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SDSR rumours.

Old 18th Nov 2015, 19:51
  #101 (permalink)  
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You're kidding aren't you? We wouldn't miss it for anything. Working out who's for the chop makes those long meetings on Fridays more bareable
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 20:15
  #102 (permalink)  
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You attend them with your clothes off?
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 20:25
  #103 (permalink)  
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Talk about gallows humour...this time next week we'll be looking back fondly on the halcyon days of SDSR 2010. Well, some of us. The rest will be looking outside
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 21:20
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Don't you have dress down Fridays at your place? They're very liberating and you get a real sense of 'all in it together' when there's no rank involved

Bloody iPad autocorrect!
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 21:56
  #105 (permalink)  
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David Cameron and senior ministers to get dedicated plane

The government will give David Cameron and senior ministers the use of a converted RAF plane for official trips

David Cameron and senior ministers are to be given the use of a dedicated plane for long-distance trips instead of chartered flights.

The government will announce next week that it will spend £10million refitting an RAF plane which is normally used for air-to-air refuelling. Ministers insist that the plane will save the taxpayer up to £775,000 a year on the cost of Downing Street's flights because it will avoid the use of costly charter flights. Downing Street is likely to face criticism over the announcement as it comes ahead of the spending review which will see deep cuts across Whitehall.

It will cost significantly less than Tony Blair's plans for "Blair Force One", which involved the purchase of two private jets for the Prime Minister's use and the Royal Family at an estimated cost of £100million. Gordon Brown, the then Chancellor, blocked the plans and later abandoned them entirely when he became Prime Minister. The Conservatives criticised the idea at the time saying it was the “wrong moment to be splashing out taxpayers' money on funding the government to travel in style".

However a government source insisted that the converted RAF plane will not be "luxurious" in stark contrast to the jets used by other World leaders. The source said: “This is about saving taxpayers’ money. There will be upfront costs but by using a refitted RAF Voyager instead of chartering private aircraft for each long-distance trip, we will save taxpayers around £775,000 a year.”

At present Mr Cameron and senior ministers use Queen's Flight, known as 32 (The Royal) Squadron, for short haul flights and charter commercial flights for long haul trips. Government sources said that the cost of long-haul charter flights can be excessive because they are often arranged at short notice. In January the government spent more than £100,000 sending Mr Cameron to Saudi Arabia to pay his respects following the death of its King.

The converted RAF Voyager A330 is expected to cost £2,000 an hour, compared to the current average cost of £6,700 an hour. The use of the flight is being offered to the Royal Family and when the plane is not in use it will return to military refuelling duties. Government sources said that he plane would have the additional benefit of offering secure communications as well as "defensive aids" in hostile areas.
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 22:01
  #106 (permalink)  
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Seems eminently sensible! Wonder could they add a nice paint job...
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 22:59
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...maybe the Queen could use it too and they could call it the Royal Flight. Or is this Dave's Air Force One. Now, what would you call that?
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Old 18th Nov 2015, 23:25
  #108 (permalink)  
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Or is that disrespectful?
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 08:11
  #109 (permalink)  
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The government will give David Cameron and senior ministers the use of a converted RAF plane for official trips

So how much more could the taxpayer be saved by using Flight Catering? "Orange squash with your meal, Prime Minister? Here's your paper cup..."
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 08:22
  #110 (permalink)  
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The cash numbers are made-up how you wish IMO. Each and every FSTA costs £3,000 every hour of the day, 24/7, 365 days a year for the next 25 years before it turns a wheel. That is £72,000 per day that the aircraft is allocated to a task. Fuel costs around £3,000 per flying hour. Crew cost????? I think we can guess the pol's have simply decreed "this will happen". Interesting how the "comms" and "defensive aids" have been largely ignored for decades.

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Old 19th Nov 2015, 10:35
  #111 (permalink)  
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That's another cup of coffee snorted over the keyboard!
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 16:14
  #112 (permalink)  
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So, we've lost a tanker. Out of how many...
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 16:21
  #113 (permalink)  
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It ain't the first.

