UK Armed Forces Amongst Most Professional And Best Equipped

#3
I know it's almost de rigeur to slate anything the Government say on ARRSE, but let's take a slightly calmer look at this.

Are we one of the most professional Armies in the world? I would we are the most professional Army on earth, for a huge number of different reasons, which is why we have so many imitators.

As to whether we are one of the best equipped, I firmly believe that we get excellent value for money from our kit; it supports UK industry etc; and does the job. Granted - there have been some absolute horrorshows, but on the whole it's getting better - a process that will continue to improve over time. Our chaps in Iraq have some of the best kit we've ever had right now - clearly it takes operations to shape our requirements, but at least we're getting the kit we need.

Let's re-phrase the question.

If you had the power to dictate what kit we had, what would you buy, and why?
 
#4
Darth_Doctrinus said:
I know it's almost de rigeur to slate anything the Government say on ARRSE, but let's take a slightly calmer look at this.

Are we one of the most professional Armies in the world? I would we are the most professional Army on earth, for a huge number of different reasons, which is why we have so many imitators.

As to whether we are one of the best equipped, I firmly believe that we get excellent value for money from our kit; it supports UK industry etc; and does the job. Granted - there have been some absolute horrorshows, but on the whole it's getting better - a process that will continue to improve over time. Our chaps in Iraq have some of the best kit we've ever had right now - clearly it takes operations to shape our requirements, but at least we're getting the kit we need.

Let's re-phrase the question.

If you had the power to dictate what kit we had, what would you buy, and why?
Darth, it's not as if the MOD or the government are going to admit that there are shortages in equipment or huge failings in certain politically driven procurement projects, now are they?

smoke and mirrors
 
#5
Darth_Doctrinus said:
I know it's almost de rigeur to slate anything the Government say on ARRSE, but let's take a slightly calmer look at this.

Are we one of the most professional Armies in the world? I would we are the most professional Army on earth, for a huge number of different reasons, which is why we have so many imitators.

As to whether we are one of the best equipped, I firmly believe that we get excellent value for money from our kit; it supports UK industry etc; and does the job. Granted - there have been some absolute horrorshows, but on the whole it's getting better - a process that will continue to improve over time. Our chaps in Iraq have some of the best kit we've ever had right now - clearly it takes operations to shape our requirements, but at least we're getting the kit we need.

Let's re-phrase the question.

If you had the power to dictate what kit we had, what would you buy, and why?
Darth, I certainly have to agree on the British Army being the most professional in the world - bar none!
But I beg to differ on the kit issue. It's only because the British Army is so professional that it manages to do such a fine job with the crap kit it gets lumbered with. It's not as if everybody got up at the beginning of last week and somebody punted the idea: "I know, let's equip an army!". They've been doing this for, literally, hundreds of years and they still can't get it right.
As long as the genuine needs of all arms and services are subordinated to cheap political posturing, there'll always be this problem.

MsG
 
#6
British forces have made an immense contribution around the world and at home this year including operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, stabilisation in Code d'Ivoire, Tsunami relief and helping with civil emergencies such as the Boscastle rescues. Despite this, the latest data show that readiness levels remain high, with all forces able to deploy if called upon to do so to support Britain’s interests abroad.
So war in Iraq lowered the readiness of British armed forces and it is not on the highest level, only 'remain high'.
 
#8
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Fellas - great points - well done etc.

But is anyone actually going to answer my question?

What would you do? :?:
D_D,

Given it's 7 years or so since I've worn the gear I'm conscious I'd be providing an uneducated answer. Let's turn the question around and put you in the position of Jacko - what would you do? (Not a p!ss take - genuine question)

lancslad
 
#9
The British Forces are the best & most humanitarian in the world.Since day one,the British Soldier/Sailor,Aiman or Marine has done a bang on job with the minimum of fuss & ,sometimes,kit & manpower.
The kit we are getting now is better than some of the c*** we had when i joined up but we still need to 'add-on' stuff that we need or is locked away under the gaze of the storemen!!!
Spike
 
#10
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Fellas - great points - well done etc.

But is anyone actually going to answer my question?

What would you do? :?:
Serious response:

I'd probably swap out all the locally-produced/European sourced gear and re-equip to US Army spec throughout, manufacturing under license if possible in order to preserve jobs. Not implying, necessarily, that it's all that much better, but it'll be cheaper and make logistics far less of a nightmare, plus it'll sink a lot of R&D cost which we would otherwise have to bear for fairly mundane purposes.
 
#11
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Fellas - great points - well done etc.

But is anyone actually going to answer my question?

What would you do? :?:
I'll have a cabby at this, Darth, since you're question implies a personal opinion.
First off, I'd get together an army team of serving squaddies with plenty of expericence and representing ALL arms. I'd set this large team to using that experience to source items of kit all over the world, with each item being backed up threefold by alternatives. Their findings would then be balanced against the exingencies of service. Once the objectives had been established, I'd then commission the respective manufacturers to produce the kit, on time and on budget. Any manufacturers failing in this would be immediately axed and an alternative manufacturer commissioned.
Do that with the RN and RAF too and the British armed forces might just end up with the optimal gear they so rightly deserve, but which they're almost always cruelly denied because of the ineffective pratting about of politicians.
I don't really think this would cost a lot more than the present useless system, which accepts budget and deadline overruns as a matter of course simply because nobody really cares.

