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Thread: UK military procurement and why a soldiers (sailors or airmans)lot is sometimes not a happy one

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    Yes there is hypocrisy in demonstrating against Trump and not against Erdogan (for example) or many other despicables that happen to be important leaders. I think it would be better if people were fairer as to who they demonstrate against. I think that we all expect a bit more from our closest allies (like the USA), and combined with the shocking, and irrational, behaviour of Trump this has sparked a greater reaction. I don't believe it will make any difference at all, and may even have detrimental effects to the UK given Trump's vindictiveness, but I don't see it as a big enough issue to prevent such a demonstration. I just watched "Inside the American Embassy" and it was interesting to see. Trump has a multi millionaire businessman (formerly of Johnson and Johnson) as ambassador who IMO was totally out of his depth. Rex Tillerson was at the embassy when he was sacked by Tweet from Trump. It was interesting to see how the USA were trying to get the UK to spend even more on US arms, specifically more F35s. I forgot how many US jobs are created by the F35 development (something like 120,000) and a few thousand in the UK too, but costing the UK £45B over a period of time if the plan continues. The F35 at least pays Rolls Royce something for the Intellectual Property used in the vectored thrust systems.

    Yes MS, I don't think Sadiq Khan should be involved either. Having public office comes with diplomatic responsibilities!

    MS and DD, I would be interested to hear your views on how the British armed forces are provided for nowadays. I worked until recently in supplying integrated circuits to some companies who provide weaponry and comms equipment and had some interesting tours and given a deal of insight into the prices of the kit vs the cost which was somewhat shocking. The claim is to achieve very high standards of reliability but this is, at least in many cases, BS. It is certainly big business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    Yes there is hypocrisy in demonstrating against Trump and not against Erdogan (for example) or many other despicables that happen to be important leaders. I think it would be better if people were fairer as to who they demonstrate against. I think that we all expect a bit more from our closest allies (like the USA), and combined with the shocking, and irrational, behaviour of Trump this has sparked a greater reaction. I don't believe it will make any difference at all, and may even have detrimental effects to the UK given Trump's vindictiveness, but I don't see it as a big enough issue to prevent such a demonstration. I just watched "Inside the American Embassy" and it was interesting to see. Trump has a multi millionaire businessman (formerly of Johnson and Johnson) as ambassador who IMO was totally out of his depth. Rex Tillerson was at the embassy when he was sacked by Tweet from Trump. It was interesting to see how the USA were trying to get the UK to spend even more on US arms, specifically more F35s. I forgot how many US jobs are created by the F35 development (something like 120,000) and a few thousand in the UK too, but costing the UK £45B over a period of time if the plan continues. The F35 at least pays Rolls Royce something for the Intellectual Property used in the vectored thrust systems.

    Yes MS, I don't think Sadiq Khan should be involved either. Having public office comes with diplomatic responsibilities!

    MS and DD, I would be interested to hear your views on how the British armed forces are provided for nowadays. I worked until recently in supplying integrated circuits to some companies who provide weaponry and comms equipment and had some interesting tours and given a deal of insight into the prices of the kit vs the cost which was somewhat shocking. The claim is to achieve very high standards of reliability but this is, at least in many cases, BS. It is certainly big business.
    It is necessary that the this story is unspecific for obvious reasons. My son is a troop leader in an armoured regiment and was recently on exercise. The vehicles within the regiment were introduced 47 years ago and the last western democracy other than the UK and Latvia, to use them was Belgium which replaced them in 2004. On the first day of the exercise on my son's own vehicle, the turret seized and the vehicle was out of the exercise for the remainder of the day whilst the turret was lifted and bearings replaced. On the fourth day of the exercise a rear half shaft snapped, screwing up the differential and again losing the vehicle for a day and a half, while on the same day a second vehicle in his troop suffered a seized gearbox. The fuel gauges are so inaccurate that they have to rod the tanks to know how much fuel they have with obvious occasional consequences. The new 'platform' that has been on the cards for a several years has now been put back until the early twenties. The present vehicles with the exception of a small number of updated units have flat hulls, providing far less protection or the occupants than 'V' hulls operated by other nations. Again an unwillingness to spend puts out troops in greater jeopardy.

    Since commissioning in the second half of last year my son has considered it necessary to spend some thousands of pounds on personal equipment including a military Garmin watch, leather as opposed to plastic boots, certain specialised clothing and a number of other items of equipment, all of which either help him to do his job more effectively or will serve more him efficiently than army standard issue. My wife and I are fortunately in a position to assist and have provided some of these items as 'gifts'. However the average enlisted soldier does not have access to such a source of supply and does not earn enough to pay for them himself. The result is that many of our combat soldiers, liable to risk their lives at a moments notice almost anywhere in the world are not kitted out sufficiently well to maximise their comfort under harsh conditions nor sufficiently well to maximise their safety. Despite the scandals regarding equipment and kit in Iraq and Afghanistan we have not learned the lesson and those needing body armour (primarily dismounted recon and infantry) can buy far superior body armour albeit at a price privately. That is a disgrace and reflects badly on every government of recent times including the current one.

    This is personal experience which one can't help but view against a backdrop of two multi-billion pound non-operational aircraft carriers.

    The number of soldiers, sailors and airmen has reduced massively, but this is less of an issue than it might have been if the likelihood of major conflict hadn't also reduced and the development of technology potentially enables our military to enter into combat more efficiently. More to the point is that the army , I don't know about the other arms, are finding it impossible to recruit sufficient numbers of competent individuals with the potential to be effective using the promised new technology to meet even the needs of our reduced military. Few, like the police or fire services, join the military forces to make money but under £15000 per annum for a new recruit and £18500 per annum for a private soldier is unacceptably low. There has been no general pay increase for well over five years but there is no Police Federation or Fire Service union to represent them.