One was built in factory A, converted to AAR in Factory B, delivered to AirTanker and immediately sent to Factory C for re-civilianising so it could go on long term lease to Thomas Cook or the like.
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 22:12
  #114 (permalink)  
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In short, the received wisdom is that you can't convert a Tranche 1 aircraft to Tranche 2 standards, let alone Tranche 3.

The aircraft differs in a number of respects, not least in having an entirely different processing infrastructure, which means that Tranche 2 software can't be hosted.

It also could not be economically upgraded to hang a heavy AESA off the front bulkhead, nor does it have adequate electrical power and cooling.

The aircraft can be upgraded to address obsolescence issues, and with that done, could gain all main T2/T3 capabilities via further software drops.

I don't expect that will happen, however, and think it more likely that we'll see two extra squadrons, one at Lossie, one at Coningsby, which will be equipped with obsolescence-addressed T1 jets, used for QRA, A-A, and red air, perhaps with the austere A-G capability stripped away, and quite possibly with aircraft that are not deployed, except to the Falklands. These probably will have further improvements via new drops, but will not get all the P1E/P2E/P3E enhancements.
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Old 19th Nov 2015, 22:55
  #115 (permalink)  
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Thanks Jackonicko...

I didn't realise there were such significant differences...pity! Although that must have created a significant capability jump for the later batches...
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 14:47
  #116 (permalink)  
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MoD team have briefed DoD on SDSR already. Good to see.
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Old 20th Nov 2015, 15:38
  #117 (permalink)  
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Beeb starting the "spin"

Defence review to identify new threats and spending priorities - BBC News

Military chiefs, civil servants and politicians are not always ready or equipped to fight the battles in front of them, let alone the wars of the future.
Think of Iraq and Afghanistan - their crystal ball is often as muddy as yours or mine. While the 2010 Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) did identify terrorism and international military crises as high level (tier 1) threats, there was no specific mention of Russia and so-called Islamic State (IS) did not exist in anything like its present form.
The 2015 SDSR will identify both IS and Russia as tier 1 threats, but they may not be the same threat five years hence.

"In 2010 it was rather assumed the armed forces would get out of Afghanistan and take a bit of a breather," says Michael Clarke, director of the defence think tank Rusi. Instead "the world has shown us the armed forces won't be getting a holiday," he says.
Genuinely strategic?

First, the government should be commended on its commitment to carry out a defence review every five years. Before, defence reviews were done ad hoc. But ministers will still have to overcome a high degree of scepticism as to whether this latest SDSR is genuinely "strategic" or if it matches Britain's global ambitions with the resources needed.

SDSR 2010 may have been strategic in name but it'll be remembered for the savage cuts that followed. It wasn't just the scrapping of iconic names, it left gaping holes in Britain's defences - with no aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy and no maritime patrol aircraft to hunt down Russian submarines.cise and said the UK had to be "more thoughtful, more strategic and more co-ordinated in the way we advance our interests and protect our national security" The Royal Navy also lost thousands of personnel and is now having to recruit marine engineers from foreign navies. In order to man its two new aircraft carriers it'll need another 2,000 sailors but they'll have to manage with fewer, which could mean mothballing other warships.

The armed forces are still licking the wounds inflicted by the 2010 review. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon admits it involved "painful" decisions. But this week he told me: "We're now able to expand the defence budget again... to enhance the capabilities of our armed forces to deal with the increased threats we face." Key to this, he says, has been the commitment to meet the Nato target of spending 2% of the nation's wealth (GDP) on defence. It means there'll be a modest increase in the defence budget over the next five years.

Mr Clarke says while the armed forces might be in a better place this time round "it'll still find it difficult to meet all the commitments the government wants it to meet".

New maritime patrol aircraft will be top of the shopping list. Over the past five years Britain has had to call on the help of the US, Canada and France to hunt for suspected Russian submarines near UK waters. RAF crews have already been training on the US Boeing P8 Poseidon - but it's expensive. Other defence contractors are offering cheaper alternatives. Britain needs new aircraft now, but it has to work out what it can afford. The RAF will also be looking for more frontline fast-jet squadrons. It now has seven squadrons but would like more than a dozen. In the fight against IS it's still having to rely on the ageing Tornado. The life of some of the early Typhoons is likely to be extended to add a few more squadrons, but still probably fewer than the RAF would like.

