Shiny New Kit Deadpool

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by meridian, Feb 1, 2008.

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  1. Decisions delayed, PFI's struggling to obtain finance, big bills for UoR and the cost of ops.

    The select committe openly saying the MoD has a cashflow crisis and living in cuckoo land if it thinks it is going to be able to carry on with its major projects.

    Option 1
    Raid the piggybank and and inject some cash into the budget

    Option 2
    Salami slice and look down the back of the sofa to see if we can keep the big projects going

    Option 3
    Cancel some of the major projects

    What are the chances for each option and if its is option 3 what is going to get 'deferred'
  2. All in the Guardian today

    Ministers face tough choices on weapons cuts

    · New demands on troops put pressure on projects
    · MoD denies combat training is being cut

    Richard Norton-Taylor
    Friday February 1, 2008
    The Guardian

    Ministers and officials are drawing up plans for sweeping cuts and delays in most of Britain's big weapons projects as they face the biggest crisis in the defence budget since the end of the cold war, according to government and independent sources.

    Huge orders for aircraft carriers, ships, fighter jets, and hi-tech vehicles are accumulating at a time when running costs are rocketing because of gruelling military operations and large increases in the cost of fuel, they say. Defence officials say ministers will be confronted with "painful options" next month.

    While army chiefs have been fighting for - and belatedly getting - better armoured vehicles and helicopters to protect and support their troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as more pay for their soldiers, the Royal Navy and RAF insist that past promises for multibillion pound platforms such as new carriers and more Eurofighters must be kept.

    The army and marines are so stretched that exercises and what defence sources call "non-essential training" are being scrapped. However, the Ministry of Defence yesterday denied a report that combat training for new recruits bound for Afghanistan was being cut by half.

    "There are no plans to change training for regular forces," a spokeswoman said. "The option for more focused, concentrated training is being looked at for reserve forces, not regular forces ... no decisions have been taken."

    Military commanders admit that they did not anticipate what they would be up against in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We were slow to recognise that we need lighter, more agile forces," a senior defence official said. He contrasted the army's urgent needs for more manpower and low-tech kit with costly prestige projects agreed for the navy and air force many years ago.

    The defence budget, now about £34bn, is to grow by 1.5% in real terms over the next three years. However, the cost of defence equipment and personnel is rising faster than the general level of inflation. "Even with a 1.5% increase it is insufficient," said Mark Stoker, defence economist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, referring to current demands on the defence budget.

    Most analysts say the shortfall amounts to hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

    General Sir Kevin O'Donoghue, the senior military officer responsible for defence equipment, this week gave a clear signal of what is in store. "I suspect we will have to [delay or cut some major programmes]", he told the Commons defence committee. Asked when the situation had been so tight, he replied: "Back in the late 1970s, we had some pretty challenging times then." David Gould, the MoD's top official responsible for equipment, said the current review demanded by pressures on the defence budget was "not an atmosphere where it is easy to take decisions on big commitments". Along with a new Trident nuclear missile submarine fleet, which could cost more than £20bn over a minimum 25-year lifespan, the £3.9bn project to build two large aircraft carriers, the biggest warships to be built in Britain, is sacrosanct for political and industrial reasons, defence officials say.

    More likely to be cut is the navy's Type 45 destroyer programme. The original plan was to build 12, a figure which was then reduced to eight. The navy will be lucky to get six, say defence officials. It is also unlikely to get more than four of the original eight Astute nuclear-powered submarines planned. The Type 45 and Astute projects are already years late and more than £2bn overspent. Also likely to be cut are the number of Eurofighters, now called Typhoons, for the RAF, while the delivery of others will be delayed. Some Tornado squadrons may be disbanded. The long-delayed Future Rapid Effects System, or Fres - a £14bn programme for army battlefield vehicles - could be cut.

    A delay in the carrier programme need not cause problems for the Scottish shipyards which plan to build them. Their yards might be already busy building auxiliary supply ships needed by the navy, officials say. If the first carrier is built on time - by 2014 - it will have to fly ageing but cheaper Harriers rather than the increasingly expensive US-made Joint Strike Aircraft which the MoD is due to buy. But this will simply put off an even larger bill for a future year, analysts say.
  3. Ganistan is coming up for it's 7 th year and yet the Labour Government is still trying to run a War on a peacetime budget.
    "We were slow to recognise that we need lighter, more agile forces,"
    That must be the quote of the first decade of this century.
    We where too slow and too tightfisted to give the man on the frontline what he needs to do the job or the support he needs, be it material or moral.
    A better line I think.
    A complete review of the National Defence Policy is required.
  4. jrwlynch

    jrwlynch LE Book Reviewer

    I'll go for Option 4. Everything is rosy and there is no problem. FRES is being rescoped (again) to take into account the vital lessons learned in action to be sure Our Brave Boys get only the best kit, so its ISD has been slipped to 2020 (we can get some Saxons back out of storage until then, surely?). The CVF business plan will be re-evaluated to ensure best value for the taxpayer but the in-service date will be held... we really mean it... okay, it's slipped.

    And so it goes across the board: nothing will be cut up front, but expensive jobs will be deferred and delayed today in the hope that they can be quietly binned when nobody's looking.

    Not that I'm a cynic or anything... okay, I'm a cynic.
  5. The question of cutting benefits for lazy scumbags and foreigners to free up the money wouldn't even enter their heads.

    How much Family tax credit goes is paid for children who aren't even in the UK?

    For that matter we could pull out of the EU. We'd have plenty of money left over then.

    Cancel the London Olympics!

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has a budget of £75,000 for each of it's 144 members (even though half are paid for by county forces) That's £11million pounds wasted per annum.

    In fact how about the 56.4 million spent last year on plans for Identity cards?

    Even the small savings made by not providing armed escorts for kebab buyers in Peckham could be put to better use.
  6. Don't forget the >50 £billion handed over to Northern Rock...
  7. How about reclaiming the Billions of pounds used to prop up a public company (Northern Rock),to make sure the shareholders,and bosses don't lose their bonuses? :x FFS
  8. Well yes, that is the elephant in the drawing room!