Who says Defence Contracting is a licence to print money?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by The-Daddy, Feb 8, 2007.

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  1. After 10 years and $1.7 billion, this is what the Marines Corps got for its investment in a new amphibious vehicle: A craft that breaks down about an average of once every 4 1/2 hours, leaks and sometimes veers off course.

    And for that, the contractor, General Dynamics of Falls Church, received $80 million in bonuses.

    The amphibious vehicle, which can be launched from a ship and then driven on land, is so unreliable that the Pentagon is ditching plans to begin building the first of more than 1,000 and wants to start over with seven new prototypes, which will take nearly two years to deliver, at a cost of $22 million each.

    The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is one of the Pentagon's largest weapons programs and exemplifies the agency's struggle to afford a cadre of new mega-systems that are larger and more complex, but also more trouble, than their predecessors...

    When it was launched in 1996, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was promoted as an example of acquisition reform as hundreds of General Dynamics and Marine Corps officials moved into the same 62,000-square-foot office building in Woodbridge to run the program, in hopes of saving time and money. The program's efforts to keep maintenance costs low won plaudits from Defense leaders and twice earned the program the Pentagon's highest acquisition award, in 1997 and 1999. In 2001, the program collected an innovation award for developing a system to keep the craft's internal components from overheating, a technology that has been adopted for other weapons...

    General Dynamics defends its progress, noting that the vehicle has met many goals, including being able to reach speeds of 30 knots on the water. The vehicle is fast enough to keep up with the Abrams tank on land, it can carry 17 Marines, and its systems can communicate with other ships and tanks, all key performance criteria, the company says...

    ... the Marine Corps is ready to start over. The service is to present a plan to salvage the program to Defense leaders in March. In addition to buying seven new prototypes, the Marine Corps proposal will probably require at least a two- or three-year delay, adding $200 million in development costs a year, said Bryant, the Marines program manager.

    The service will seek to simplify the design, "getting rid of the complexity where we don't need complexity," he said...
     

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  2. Sounds like BATES, Bowman and the SA80!!!

    Problem with these contracts is the firms know the goverment will throw money at them to solve any problems as opposed to saying to the contracters we want it by this date in fully working order or we will deduct this much from what we pay you!
     
  3. At least the Americans know that they're going to have more than enough money to throw at these R&D fiasco's at the end of the day. They go a couple billion over budget and it's eh, business as usual. We go a couple billion over budget on a program and the Treasury is screaming for its money back, demanding cuts left right and centre.

    Makes me wonder why we don't just let the US to develop something, wait until its had its first production run to work all the kinks out and then buy it from them as opposed to paying Big And Expensive to f*ck up designing something similar for us. Granted we'd likely end up having to cut them in as a domestic manufacturer/partner to help keep them propped up but it'd probably be cheaper I would have thought.
     
  4. Hardly.
     
  5. Can you tell which one of these 3 came in on time and on budget Flake??
     
  6. Because old fruit that way nobody at the MoD & Govt could take a backhander and that wouldn't do would it?
     
  7. None of them. None of them actually match up to the original General Staff Requirements either.

    I was at LE(A) in the early 80's and the prime driver to get SA 80 issued asp wasn't Active Service or any old b*llocks like that - it was for Guard Duty at Buck Pal (RM if my memory serves me well!!!!!)

    Oh how we laughed.

    BATES - :frustrated: it was meant to be fitted to the 1 Tonne Land Rover FFS so how long overdue was that?

    Bowman - here help yourself to my wallet.

    Flake - the money wasted (not the portion that was wisely spent!) on the projects you mention was enormous and still produced the crap systems the Army has today.
     
  8. Defence Contractors are in the business to make money and will construct the programme so that it maximises their revenue for the life of the product.

    If you continue to believe that politicians are acting in the best interest of the country you should read the article on St Athan PFI in the latest edition of Private Eye.

    In short, areas where training is currently being delivered (successfully) are in predominantly Tory strongholds in Dorset, Hampshire and Staffordshire, where the losing bidder proposed to keep it. Neue Arbeit are not doing well in South Wales so spookily decided to invest billions of pounds to support Labour interests. Des Browne has admitted that an in-house bid (public sector comparitor) was not even considered, even though the government can always borrow money more cheaply than the private sector.

    This is our money that Labour is mis-spending, lets not forget it at the next election.
     
  9. And your kids and grand-kids!
     
  10. Not just happen when labour is in charge!! The Conservatives are quite good at it too!
     
  11. I agree :thumright: All of these feckers are taking out 25-30 year loans on our kids and grandkids behalf. The only problem is that when it all goes to sh1t they won't be the ones who have to pay the bills.
     
  12. Yep they will be all sorted after voting in themselves their usual 20% pay rises!!

    What they ned to do is specify a date that all parties agrre too for bringing kit into service and have a penalty system in place for each month/6month block that it runs over
     
  13. I worked for a Company who did PFI bigtime. To be fair they did try to provide value for money and were quick to slap any bugger who tried to roll the customer over -BUT they are a profit making organisation and have shareholders.

    They had a lot of ex-Mil working for them (one of the MD's was an ex ASM) and if they could do extra for the customer for minimum expenditure they would. But most of the problems arose from the specs they bid against in the Tender.

    In a nutshell, PFI providers are in it to make a profit, some just happen to be better than others.

    Manufacturing kit is different; many problems come from changing the Specs half way through the project and forgetting bits e.g. order new radio fits when vehicle specs change. Prime example change from Mk 3 LR (109" and 89") to newer ones (110" and 90"). Does an extra inch matter? :thumright: