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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

Old 6th Dec 2022, 08:50
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so when will it actually enter service - 2028?
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 10:55
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Originally Posted by ORAC
The review of data collected in the AJAX trials to test vibration and noise fixes proposed by General Dynamics has now concluded. The result was positive: noise and vibration levels remained within safe levels.

​​​​​​​ AJAX will now progress to Reliability Growth Trials in January.

I am usually protective of Defence Procurement on here, because so few understand who is meant to do what, and who is left to pick up the pieces because they don't.

Not this time. This is a **** up.

The relationship between AJAX and FRES is clear. And TRACER, TRACER SV and MRAV before them.

In the sense we are discussing soldiers being carried in these vehicles (but it could also be soldiers carried in aircraft - the following equally applies), in August 2002 Draft Issue 1 of the Soldier/FRES Interface Definition Document was promulgated. (As were Chinook, Merlin Mk3 and C-130). Field 5.1.4 'Environmental Factors', includes noise dose, and 5.1.4.4 covers 'Vibration, Shock', and point clearly to the risk of exposure being fully understood, and appropriate action taken by those responsible. The IDDs were sent to the common DEC - Direct Battlefield Engagement - who approved a series of test cases conducted by ITDU at Warminster in January 2003, whereby the entire process was proven. This was then 'plugged in' to all the platforms and equipments that the soldier had to wear, carry, use, consume or simply be carried in. All 173 of them, at the time.

So why was this work not 'pulled through' to AJAX, which was clearly non-compliant with a critical health and safety requirement, so was not at the correct maturity to proceed to production. Someone must sign a waiver, and the regs say it is the Treasury Solicitor.

To better understand if this is a systemic failing, we need to know if this process was carried out on all these other platforms. It might not be just about AJAX.

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Old 6th Dec 2022, 18:37
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But as a cheaper option than Dearnaught - albeit on the basis of giving up a permanent on-station deterrent. That would also free up the Barrow line for AUKUS subs… 😇😇😇 😎

I'm told that @ChiefofAirStaff has been briefed that B-21 will be black box free, no "kill switches", nothing like...err...the F-35. However, before anyone starts to get their respective undercrackers in a twist, can we consider a few germane points?

There was "clearly a message" in the RAAF and RAF chiefs being present at B-21 unveiling says @ChiefofAirStaff, he suggests the aircraft will bring a "formidable warfighting capability." UK and Australia is closely engaged with the #Raider's development, he adds.…
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 21:57
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Originally Posted by ORAC
But as a cheaper option than Dearnaught - albeit on the basis of giving up a permanent on-station deterrent. That would also free up the Barrow line for AUKUS subs… 😇😇😇 😎



I'm told that @ChiefofAirStaff has been briefed that B-21 will be black box free, no "kill switches", nothing like...err...the F-35. However, before anyone starts to get their respective undercrackers in a twist, can we consider a few germane points?

There was "clearly a message" in the RAAF and RAF chiefs being present at B-21 unveiling says @ChiefofAirStaff, he suggests the aircraft will bring a "formidable warfighting capability." UK and Australia is closely engaged with the #Raider's development, he adds.…
I was at the event- and I have to say that either I missed something (along with several others) or Francis Tusa has read too much into a comment; I didn't see him there, so he may have missed some of the atmospherics from watching online, but there wasn't a sense amongst the majority of the in-person audience that the notion that the RAF is eagerly seeking to hitch a ride on the B-21 programme; the answer given was to the effect of 'The message is that the USAF values the partnerships it enjoys with the RAF and RAAF' not 'we want to buy a new bomber'.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 08:36
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we can't afford to buy the F-35's we've ordered on time - there's no cash for the B-21
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Old 8th Jan 2023, 22:23
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Sir Humphrey…

There has been a lot of nonsense posted about how the UK should abandon the 'Indo-Pacific tilt' and focus on European security.

