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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 8th Dec 2019, 15:16
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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In terms of defense spending and planning I do find myself wondering what our collective response would be if the Russians invaded let’s say...Estonia.

Would NATO go to war ?

Until you determine what threats exist and what your planned response to those threats would be (the scenario books) I don’t know how you can effectively allocate spending. We used to have a very clear remit of forward basing US strike aircraft and securing the GIUK gap for anti-submarine operations, now we seem to be more interested in force projection around the world with nuclear subs and carrier strike groups that we can ill-afford. I’m not convinced that is the best option for us.
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Old 8th Dec 2019, 15:48
  #82 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately expecting Politicians to face up to realities is almost impossible - it's only the drip drip drip of cash that eventually brings in some sense

The time they are forced to choose between (say) protecting pensions and (say) buying another 50 F-35's is when reality bites
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Old 13th Dec 2019, 11:29
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
The point you're making is now showing signs of age. Ever since the 1990s/end of the Cold War, we've had various hard headed evaluations telling us that the threat has changed, that defence has to be re-shaped, re-thought to meet the wars of tomorrow etc. Then we had operations (for better or worse, wrong or right) in Kosovo, Sierre Leone, Gulf 2, Libya and recently to eradicate Isis' operating base/strong hold in Syria and Northern Iraq, which has been successful by all accounts.

FB
Wasn't there something going on in Afghanistan for a while?

How is success measured in the Ops you listed above? Was there a stated aim prior to the UK's involvement that it would be declared a success when those aims were achieved?
A fair point, but not the fault of those who went. And having those assets allowed us at least to take part (again, rightly or wrongly, for better or worse). Was it Rod Stewart who trilled "Ain't it better to lose in love, than to never love at all?". Seems faintly apt...
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Old 13th Dec 2019, 12:03
  #84 (permalink)  
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"Times" this morning in their post -election section says that on Defence the Tories will want to spend more money on cyber stuff and satellites and that "hard decisions" will be required on some items..................
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Old 13th Dec 2019, 16:43
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Question

Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Times" this morning in their post -election section says that on Defence the Tories will want to spend more money on cyber stuff and satellites and that "hard decisions" will be required on some items..................
Perhaps the Huawei 5G network will be turned off as part of that....
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Old 13th Dec 2019, 18:18
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"Times" this morning in their post -election section says that on Defence the Tories will want to spend more money on cyber stuff and satellites and that "hard decisions" will be required on some items..................
Investing heavily in cyber seems like a sensible idea, considering Russia's election interference record as of late.

Speaking of that... let's hope BoJo publishes that report very soon.
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Old 13th Dec 2019, 19:05
  #87 (permalink)  

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Investing heavily in cyber seems like a sensible idea, considering Russia's election interference record as of late.

Speaking of that... let's hope BoJo publishes that report very soon.
And the one about yesterday perhaps?
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 06:08
  #88 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...cash-2gsdzs9v5

Boris Johnson to take aim at MoD over wasted cash


Boris Johnson’s most senior aide is to overhaul the way the Ministry of Defence spends billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money in a move expected to alarm military chiefs and mandarins.

Dominic Cummings, regarded as a key architect of the prime minister’s election victory, will tackle military procurement as a priority for next year, allies have said. He is expected to audit recent purchases and review the development of costly military equipment, having previously described MoD procurement as “disastrous”. The aide has scorned “mediocre” officials and alleged corruption within the system. The acquisition of two aircraft carriers, at a cost of £6.2 billion, has been a specific focus of his concern.

One cabinet minister sought yesterday to play down the significance of Mr Cummings’s involvement in the defence review, but the revelation is likely to cause anxiety among senior military figures. A defence source said last night that although there was agreement that the processes needed reform, the armed forces would be concerned by Mr Cummings taking a leading role. “We have an early 20th-century system for a 21st-century world,” the insider said. “It requires review, but that should be carried out by people with expertise in procurement rather than in politics.”

Procurement will be one pillar of the defence and foreign policy review that the prime minister announced during the general election campaign. Mr Johnson signalled that it would be the most comprehensive evaluation since the Cold War of Britain’s defence capabilities and emphasised the need for a technological upgrade of the armed forces........

