Jaques!

    How hard was that? 8O
  11. Is there anything this government won't farm out to PFI.
    Whose financing these aircraft.

    This fcuking shower of sh1t have bought nothing in 13 years, its all been PFI'd, and the mortgage has probably been extended on all of them.

    Really hating this lot now, roll on May.

  12. The purpose of PFI is not to obtain 'best value' it's to keep government expenditure off the books and avoid our debt becoming even more massive than it already is.

    Look on the bright side. The air bridge to the Falklands is currently maintained by a single 'party plane' supplied by Air Seychelles. I wonder what sort of missile defence suite that's fitted with. I wonder what Air Seychelles will say to MoD if the shooting starts down south.

    Same with the navy's patrol craft. They're owned by Vospers who seem strangely reluctant to allow them to be used in the Gulf. They do have one in the Falklands but I'd wager it'll be pulled out sharpish if the shooting starts.

    Gordon's Enron accounting is going to end up costing lives.

  13. They may be fitted, but it is well known that in the past year there has seldom been more than one TriStar serviceable at any one time.

    It is pretty obvious the only reason they are retro fitting self protection to the new aircraft is as a result of the highly successful campaigns following the Hercules and Nimrod crashes. It was criminal not to include this in the original spec.

  14. Last time I was at Brize the beast died on the ramp.
  15. The reason why PFI has found favour with sucessive governments and those doing the actual procurement is that the crooks who profit out of this are willing to 'bung' those in the government and MoD.whether brown envelopes or employment at a later date.