Long PSL read on the priceless benefits accrued for a pittance of commitment and why the Tilt matters for the long term.


https://tinyurl.com/55hjn342
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Old 9th Jan 2023, 08:54
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Rather odd article - on the one hand they say it doesn't cost the UK much because what is permanently deployed is miniscule and costs very little and on the other hand this is going to build long term relationships and commitments. Really?
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 09:46
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Times has gone in hard today

Editorial & articleBritain wastes money on weapons that are too costly, too late, too few or rarely work

The Times Leading Articles

Monday January 23 2023, 12.01am, The Times

Legend has it that, when the Royal Navy was trying to ensure the survival of its cherished aircraft carrier programme from cost-cutting politicians, it named the ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales to make them harder to cancel. No prime minister, it was reasoned, would want to break the bad news to the monarch or her heir that the ships bearing their names had been canned. But in choosing Prince of Wales the admirals were dicing with history. The previous Prince of Wales, a Second World War battleship, was plagued by misfortune. Mechanically unreliable when launched, it was sunk in a Japanese air attack after only 11 months. And some of that bad luck has now rubbed off on its new £3.4 billion descendant, which has suffered a major propulsion fault, putting it out of service for months. None of this comes as a surprise.

Wherever one looks, there is some procurement disaster or other. Over the years, billions have been wasted on cancelled projects, while equipment that does eventually work arrives years late and in smaller numbers than needed. Despite a defence budget of £46 billion, the second-highest in Nato, Britain is now unable to field a carrier battle group with sufficient combat aircraft, early warning radar aircraft to protect our airspace, or even a single battle-ready army division.

Yet political leaders insist on talking Britain up as a global power. Until, that is, reality intervenes to calm their hubris. Rishi Sunak recently promised Ukraine a large batch of artillery shells only to discover the army didn’t have them. The truth is, £46 billion does not buy much if you want to be a pocket superpower. Two per cent of GDP is wholly inadequate to satisfy this country’s strategic pretensions. The defence budget is constantly whittled away by defence inflation, always higher than its civilian counterpart, and a weak pound, making dollar purchases from America more expensive.

Lack of money is not the sole problem. Successive politicians and service chiefs have insisted on expensive new weapons instead of simpler off-the-shelf kit, partly because they want to protect Britain’s defence industry but also due to a chronic weakness for “gold plating”. In order to be useful partners to the United States, the argument goes, our fighters require the best gear. But Britain’s defence budget is barely a tenth of America’s, meaning that top-line equipment can be bought only in embarrassingly small quantities, making it too valuable to lose in an actual war.

The navy is supposed to have one carrier available with about 24 F35 stealth fighters on board. But there are simply not enough in service yet because of cost. The RAF’s planned purchase of new airborne early-warning planes has been cut from five to three due to cost, and the previous type retired early to save money, leaving a gap in defences. The army, meanwhile, is in a parlous state, its armoured vehicles old, and its new Ajax vehicle way overdue because of vibration problems that cause drivers to get headaches. And distorting all defence procurement is the gorilla in the room: the replacement of the submarine-based nuclear deterrent, costing up to £50 billion.

Britain needs to get real about defence. It must downgrade its Indo-Pacific aspirations and focus on Europe where, as Ukraine shows, the most serious threat lies. And it means sensible weapons buying, emphasising quantity as well as quality. Perfect should not be the enemy of good enough.

"

Ben Wallace has condemned the “hollowing out” of the military after decades of underfunding in a stark warning to the Treasury before the budget. The defence secretary said the army was unable to field a war fighting division of just 10,000 troops. The Ministry of Defence had only been able to start fixing longstanding issues after it was given more money by Boris Johnson, he said.

Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, is holding talks with the MoD over a settlement after concerns were raised about wasteful spending in the department."


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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 10:56
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Originally Posted by Asturias56

The defence budget is constantly whittled away by defence inflation, always higher than its civilian counterpart
This is the best line in the article.

Instead of the inflation rate, we used to get the Department of Trade and Industry Index for (e.g.) 'aviation' or 'avionics'. Historically, each would run at up to twice the inflation rate, sometimes more.

The equipment part of the quoted £46Bn Defence Budget should, in reality, be at least double that if comparing today with, say, 30 years ago. I'm not about to wade through the Indices, but I do recall getting 5% one year in the late 90s instead of 12%. We just had to ask OR what they wanted chopped from the programme. That's not the fault of the procurement system, as implied. And nor is incorrect quantities or 'gold plated' solutions. Or even the Prince of Wales problem, as we haven't been told yet if it's a defect or a fault.

Allied to this is the fallacy of 'fixed price' contracts. As the saying goes, firm is fixed, fixed is variable.

And there's no point Wallace or Hunt banging on about waste. It's actually MoD policy to commit funding to protect those who consciously waste astronomical amounts. Remove that protection, and apply the law. It'll soon stop.
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 13:38
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there's a longer piece as well n the awful details - including the fact that Accommodation issues are a deterrent to recruitment - who'd have thought that!!

