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The Biggest waste the MoD has EVER managed...

#1
Looking at the ARRSEpedia entry about Procurement decisions, it got me thinking...

What, in everyones view, is the single stupidest, greatest, biggest waste of time project the MoD or government has ever begun, got halfway through then abandoned, or pushed on with and introduced into service to the collective groans of the assosiated Forces personnel?

My own personal favourite for the title is the Nimrod AWACS - take one old airframe, add some incredibly complicated and expensive equipment with a wildly optomistic price tag that soon spiralled out of control!


SO ladies and Gentlemen, answers on a postcard, or if you don't know my adress, just answer this thread...
 
#7
Yeoman_dai said:
[Snips]
What, in everyones view, is the single stupidest, greatest, biggest waste of time project the MoD or government has ever begun, got halfway through then abandoned, or pushed on with and introduced into service to the collective groans of the assosiated Forces personnel?

My own personal favourite for the title is the Nimrod AWACS - take one old airframe, add some incredibly complicated and expensive equipment with a wildly optomistic price tag that soon spiralled out of control!
Nimrod AEW is certainly a very strong contender -- any aircraft that sets fire to itself on its roll-out is going to be hard to beat.

In pre-MoD days, though, I'd go for the Covenanter cruiser tank. What better time than the middle of the struggle for national survival against Nazism to produce an AFV that offers no real improvement in mobility, protection or firepower over its predecessor, but plumbs new depths of unreliability. 1,752 of these useless articles were produced, but none ever saw action as gun tanks; three of the bridgelayer variant were used by the New Zealanders.

Then again, there were the "K" class submarines; at least the Covenanter didn't drown its crews.

I don't know how much we spent on the aerial mine, Blue Streak, CVA01, SR 177, SP 70, MBT 80, TRIGAT or TRACER, but not a dam' thing was delivered out of any of them; at least the Covenanters could be used for training.

All the best,

John.
 
#8
I'm surprised that the Chinook HC3 hasn't been mentioned yet...

I'd second MBT80 and SP70 as good (bad?) examples which would be in with a shout, and the fact that the chief designer of CVA01 rejoiced when it was cancelled suggests that something may have gone a tad awry with the procurement there too.

The Horizon Frigate project wasn't one of the finest moments in the MoD's history either.
 
#9
John_D said:
Yeoman_dai said:
[Snips]
What, in everyones view, is the single stupidest, greatest, biggest waste of time project the MoD or government has ever begun, got halfway through then abandoned, or pushed on with and introduced into service to the collective groans of the assosiated Forces personnel?

My own personal favourite for the title is the Nimrod AWACS - take one old airframe, add some incredibly complicated and expensive equipment with a wildly optomistic price tag that soon spiralled out of control!
Nimrod AEW is certainly a very strong contender -- any aircraft that sets fire to itself on its roll-out is going to be hard to beat.

In pre-MoD days, though, I'd go for the Covenanter cruiser tank. What better time than the middle of the struggle for national survival against Nazism to produce an AFV that offers no real improvement in mobility, protection or firepower over its predecessor, but plumbs new depths of unreliability. 1,752 of these useless articles were produced, but none ever saw action as gun tanks; three of the bridgelayer variant were used by the New Zealanders.

Then again, there were the "K" class submarines; at least the Covenanter didn't drown its crews.

I don't know how much we spent on the aerial mine, Blue Streak, CVA01, SR 177, SP 70, MBT 80, TRIGAT or TRACER, but not a dam' thing was delivered out of any of them; at least the Covenanters could be used for training.

All the best,

John.
Blue streak had an massive amount of potential and was a workable world class product. Had the gubmint of the day not bottled out then perhaps we would have cornered the market in satellite launches. IIRC the first payload carrying Arianne was launched 3 years after the project was shelved.
Not saying that it wasn't a massive waste of money not carrying it out to the end though.
 