A second key figure in the review has also been named. John Bew, a foreign policy expert who joined the No 10 policy unit this year, will report on Britain’s place in the world.

Mr Johnson’s robust rhetoric about the review has raised eyebrows among mandarins, and the involvement of Mr Cummings, who has sketched out some views on defence in a private blog, is likely to be met with trepidation. In a post published in March, before he joined the government, the former Vote Leave campaign director hit out at the programme to build the carriers, the second of which was commissioned last week. Calling the scheme a “farce”, he added that it “has continued to squander billions of pounds, enriching some of the worst corporate looters and corrupting public life via the revolving door of officials/lobbyists”. Scrutiny by MPs had been “contemptible”, he said, adding that the vessels “cannot be sent to a serious war against a serious enemy”.

Advocates of the carriers reject concerns about their vulnerability, insisting that they are crucial to Britain’s projection of hard power. Mr Cummings’s involvement in the defence review is likely to bring their future into question and revive rumours, recently dismissed by Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, that at least one carrier could be sold to an ally or put into storage.

The Downing Street chief adviser has also written in support of greater investment in high-risk, high-impact research and development in science and technology. He is thought to have been behind the inclusion in the Tory manifesto of a pledge to create Britain’s first space command and the vow to boost public spending on research into space, computing, robotics and AI — all of which have crucial military, as well as civilian, functions. In his March blog he also pinpointed the military potential of drone swarms and AI robots. His posts praise the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa), which claimed credit for inventing an early version of the internet and GPS. Mr Johnson has pledged to create a funding agency modelled on Darpa.

The civil service is also likely to scrutinise the work of Professor Bew for clues as to his foreign policy views. An Atlanticist and follower of Henry Kissinger, he has criticised the EU’s drive to uncouple from Washington, arguing that it has undermined the cohesiveness of Nato.

The defence review was welcomed by Michael Clarke, a former director of the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank. “A review of MoD procurement processes is long overdue,” he said. “Nobody in the government, the MoD or the armed forces thinks the present arrangements are satisfactory.

“But good luck with that,” he added. “Numerous attempts at reorganisation in recent decades have failed. Despite small improvements, the fundamentals of the system are no different now from 30 years ago.”......





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Old 16th Dec 2019, 09:03
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Wait a minute, I thought that Corbyn was the threat for defence in this country. I mean, that's what the experts here were telling me...
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 10:06
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When do we think Boris will buy some Gulf 6s or similar for 32 Squadron. He obviously likes jetting around if we can go by his electioneering.
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 10:35
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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The time they are forced to choose between (say) protecting pensions and (say) buying another 50 F-35's is when reality bites

Whose Pensions?
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Old 16th Dec 2019, 11:09
  #92 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
Wait a minute, I thought that Corbyn was the threat for defence in this country. I mean, that's what the experts here were telling me...
......well, a Defence Review under Johnson will lead to angst and surprises no doubt, but one under Corbyn? “Even more unpredictable” would be a polite way to describe that!

Interesting times ahead without doubt.....
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 08:13
  #93 (permalink)  
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We'll never find ou t tho I suspect it wouldn't have been as bad as people think - a lot of jobs to protect .

Someone in today's Times pointing out that a meaningful SDR requires the politicians to be realistic about what they want.............. now there IS an optimist............
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 18:43
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If there was an 'angry' reaction option, I'd have clicked it on ORAC's post.

This is very alarming, indeed. I am a philosophical conservative, something the Party as a whole is not - the need for strong security is always one of my decision makers when voting.
I hope Cummings is kept clear of any such Defence procurement review, this is for specialists, not political analysts.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 20:13
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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BVRAAM

Agreed.

If 'procurement' needs to be discussed, the elephant in the room is why are so many complex programmes delivered to time, cost and performance with effortless competence, while lesser ones fail miserably - often in the same team.

MoD, government and the media simply won't go there, because the answer is unpalatable.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 21:25
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Originally Posted by tucumseh View Post
BVRAAM

Agreed.

If 'procurement' needs to be discussed, the elephant in the room is why are so many complex programmes delivered to time, cost and performance with effortless competence, while lesser ones fail miserably - often in the same team.

