UK Armed Forces Amongst Most Professional And Best Equipped

#41
hellfyyr said:
The trouble is I dont think we could do all this justice could we Darth?
No - but as you say, there is more to this than simply saying 'It's all crap' and then volunteering nothing in return, which is where this thread has been heading from post # 1.

I haven't seen any sensible solutions - just lots of regurgitation of bile, spite and (well placed) anger. :)
 
#42
I see two problems - lack of money going into defence, and wastage of what money does go in. The first I'll skip over as really it's a political issue and there's little the Army can do by itself to address it. The second however ...

I see our current stores and procurement system as broken. We keep trying to put bodge tape over something that doesn't work, and having not changed anything meaningful we then act surprised when things continue as they are. So, my manifesto:

Put as much kit as possible - and all publications - on individual issue. Issue as much as possible from a central source - get Amazon, Grattan or someone similar to handle the logistics. Control replacements etc via ArmyNet like Amazon, Play.com etc. So if my trousers need replacing I log on and ask for a pair. My boss may need to approve and then they get posted out to me. Just look at how slick those operations are, I refuse to believe there's something special about the Army that means it won't work for us. Then as units move off to theatre given them a war stock of replacements and everyone's happy, and we avoid the obscene situation where we have around two sets of body armour per soldier in "the system" but can't get it on the backs of those who need it. Oh, and if you turn up without your kit prepare to be charged for it - in both senses of the word.

Then sack most of the DPA. Get rid of all the old duffers still fighting the Cold War who get stitched up by industry. Get rid of the civvies who stay there as they aren't good enough to get on in industry. Introduce the concept of careers being affected by failing projects (revolutionary I know). Pay the ones who can perform very well. And remember the motto that won us WW2 - "good enough today not perfect tomorrow". We're still using FV432 for crying out loud, I could replace that heap of crap with anything and it would be a step forward. Why wait ?
 
#43
Darth_Doctrinus said:
hellfyyr said:
The trouble is I dont think we could do all this justice could we Darth?
No - but as you say, there is more to this than simply saying 'It's all crap' and then volunteering nothing in return, which is where this thread has been heading from post # 1.

I haven't seen any sensible solutions - just lots of regurgitation of bile, spite and (well placed) anger. :)
I find myself agreeing, partly... you are the professionals and it would be useful having some serious ideas from you on how to "fix" the system - you never know, you could actually find some ideas being raised in high (and low) places.

It seems to me there are two crucial divisions - the "personal" kit and the major projects. It is in the major projects area that the big money is spent (i.e., wasted), which drains the budget and leads to cuts elsewhere. That seems to be happening at the moment so, in order to sort the lower end, it seems to me that the major project procurement system must be sorted.

BTW.. Darth asked us what kit we you buy. Moi, as far as shiny new toys go, I think we could definitely use AC130s for ground support (kitted out with Viper Strike as well), I would like to see a number of Buffaloes issued to Basra (they have been partly successful in dealing with IEDs) and we definitely need more Predators under the dedicated control of the UK. IMHO.

BTW2: Is upgrading FV432s a realistic prospect, or do we end up with obsolete equipment dressed up in a new coat of paint?

:?:
 
#44
Referendum said:
BTW2: Is upgrading FV432s a realistic prospect, or do we end up with obsolete equipment dressed up in a new coat of paint?

:?:
They were talking about sticking Warrior engines in them when I was with 1 Mech last year - so we'll have the same carboard tank with a decent engine.
 
#45
I personally quite enjoy the idea of having a tri-service Procurement advisory team. Recruited from all arms, wings, corps, regiments etc. Don't just have some self-serving Colonel whose only ambition is to climb over a mountain of paperwork to reach his next level. Have L/Cpl's, Cpl's and Sgt's, after all they are the people "on the ground", who use the kit, and who end up kicking the current kit around the Brecons when it doesn't work.

Who better to comment on the infantry's requirements and demands of their weapons than an infantry section commander? Not some Brigadier whose only recent experience of a weapon was watching his troops parade when he last visited the Mess?

Who better to try and design a better radio system than the R. Sigs operators, Yeoman and Foreman who realise the real-time downfalls and necessities of modern communication, not the MoD who merely attempt to cram three hundred functions into one overlarge, overfunded and over-crap piece of kit?

Who better to bring to the front the need for armoured vehicles and better logistics than the Royal Logistic Corps (the clue's in the name), not a Volvo driving, pipe smoking, pink tie aficionado?

Anyway.... :oops:
 
#46
Tango said:
I personally quite enjoy the idea of having a tri-service Procurement advisory team. Recruited from all arms, wings, corps, regiments etc.
Good stuff... Next, who decides what kit we have in the first place, on what basis?
 
#47
Referendum said:
Tango said:
I personally quite enjoy the idea of having a tri-service Procurement advisory team. Recruited from all arms, wings, corps, regiments etc.
Good stuff... Next, who decides what kit we have in the first place, on what basis?
Well, common sense would dictate that the majority users of the piece of kit would have the 'main' say in the kit itself, but something along the lines of a vote, based on cost, and other criteria.
 
