PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - JSF and A400M at risk?
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Old 3rd Oct 2008, 14:24
  #111 (permalink)  
Tim McLelland
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 927
Not true I'm afraid. You make the assumption that the people who make the various statements are "knowledgeable" - but how do you reach that conclusion?

You also say that these people make "practically insurmountable arguments" against Typhoon, but where? You make the assumption that everything they say is correct, and you also fail to take into account that even if all the anti-navalisation points were correct (which they are not) then this would make the decision simple, which of course it would not, because, as I keep saying, the choice isn't one which can be based simply on a direct comparison.

You would think that Tourist would be sufficiently intelligent to know that procurement decisions of this nature are made by politicians, based on the advice of manufacturers, engineers, air crew, defence policy planners, Foreign Affairs ministers, Treasury ministers and so on. It has to be that way of course and the Great British Taxpayer would be outraged if it wasn't.

I'm quite astonished that some people seem to be unable (or unwilling) to grasp that the JSF programme has become a hideously expensive and protracted saga which Britain can ill-afford to remain involved with. To make matters worse, the US Govermnent then persists with this notion that they can invite a foreign partner to share development and production costs on a major programme but then keep their own technology to themselves when it suits them. It's little wonder that when the programme has been handled so badly, and the amount of money it will require still seems potentially limitless, the Government finally decides to take a cold, hard look at whether it's really worth sticking with it.

We have progressed way beyond the simple "what is the best aircraft" arguments. To suggest that the programme should be pursued or abandoned based on the advice of the military (particularly the Royal Navy) would be just ludicrous. Fundamentally, it is a question of deciding whether the Treasury can afford the sums of money which will be required, and has to be judged with the Typhoon orders in mind. The two factors cannot be separated. I really don't know how some of the guys on here cannot understand how this is not a "my plane is better than yours" fight - it's a political decision which will affect the Treasury and the MoD for years to come, and given the financial situation of our economy at present, the idea of sticking with JSF looks less likely every day. That's the way I see it, as do many others.

PS- I'm tempted to add (although I'm at risk of opening another proverbial can of worms, so let's not go-off at a tangent here!) that we've been in this situation before. It's TSR2 all over again. It doesn't matter how technologically-brilliant an aircraft might (or might not) be, it still has to be paid for!

Last edited by Tim McLelland; 3rd Oct 2008 at 14:47.
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