Tankie2ndrtr

Old-Salt
Kit Reviewer
#10
High up there would be FRES or Smoothbore CR2. Or infact any Chally spares or parts at the moment.. Gazillion pound fleet and equipment and not being used in afghan.. shocking !

for serving soldiers... im sure J.A.M.E.S is high on the pain in the arse list
 
#12
British Leyland L60 (Chieftan MBT engine)

It provided me and most other Recy Mechs with a whole shedload of dross tow jobs in BAOR, dragging us away from valuable drinking/shockdice fun in the bar.

Couldn't even "crate" for one of those jobs. (see other thread)
 
#14
theblindking said:
Blue streak had an massive amount of potential and was a workable world class product. Had the gubmint of the day not bottled out then perhaps we would have cornered the market in satellite launches. IIRC the first payload carrying Arianne was launched 3 years after the project was shelved.
Not saying that it wasn't a massive waste of money not carrying it out to the end though.
Bluestreak was no joke. I stand to be corrected but a lot of Bluestreak development ended up in Arianne did it not?

TSR2 was no waste of money. An exremely dubious piece of politics by a very dubious poliician killed it but the aircraft itself certainly wasn't a lemon.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#15
jagman said:
theblindking said:
Blue streak had an massive amount of potential and was a workable world class product. Had the gubmint of the day not bottled out then perhaps we would have cornered the market in satellite launches. IIRC the first payload carrying Arianne was launched 3 years after the project was shelved.
Not saying that it wasn't a massive waste of money not carrying it out to the end though.
Bluestreak was no joke. I stand to be corrected but a lot of Bluestreak development ended up in Arianne did it not?

TSR2 was no waste of money. An exremely dubious piece of politics by a very dubious poliician killed it but the aircraft itself certainly wasn't a lemon.
Yep, TSR2 and Bluestreak were shot in the foot by short-termism (think Richard North of the 60s), people seem to forget that we have an amazingly deep technological knowledge (there was an old statistic that 40% of patents since WW2 were British, only 10% of which were marketed or produced here).

TSR2 was very much shot in the foot by politics:- US pressure to dump the programme to buy the F-111 and get the loan from the World Bank. The aircraft was a worldbeater in today's terms. (I put a few links up on another thread which I can't find right now re a TSR2 documentary on youtube)

Bluestreak was the most advanced and successful part of the Arianne programme.

Labour have a lot to answer for they claim to be the party of the British people and British labour, but they have done very little to advance the cause of British industry in terms of engineering and technology.



Found 'em: http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=122059/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=60.html

Also fascinating youtube doc on the TSR2:- a magnificent achievement aborted by fools in power:
Part 1: www.youtube.com/watch?...re=related
Part 2: www.youtube.com/watch?...re=related
Part 3: www.youtube.com/watch?...re=related
Part 4: www.youtube.com/watch?..._EdoUuRo0U
Part 5: www.youtube.com/watch?...re=related
Part 6: www.youtube.com/watch?...re=related
 
#17
The question is about waste. The TSR 2 was world beating until it was strangled by Harold Wilson & Co. But the development cost was astronomical. The waste was in scrapping it.
 
#18
Vixon EW System cost £14 million! never reached user hands, failed the trials but it was still the Soldiers fault? I believe the MoD sued them not sure of the result!

Bowman - Not a waste of time for those that can use it!! Very complex and does have its flaws though!
 
#19
duffdike said:
Think I'd disagree. It was showing serious promise as a world beater but was suffering from attempting to break "Cutting Edge" techologies.

The killer of TSR2 was not the problems encountered in the project but the then Conservative Government's "No Tac Nukes over 10Kt" policy in 1962. The TSR2 was suddenly an expensive tactical bomber with no weapon. Attempts to modify TSR2 to carry 4 Nukes IOT that the RAF could meet the NATO Taget requirements failed. So come the new Labour Government and TSR2 is an easy target to scrap, pretending that the F-111 was going to be a better, cheaper option.......
 

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