General Procurement

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
Frenchie
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Re: General Procurement

Post by Frenchie »

I don't want to offend anyone, but I think that the MoD is buying very expensive equipment, and it would be easy to save money, with a reorganisation of the British Army into three levels of conflict:

1) High intensity conflicts, with two armoured brigades.
2) Low intensity conflicts, with two median brigades.
3) Emergency situations, with 16 Air Assault Brigade and Royal Marines.

1) Two armoured brigades, each equipped with two Challenger 2 upgraded tank regiments and three battalions equipped with either Warrior upgraded or Ajax in the IFV version, an engineer regiment and an artillery regiment.

I buy on-shelf a vehicle more suitable for recce missions.

Then, either I transform the Warriors without turret into vehicles ambulance, anti-tank guided weapon, command and control, artillery observation, repair and recovery or I develop these versions from the Ajax.

2) Two median brigades with vehicles to define, I don't support the MIV program as it is defined, it requires vehicles less wide and less heavy than a Boxer.

3) Paratroopers need light vehicles, the Royal Marines have their Vikings.

I think that would be a big saving of money and a more rational organisation.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Hi Frenchie,

I think you are v right with the opening salvo there
"I think that the MoD is buying very expensive equipment, and it would be easy to save money, with a reorganisation of the British Army into three levels of conflict:

1) High intensity conflicts, with two armoured brigades.
2) Low intensity conflicts, with two median brigades.
3) Emergency situations, with 16 Air Assault Brigade and Royal Marines."

Leaving aside the point 3) above (there has always been a more joined-up thinking there in France, with e.g. the Marines having their armoured cavalry), I would push against 1 & 2
- nothing out there was considered sufficiently survivable for us ( a decade ago)
- by failing (badly!) we have actually done ourselves a favour, as...
- we first had Army 2020; now with the Future Force 2025 returning to an expeditionary posture (with a, by now, smaller army) what is required is a wider range of more broadly capable kit that works in both conventional and asymmetric conflicts
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

What I was trying to say there (and the preceding post) is that the deck of cards will now be more easily mixable (between 1 & 2).

And that even from the emergency situation (the "door kickers") forces the paratroopers are now more of a company/ bn level specialty - did keep my reference to the Gurkhas getting the new colour on their head gear muted as I have the highest respect for them... and they live behind my house; with all those kukris ready to come out ( I dont think they have gone through the jump training, though).

With less manpower - better kit (what will it be; I want to hear!) is the only way to go.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Frenchie »

ArmChairCivvy wrote: nothing out there was considered sufficiently survivable for us ( a decade ago)
Indeed ACC, if you allow me, the choice of buying very heavy vehicles to avoid human losses is a mistake, an Ajax, a Boxer, are not indestructible, they are even easy targets to destroy, they are not adapted to the missions that the MoD wants to entrust them and they are very expensive, this is my point of view, I may be wrong but I do not think so.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

You are not wrong.

The 20 or so casualties the French suffered in a single ambush in A-stan was the ignitor for a prgrm for toughening up the infantry. I think there is no need for such prgrm here, it is just the Political Masters here who have cold feet (ever since the post-invasion Iraq situation was handled so badly).

For anyone who does not know what I am speaking about, the units deployed to Mali (and which did a wonderful job) were not the traditinal ones, from the days of conscription, used on every occasition, but just drawn "from the line".
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Further thoughts on this
" a Boxer [or any such], are not indestructible, they are even easy targets to destroy, they are not adapted to the missions that the MoD wants to entrust them and they are very expensive,"

There is a v bad misconception in the MoD (not sure if it goes as far as the professional military):
- a mechanised infantry bn will uproot a non-mech opponent (simply by the power of their autocannons) very quickly [CORRECT; gets a tick]
- the OpFor also has a vote, so this will not repeat, 1:1, for many times
- therefore QUALITY is an imperfect substitute for quantity [does only get a TICK in a very limited number of scenarios]
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Frenchie »

I agree with you ACC,

I don't want to compare, but France by 2030 will have 204 Leclerc upgraded, 630 VBCI of 32 tonnes.
For low-intensity conflicts we will have multi-role vehicles like the Griffon of 20-25 tonnes that will replace the VABs, fighting vehicles like the Jaguar of 25 tonnes that will replace the AMX10RC, they may not be as protected as the Boxer and Ajax, but they will be vehicles adapted to their roles and they will be cheap. Not to mention the CRABs.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Frenchie wrote:I agree with you ACC,