#48
But first you have to identify a capability that this new piece of kit will 'fill', and that takes high level decision making and assessment against Defence Planning Assumptions in accordance with Defence Strategic Guidance, and ensuring HMT that we aren't spending cash against pointless projects.

Oh dear. It looks like there's a bit more to this than just wandering around 'Weapons R Us', filling our shopping baskets with tanks and guns. It's a great idea to involve 'the user', and in fact, we already do - he's called 'Customer 2', and provides feedback from the FLCs on what's hot and what's not.

So that's the user taken care of, and the need for top level buy-in has been restated.

Looks like it's the 'bit in the middle' that needs looking at, which is where Referendum is coming from.

This is one of these typical ARRSE discussion topics that actually require some knowledge of how we already do our business; without it, you run the risk of looking like a wittering loon.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. :D
 
#49
Darth_Doctrinus said:
But first you have to identify a capability that this new piece of kit will 'fill', and that takes high level decision making and assessment against Defence Planning Assumptions in accordance with Defence Strategic Guidance, and ensuring HMT that we aren't spending cash against pointless projects.
Should there be a feedback loop? After all, the FRES concept of medium armour (with a weight limit to ensure air-portability) relies on situational awareness, early detection and stand-off weapons for protection, rather than heavy armour for protection. While the Defence Planning Assumption might dictate a certain line, is there anyone in the loop who can say it won't work or should be modified?

After all, the theorists have got it wrong before. Remember that US Army doctrine, c. 1940, was that tanks would never fight tanks and that a three inch gun on a main tank would be sufficient. As a result, the main a/t capability was vested in the TDs, a decision that cost many good men their lives.

Here, we have a medium brigade concept that relies on US thinking that is already changing in the light of experience. Is there a mechanism for feeding back experience into UK procurement decisions?
 
#50
Darth_Doctrinus said:
But first you have to identify a capability that this new piece of kit will 'fill', and that takes high level decision making and assessment against Defence Planning Assumptions in accordance with Defence Strategic Guidance, and ensuring HMT that we aren't spending cash against pointless projects.
Should there be a feedback loop? After all, the FRES concept of medium armour (with a weight limit to ensure air-portability) relies on situational awareness, early detection and stand-off weapons for protection, rather than heavy armour for protection. While the Defence Planning Assumption might dictate a certain line, is there anyone in the loop who can say it won't work or should be modified?

After all, the theorists have got it wrong before. Remember that US Army doctrine, c. 1940, was that tanks would never fight tanks and that a three inch gun on a main tank would be sufficient. As a result, the main a/t capability was vested in the TDs, a decision that cost many good men their lives.

Here, we have a medium brigade concept that relies on US thinking that is already changing in the light of experience. Is there a mechanism for feeding back experience into UK procurement decisions?
 
#51
Referendum - may I recommend the thread below, particularly the last couple of pages for FRES related info.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=1387.html

You've summed up the tactical conditions necessary for FRES to survive quite nicely as "situational awareness, early detection and stand-off weapons for protection". I'd just ask how many of those conditions we can expect to satisfy (if any) in an urban environment like - for arguments sake - downtown Basra.
 
#52
And, anyway, the yanks have drunk far more "medium armour" koolaid than anyone in Europe, what with the joy of Stryker, a multi-zillion quid APC the size of a bus that will neither keep out RPGs nor fit in a C130 if it's going further than 300kms and a procurement feckup equalling anything on our side of the water. BTW, if you think having uniforms made in Lancashire is value for money you're on crack.
 
#53
One_of_the_strange said:
Referendum - may I recommend the thread below, particularly the last couple of pages for FRES related info.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=1387.html

You've summed up the tactical conditions necessary for FRES to survive quite nicely as "situational awareness, early detection and stand-off weapons for protection". I'd just ask how many of those conditions we can expect to satisfy (if any) in an urban environment like - for arguments sake - downtown Basra.
Thank you. This is exactly what the Yanks found at Fallujah, where they were using Abrams as "point" to flush out the nasties with RPG7s. You have to be able to take the "hit" in order to get the enemy to reveal its position - typical "encounter" warfare.

It is estimated that up to 80 percent of projected force interventions will engage in urban environments. Under those circumstances, the medium-weight FRES concept doesn't work, unless they can get electric armour going, but that is still very much in the experimental stage.

BTW - I've looked at the thread - very interesting. What you might also factor in is the use of long-endurance UAVs (Predator) providing obs, with AC130s loitering in the battle area. The Yanks are working on also equipping the beast with Viper Strike, a precision ATM modified with an HE warhead for taking out soft targets with minimal collateral damage - which also means you can take out targets in very close proximity to your own troops.

MOD - sorry about the duplicate post - the system "hung" as I was posting. Can you delete the second one? TVM.
 
#54
To refer to what one bloke said on here before about how most of the shortage problems had been sorted out by op telic 2?, you have got to be taking the pi$$ mate, unless you are a 1) an engineer (cushiest setup I have ever seen at basra airport) 2) a REMF holed up at the palace all day. The place was in clip when we got there, mainly because the previous battle groups had taken little, if any, of the things they had managed to scrounge, back home with them to blighty.
It was a disgrace, and I dont consider myself to be a moaning arse either, but it was gash.