MsG
 
#12
Darth_Doctrinus said:
I know it's almost de rigeur to slate anything the Government say on ARRSE, but let's take a slightly calmer look at this.

As to whether we are one of the best equipped, I firmly believe that we get excellent value for money from our kit; it supports UK industry etc; and does the job.
Like the Italian-built (Iveco) Panther FCLV, at £413,000 each?



Like the replacement truck fleet for the Army, built in Austria by MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Österreich AG?



Like the French designed Storm Shadow at £1,090,000 each?



when the US equivalent costs £167,000 each?



And which planet did you say you came from, Darth?
 

maninblack

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I would immediately;

Commence a plan to change the specification of the standard boot sole compound so it doesn't disintegrate without warning.
Bring back a form of barrack dress.
Remove beans from all ration packs
Bring back the para smock
Bring back NI gloves
Introduce on a wider scale a patrol vehicle capable of carrying the required weight.
Introduce proper forward area refuelling kit.
 
#14
I would:

Disband the Ministry of Defence and reintroduce the Admiralty and the War Office. In order to fund this radical change, we can disband the RAF, thereby negating the need for the Air Ministry. The Army Air Corps takes over the majority of the helo fleet and the C-130 and C-17 fleet, possibly renamed as the Royal Flying Corps; the Fleet Air Arm takes over the fixed wing air-to-air/air supremacy and air-to-ground role, the strategic transport and tanker role can be put out to civvy contract.
 
#15
Fraser, I've seen a lot of speculation re. the RAF and think your comments are well-made. However, look at this article whereby it seems that the Royal Navy are the ones re-positioning themselves to justify their existence, not the crabs.

The future projected enemy will presumably have naval forces comprised of little more than RIBS and coastal patrol vessels and aircraft carriers are more expensive than securing a perimeter and setting up an airbase...so will RN end up as a warrier RFA supporting the other two services?

Forget kit. The biggest support HM Forces needs is probably political, with a rethink re. structure, careers, pay, retention, reservists etc that are fit for purpose, not fit for HM Treasury's bias against the military (courtesy of Mr. Brown).

V!
 
#16
Fcuk me Referendum - what a totally pointless post.

4 bits of kit out of over 1.4 million?

Wow - I'm busted.

And for future reference - and I know I'm splitting hairs here (!) - FCLV is a partnership item; there was no UK respondent for the ITT which MAN were awarded; and Storm Shadow was a completely political response to a capability gap identified by the RAF, so no surprises there.

I'm not saying we're awesome, or that processes are awesome, or that the situation couldn't be improved.

What I am saying is that it's too easy to sit back and say 'It's all crap' and volunteer nothing in return - which is exactly what you did. Cheers! :D
 
#17
If you look at a couple of major bits of kit that seem to have been OK (CR 1 and AS90), the common factor is that they weren't to an MoD spec, but built as private ventures.

Maybe the way forward is to buy kit off the shelf, instead of trying to design a bespoke option all the time.

I understand that some things like BOWMAN are a bit specialised, but when it comes to tanks, guns, small arms etc, what is there that we want ours to do that other Western countries aren't looking for as well?

Just a thought.

And whoever bought the Reynolds-Bowden for us needs a stiff talking to!
 
#18
With regard to the RB-44, I couldn't agree more! :)

I have no issue with MOTS/COTS buys - let's face it, they make short-term economic sense, the technology is (usually) proven, and many of the HFI issues will have been worked out in the interim - look at the product development cycle of the M-16 for a very good example of a piece of kit that bore virtually no resemblance to the weapon we bought for our chaps.

Unfortunately, we live in a country that derives huge amounts of money from its defence (i.e. arms) industries, and even BLiar has to be seen to satisfy his constituency with regard to local issues of great sensitivity.

It's just a shame that our people have to put in even greater peril when they don't get the kit they need and deserve.
 
#19
Buy American, align American.

Trade some of our many Brownie points at the White House to get the best deals on US kit.

Oh, and with some of the saved cash, bimble over to Arizona and buy up 50 mothballed Chinooks (not the latest spec? Oh, what the heck does it matter anyway?).

Make a deal with US that we'll sort out some of the stickier problems they've got themselves into, if they in return fund 20 extra British battalions (then we can probably turn this into 30 battalions by recruiting in Fiji and Nepal....)

I could go on and on and on, but most "Regular" readers seem to be happy with the Emporer's new clothes....
 
#20
if we are so well equiped.. and bearing in mind the lead in time to the Op Telic...

Why was it that so many troops on Telic 1 had insufficient desert kit??? I have met several soldiers who bought surplus desert clothing to equip themselves for Telic 1. The government knew for months in advance and still there were shortages..

Granted the kit across the board is improving....

But hey, we still don't get issued boots that are up to the job..(The army is walking advertisement for Lowa and Hanwags!),.. our enhanced body armour includes plates that bearly cover the torso.. I could go on...

Yep I totally agree that the UK Armed Forces are the most professional,... but best equiped...

I don't think so!!!
 

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