630 VBCI of 32 tonnes.
This is one of those threads where "quote" does not work through "highlighting"... nevermind

Yes, anything over 32 t on wheels is an "arctic" - articulated? - truck and not fit for military purposes; the terrain in S. Africa (and , say, in the Arabian peninsula and surrounding areas) might make for an exception
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Frenchie »

Yes, there is an error on our part that to have made a wheeled IFV :oops:

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Re: General Procurement

Post by jonas »

Drop in the value of the pound will have little impact on procurement in the short term :-

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/pou ... g-official

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Everything (at times) looks clear as water; an example above... I was looking for a thread on UK Defence Industrial Strategy (you know, we have one, no one just bothers to update it). Didm't find it, so putting this post here... the Strategy being left to the shifting sands of political polls and fluctuating corporate valuations (the short-term focussed quarterly reports driving them).

Breakingdefence is trying to give updates on the review of the US defence industrial base, an excerpt from the latest piece:
RE " [the] White House task force, commissioned by President Trump. “In the executive order, the analytical focus is on peer competitor conventional threats that would really stress all the different vectors of the industrial base,” an administration official told me, in contrast to the past 16 years of counterinsurgency, which only strained certain sectors like uparmored vehicles."
- we couldn't do even that; we bought them
- and once we had our own, the show was over and we parked them :cry:
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Who says that innovation in MoD is dead?
http://www.army-technology.com/news/har ... t-starter/
Just that someone else normally does the innovating and we then buy the result, as-is or as a component for a wider solution.

BTW, contrary to what I stated in the post above, saw a mention that the Defence Industrial Policy did receive a refresh in 2017
... not that it has been published/ discussed widely, though
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by RetroSicotte »

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... e-exports/

Good signs on the defence industry.

That reliance on air though, damn. Really makes it clear why its a focus. Would be good to see that air percentage drop a little (due to increase in others, that is). Thankfully GCS/T26 seems on route to do that.

A nice Ajax selection by Czech Republic or the US would no go amiss too given component manufacture.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Lord Jim »

However if the Looney Liberal Minority get their way we will be prevented from selling any arms to any nations that actually might use them.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by mr.fred »

Lord Jim wrote:However if the Looney Liberal Minority get their way we will be prevented from selling any arms to any nations that actually might use them.
What is a Liberal, in this context?

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Lord Jim »

Liberal in this context are those who believe Political Correctness is the mantra that all should follow regardless of where common sense is over ridden. Those who believe a Wolf Whistle is a hate crime and the perpetrators should be arrested, I could go on and on. I am not referring to the tradition values of liberals in the political sense, though some UK Liberal Politicians due seems to lean toward adopting the PC mantra at times.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by mr.fred »

Lord Jim wrote:Liberal in this context are those who believe Political Correctness is the mantra that all should follow regardless of where common sense is over ridden. Those who believe a Wolf Whistle is a hate crime and the perpetrators should be arrested, I could go on and on. I am not referring to the tradition values of liberals in the political sense, though some UK Liberal Politicians due seems to lean toward adopting the PC mantra at times.
So not Liberal in any sense except contemporary USA.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Lord Jim »

Basically I am fed up with a world where if you say boo to a goose it has the right to sue you for harassment or a hate crime or inflicting mental anguish upon it. I am fed up with a world where minorities have more right then the majority and can do what they like as others fear they will be prosecuted of vilified for anything negative they might say. Banning people from speaking because you do not like their point of view and it might upset your idyllic view of how the world should be. Everything has gone too far and we need some common sense. Every time there are casualties in Yemen there are calls for the rest of the world to stop supplying arms to the Saudi led coalition. Well they probably have enough already to finish the war and to is out advisors and technicians that they need. The destruction of the Bus this week was terrible but it wasn't the target in all probability, but rather it drove past a military target, which the driver probably didn't know was there as they are often set up amongst civilians and routinely moved, and got caught in the blast. But the media and interested parties are not interested in the latter part, simply that a bus was hit and therefore we have to stop selling arms. War is terrible but happens, people die including the innocent, and if the latter are deliberately targeted then everything should be done to bring those responsible to account. If innocents are caught in a crossfire it is terrible but it is war.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Caribbean »