It's clear it's years, decades of underinvestment AND some pretty grim decision taking
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Old 23rd Jan 2023, 17:01
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Legend has it that, when the Royal Navy was trying to ensure the survival of its cherished aircraft carrier programme from cost-cutting politicians, it named the ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales to make them harder to cancel.
Knowing the way the RAF upper echelon appears to be operating of late, I wouldn't put it past them to propose the new RAF B-21 Prince Harry, to try and get it through the selection stage..
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 08:16
  #952 (permalink)  
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Seems a day to put a boot into the army - with a sideswipe at the navy……

​​​​​​​https://twitter.com/exmatelotjim/sta...oZA0FCoINh9bFg
​​​​​​​
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Old 24th Jan 2023, 09:28
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"Yet political leaders insist on talking Britain up as a global power. Until, that is, reality intervenes to calm their hubris. "

This I think is at the root of many issues - no politician is willing to face up to the reality
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 07:02
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...wedgetail-buy/

British air chief eyes return to five-strong Wedgetail buy

LONDON — Britain’s top airman says he wants the Royal Air Force to restore the number of airborne early warning aircraft it originally planned to acquire before the number of platforms was reduced to save money in a government defense review.

Officials reduced an order with Boeing for five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft to just three in the course of a wholesale review of British defense and foreign policy in March 2021.

But giving evidence to the parliamentary Defence Select Committee on Feb. 1, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston said he hoped to see the fleet of early warning and control aircraft returned to its required number of five over time….

“The integrated review refresh is ongoing. The decisions are for the secretary of state. I think what we would recognize as a future fleet and an aspiration of a future fleet is five [Wedgetails],” said Wigston, who is due to stand down from his position as chief of the air staff later this year.

Responding to a question in Parliament last December, Defence Procurement Minister Alex Chalk said the original estimated acquisition cost for five E-7 Wedgetail aircraft program was £2.16 billion, or $2.67 billion. The current forecast for the three aircraft program is £1.89 billion, or $2.34 billion.…

The air force chief said the change in the program from five to three aircraft still required the business case for the reduced number of airframes to get through the approval process.

“Part of that approval process is when we actually define the initial operating capability and set a date. That will happen in the next few months, so the middle of 2023,” he said….
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 08:48
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Oh God - we're down to the "aspiration" stage............................
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 09:48
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I’m banking, in the present climate, on the last two sentences reference the business case.

If you need SSBN to keep one in station, yo7 need at least 4 to keep one AEW in the air - and with servicing schedules and snags that’s with luck.

One in deep service, one in routine maintenance you can’t maintain one airborne. You might manage to rotate 2, but one snag and you’re back to one - with transit times as well as TOT issues.
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 10:21
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Originally Posted by ORAC
I’m banking, in the present climate, on the last two sentences reference the business case.

If you need SSBN to keep one in station, yo7 need at least 4 to keep one AEW in the air - and with servicing schedules and snags that’s with luck.

One in deep service, one in routine maintenance you can’t maintain one airborne. You might manage to rotate 2, but one snag and you’re back to one - with transit times as well as TOT issues.

When asked on F-35 he said he'd expect 10% unavailable to front line, and later said anything below 20% was a 'good figure'.

In the bygone days of yore you were allowed to 'round up', so in a fleet of 3 you'd be allowed 1 unavailable. (Think Nimrod R). But for LTC89 that changed to 'round down' (accompanied by a significant drop in support funding), so in a fleet of 3 you're not allowed any!!
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 13:04
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Well, think Carriers, the norm was one at sea, one on refit and one working up... which makes a whole mockery of buying two.
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 14:49
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Well, think Carriers, the norm was one at sea, one on refit and one working up... which makes a whole mockery of buying two.
Whose norm? Certainly not the case between late 60s and mid 80s. The CVS years were in some respects an aberration.





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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 15:42
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Originally Posted by ORAC

But giving evidence to the parliamentary Defence Select Committee on Feb. 1, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston said he hoped to see the fleet of early warning and control aircraft returned to its required number of five over time….

“The integrated review refresh is ongoing. The decisions are for the secretary of state. I think what we would recognize as a future fleet and an aspiration of a future fleet is five [Wedgetails],” said Wigston, who is due to stand down from his position as chief of the air staff later this year.
.
Waiting to see if the USAF buys and a resulting lower unit cost?
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