One key decision will be how many of the new F-35s Britain will buy. The aircraft, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is already the most expensive defence project ever undertaken by the Pentagon. The UK had originally planned to buy 138, but each jet will cost about £100m. The decision on F-35s is also important for the Royal Navy and its two new aircraft carriers from which they will fly, as are new anti-submarine frigates needed to protect the carriers.

The Navy wants 13 of the new Type 26 frigate. If it has to settle for less that would have a knock-on effect on shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde. The government will also signal its push to renew the fleet of Vanguard submarines which carry the Trident nuclear systems. The cost of building four new submarines will be updated from around £20bn to more than £30bn.

The Army will be looking at how many new armoured "scout" vehicles they'll be getting and new Apache attack helicopters. Although the Army has become less likely to engage in any large-scale conflict on its own, it still needs a range of capabilities to deploy alongside its key ally - the US. The Army also hopes this SDSR will help change public perceptions - that it's not just there to deploy en masse. The Army now sends small teams to trouble spots all over the world to help train and assist fragile states with conflict prevention.

The British Army's 2020 plan

Some regiments will be merged; others face "salami-slicing" The number of regular troops is shrinking, from 163,000 in 1978 to 102,000 in 2010 and 82,000 in 2020
The government has said it does not want whole regiments to be scrapped; some will be merged, others face "salami slicing". The Army will become more reliant on part-time soldiers; the number of reservists will double from 15,000 to 30,000 by 2020 The government says Britain will have an effective, well-equipped fighting force, integrating regulars and reserves Analysts say the Army will have resources for only one major operation at a time and there will be swingeing cuts to support units such as logistics and engineers

In fact, this SDSR will signal a significant break with the past. Mr Clarke says: "What we are seeing is a shift of resources away from fighting major wars towards using the forces in more intelligence-led, cyber-led, Special Forces-led ways for specific operations." The armed forces still want and need their big ticket items like warplanes and warships, but recent events have underlined the shift. In the wake of the Paris attacks, ministers have said the security services will get another 1,900 personnel while there'll be an extra £1.9bn for cybersecurity and another £2bn for Special Forces. The RAF will see the size of its drone fleet double to 20.

It's a sign the military will be involved in more intelligence-led counter-terrorism operations and an indication that, post-Iraq and Afghanistan, politicians are increasingly reluctant to put "boots on the ground". After the brutal cuts of the last SDSR, ministers hope this one will be a positive story. While the Ministry of Defence is still having to make efficiency savings, it's not being asked to make cuts right across the board like many other government departments.
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 21:40
  #118 (permalink)  
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Presumably this is why CDS and PUS are upset about leaks and threatening all the boys and girls with being caught and jailed. Butt ummmmm didn't HMG leak the extra dosh for special forces?? silly me one rule for us another for them.

Or are they p*ssed that the MRA /Dave Force 1 news seems to have been leaked????
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 23:18
  #119 (permalink)  
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Civil servants, contractors and military personnel must do what they're told (which, as you observe from PUS and CDS's direction, is "STFU"). The risk is that a disgruntled individual, on hearing that the carrier programme is to be deleted (joke!), leaks it to try and provoke a media storm that forces the government to reconsider. That's the kind of toxicity that threats of jail time are intended to prevent. On the other hand, ministers, their special advisers and their parliamentary aides can leak what they want, when they want, since they are the ones either making the decisions or dealing with the political consequences anyway. I suspect the few little tit-bits that have come out so far are in the latter category, mainly because they're all positive. They were probably intended to keep the buildup to SDSR announcement ticking over nicely, providing a stark contrast to the opposition's meltdown over national security as the past week has unfolded. Another aspect is that the politicians would like to have a number of small-to-medium-size good news stories in the newspapers every day for a week (hence the drip-drip of announcements like Protector, Cam Fly With Me, SF funding, etc) rather than save it all up for one massive story on SDSR day, which some voters might overlook and which will quickly become chip paper anyway. It's all about the political narrative and keeping it in people's awarness....
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 23:41
  #120 (permalink)  
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"That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he's being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act."
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