mr.fred wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Liberal in this context are those who believe Political Correctness is the mantra that all should follow regardless of where common sense is over ridden. Those who believe a Wolf Whistle is a hate crime and the perpetrators should be arrested, I could go on and on. I am not referring to the tradition values of liberals in the political sense, though some UK Liberal Politicians due seems to lean toward adopting the PC mantra at times.
So not Liberal in any sense except contemporary USA.
Political correctness is an attempt to police "thoughtcrime" by controlling how people are allowed to express those thoughts, which I would say is arguably the opposite of Liberalism in any classical sense. Please don't confuse modern American's inability to understand the political spectrum (many of my former colleagues were even confused by what left- and right-wing means, never mind more "sophisticated" concepts such as the difference between socialised, socialist and communist - not their fault, the US political system has had a big hand in deliberately creating that confusion), with what are accepted definitions throughout the rest of the World.
Sorry - pet peeve, I know, but let's try and stay away from American misuse of established political definitions, if only to avoid confusion over what is really meant. Also, way off-topic - apologies once again.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: General Procurement

Post by Lord Jim »

No problem here, I was simply using a term I had heard and thought applicable at the time. Thanks for he Politics lesson, notes have been taken.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by RetroSicotte »

Not the topic for that guys. Move it elsewhere please.

Edit - Perhaps I was a bit too easy polite. NO further posts on the topic, as it'll just keep going back and forth. Stick to direct procurement chat in here please. Posts have been deleted below this one.

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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

This thread got frozen well before we reached the solar minimum. But as we are now moving away from that point on the curve, this topic is getting fresh evidence, taken by the select committee. This first excerpt from F. Tusa:
" a real problem of the Levene reforms, which I think shows that the Levene reforms have failed. We have now got four service siloes that deal with everything independently, without a thought of what could be done for defence as a whole."

If we superimpose this view (I am not taking a stand) on the organisational structure that was set up to assure the opposite outcome, it would mean that the Capability Directors in DE&S have had a problem both/either
- in identifying overlaps, and turning them into procurement synergies
and/ or
- have not been empowered to push such insights through
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Acknowledging that budgets in the end are political and politics are 'subject to change'... none of that changes the fact that companies that are expected to be Primes in large contracts need more certainty, to plan for investments (in skills or otherwise): the remedy is better communication with the industry and with the structure and process now in place
" how you reform places like the DE&S [ we are by now abt 20 more pages into the submissions]; more importantly perhaps, the Ministry of Defence’s approach to acquisition; and more importantly still, the Treasury’s approach to how it views the judgments that are made at the various levels"
'may' pose a challenge.

Separately, acknowledging that threats are also subject to change Philip Dunne made the point that
"the 2015 SDSR [we] allocated £800 million of a very taut budget to renew innovation across the strategy over 10 years. As of now, nearly £100 million of that has been spent and we are nearly halfway through the 10-year programme."
which, together with the performance in UORs seen, may have been drivers for the fact that as
" driving down to the command the ability to be more agile in the way they bring capability is a good thing. They decide what capability is required and bring it into service. Each command has set up its own equivalent of the Rapid Capabilities Office in order to accelerate procurement."
- also a comment by Philip Dunne, but in a different context

'Renew innovation' would imply small steps that can be taken in quick succession
- rather than wholesale transformation prgrms (which can stall... and then: where will we be at [INSERT examples here :) ]
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: General Procurement

Post by Lord Jim »

I think it is a case of both being the case. A "Capability is deemed to fall under a single service's area of responsibility, and the resultant programme is vigorously protected within that service. However as pointed out this precludes the other services being able to add any level of expertise they might have with said programme and also precludes any sharing of cost. But then a again the tendency now is for each service to defend tooth and nail, its own resources and not to share, especially as none have the actual amount they need. This precludes almost any flexibility or co operation at an institutional level. It also makes it harder for the MoD to put forward a unified argument for additional resources as each now has its own agendas. So in typical British fashion we have taken a good theory and wrecked it during implementation.

As for bringing in new and improved capabilities more rapidly by each Command having its own Rapid Capability Office, again that is a fine theory, but without the right level of resources to actually implement these programmes, there is no real benefit to be had. Instead we have the usual smoke and mirrors theatrics and Commands struggle to balance their annual accounts, and programmes continue to move forward at a glacial pace and are often stalled either before "Main Gate" or awaiting the financial green light for the production contract.

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Re: General Procurement

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