MoD, government and the media simply won't go there, because the answer is unpalatable.
Deliberately cock it up so they pay you twice to "fix" it.
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Old 17th Dec 2019, 22:00
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Originally Posted by BVRAAM View Post
Deliberately cock it up so they pay you twice to "fix" it.
'Deleberately' is perhaps not the right word.

But very often the Service 'requirement' will be utter nonsense. It's a long time since MoD employed people to identify this. If by chance someone does, it's a career killer to speak up. So, a company can take advantage by delivering something it knows the Services don't want or need, or simply won't work in the intended application. And yes, get paid twice or more to deliver what is actually needed.

But, to be fair, I've known companies to refuse contracts until MoD asks for the correct thing. The classic example was RAF suppliers wanting to buy Active Dipping Sonar kit for C-130. GEC-Marconi fell over laughing, pointing out words like 'hover' in the spec Harrogate had called up.

I'd like to know what yer man means by 'corruption'. He needs to put up or shut up.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 07:35
  #98 (permalink)  
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No doubt by "corruption" he was referring to the post Civil Service/Armed Forces employment by defence companies

As well as the Company's inflating the bill you of course get mission creep and the insistence on fitting new kit as the programme is under way - that suits the contractor, the Service and the front-line - but the taxpayer is hung out to dry

With respect to say "I hope Cummings is kept clear of any such Defence procurement review, this is for specialists, not political analysts." is about 40 years too late - the specialists are the people who have got us into this situation and without top level political direction there is absolutely no sign it will get better
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 10:01
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
No doubt by "corruption" he was referring to the post Civil Service/Armed Forces employment by defence companies

As well as the Company's inflating the bill you of course get mission creep and the insistence on fitting new kit as the programme is under way - that suits the contractor, the Service and the front-line - but the taxpayer is hung out to dry

With respect to say "I hope Cummings is kept clear of any such Defence procurement review, this is for specialists, not political analysts." is about 40 years too late - the specialists are the people who have got us into this situation and without top level political direction there is absolutely no sign it will get better

In which case, it's for the Secretary of State for Defence and his Ministers to lead any such review.
If memory serves, all Ministers in the MOD have a military background, including Mr. Wallace, himself. They will therefore have a more realistic idea of the needs of the Services to prevent wastage. The Department has wasted billions in cancelled projects and delay, it can't continue but it must be looked at by those who know what they're doing.

Cummings was good for BREXIT (I may be biased) but he is not a smart choice for something so critical to our way of life.
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Old 18th Dec 2019, 15:18
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
No doubt by "corruption" he was referring to the post Civil Service/Armed Forces employment by defence companies
There's 2 levels of such employment - firstly, the top-level (Board/Director) people who have the political leads back into the MoD/Government who are useful for securing Contracts and such like but don't actually deal in the detail. They are an "overhead" really.

What may be becoming a bigger issue is, due to the contraction of the Armed Services, there seem to be less people at middle management/design level within Industry with previous experience of working within the MoD (specifically operating on the Front Line) in a previous life. Just the impression I've got over the last few years. Some very bright people/boffins but, if you've not been in a foxhole at 3 a.m. in the freezing rain - well, you can't really imagine it! The result is that the chances of Tucs sanity check of MoD requirements/picking up practical issues with the design solutions by those people "in the know" within Industry reduces.

I've seen some howlers which have, sadly, cost someone something (nothing quite like the C130 dipping Sonar tho!) - which will inevitably lead back to the tax payer. Often, Industry genuinely thinks it knows what something means - but the assumptions are not based on experience, just hear-say. Inevitably, missmatches occur. This is not helped by people on the MoD side also seeming not to be well versed in some of this things they are asked to do. Deliberate deception? Actually, I've found (usually) everyone genuinely wants to do their best but, when the blind are leading the blind, things will creep past. The solution is probably unaffordable/Holy Grail-type stuff. But "Risk" estimates should build this factor in somehow.

Does H 'n' H have the answers? Hell, if you look at my Bank Balance, you'd realise not! I'd be a rich SOAB if I had!
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