    I recognise that there is a finite amount of financial resource available and that the NHS, Social Care, Transport, Education all have unique needs of their own but I personally believe that if we can't care for and protect the young men and women who are prepared to suffer maiming or death for their country, then we don't deserve to be defended in the event of need.

    Inevitably government tends to provide the bigger budget increases to those which areas which make the loudest noise and, of course are likely to deliver the most votes, In this connection I believe all governments have let down our armed forces for at least the last twenty years. I am disappointed that this government has failed to do more.

    I am particularly disgusted and appalled that this country considers the Marxist Leader of the Labour Party even remotely viable as Prime Minister. Jeremy Corbyn defended the IRA and mourned the passing of the murderer Martin McGuinness but was strangely silent about the 1000 plus British security forces who, doing their duty, were murdered by the IRA. Corbyn's contempt for our armed forces is well known. He has missed attending two consecutive Armed Forces Days, preferring to go to a rock concert instead.

    Frankly, and not just in connection with this post, every year that passes I feel an increasing shame in my country and many of its people, when once I felt pride.

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    A sobering post Major. I donít have time to add anything now, but maybe Grumzeds question should be given its own thread, rather than be a part of the Trump visit protestz and balloonz circus (z on purpose). Otherwise I can see it falling victim to the usual ignorant guffawing from metropolitan liberals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeppityDawg View Post
    A sobering post Major. I don’t have time to add anything now, but maybe Grumzeds question should be given its own thread, rather than be a part of the Trump visit protestz and balloonz circus (z on purpose). Otherwise I can see it falling victim to the usual ignorant guffawing from metropolitan liberals.
    Well as someone you occasionally have described as a liberal glad to oblige ,put it in this section as it's less likely to get lost.
    The new parliamentary democracy,it's not the will of the people that counts but the will of 650......will come back to haunt them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grumzed View Post
    The claim is to achieve very high standards of reliability but this is, at least in many cases, BS. It is certainly big business.
    BS is right. Some years ago I told an employer which orifice to stick his job up because he asked me to carry out tasks involving compliance certification which I was not able to do legally.
    A tribunal was the result where the DWP/JobCentre Plus were told to go forth and multiple by a government QC who rocked up halfway through the tribunal.
    The other result was my ex employer losing all subcontracting to the MOD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Major Sinic View Post
    It is necessary that the this story is unspecific for obvious reasons. My son is a troop leader in an armoured regiment and was recently on exercise. The vehicles within the regiment were introduced 47 years ago and the last western democracy other than the UK and Latvia, to use them was Belgium which replaced them in 2004. On the first day of the exercise on my son's own vehicle, the turret seized and the vehicle was out of the exercise for the remainder of the day whilst the turret was lifted and bearings replaced. On the fourth day of the exercise a rear half shaft snapped, screwing up the differential and again losing the vehicle for a day and a half, while on the same day a second vehicle in his troop suffered a seized gearbox. The fuel gauges are so inaccurate that they have to rod the tanks to know how much fuel they have with obvious occasional consequences. The new 'platform' that has been on the cards for a several years has now been put back until the early twenties. The present vehicles with the exception of a small number of updated units have flat hulls, providing far less protection or the occupants than 'V' hulls operated by other nations. Again an unwillingness to spend puts out troops in greater jeopardy.

    Since commissioning in the second half of last year my son has considered it necessary to spend some thousands of pounds on personal equipment including a military Garmin watch, leather as opposed to plastic boots, certain specialised clothing and a number of other items of equipment, all of which either help him to do his job more effectively or will serve more him efficiently than army standard issue. My wife and I are fortunately in a position to assist and have provided some of these items as 'gifts'. However the average enlisted soldier does not have access to such a source of supply and does not earn enough to pay for them himself. The result is that many of our combat soldiers, liable to risk their lives at a moments notice almost anywhere in the world are not kitted out sufficiently well to maximise their comfort under harsh conditions nor sufficiently well to maximise their safety. Despite the scandals regarding equipment and kit in Iraq and Afghanistan we have not learned the lesson and those needing body armour (primarily dismounted recon and infantry) can buy far superior body armour albeit at a price privately. That is a disgrace and reflects badly on every government of recent times including the current one.

    This is personal experience which one can't help but view against a backdrop of two multi-billion pound non-operational aircraft carriers.

    The number of soldiers, sailors and airmen has reduced massively, but this is less of an issue than it might have been if the likelihood of major conflict hadn't also reduced and the development of technology potentially enables our military to enter into combat more efficiently. More to the point is that the army , I don't know about the other arms, are finding it impossible to recruit sufficient numbers of competent individuals with the potential to be effective using the promised new technology to meet even the needs of our reduced military. Few, like the police or fire services, join the military forces to make money but under £15000 per annum for a new recruit and £18500 per annum for a private soldier is unacceptably low. There has been no general pay increase for well over five years but there is no Police Federation or Fire Service union to represent them.

    I recognise that there is a finite amount of financial resource available and that the NHS, Social Care, Transport, Education all have unique needs of their own but I personally believe that if we can't care for and protect the young men and women who are prepared to suffer maiming or death for their country, then we don't deserve to be defended in the event of need.

    Inevitably government tends to provide the bigger budget increases to those which areas which make the loudest noise and, of course are likely to deliver the most votes, In this connection I believe all governments have let down our armed forces for at least the last twenty years. I am disappointed that this government has failed to do more.

    I am particularly disgusted and appalled that this country considers the Marxist Leader of the Labour Party even remotely viable as Prime Minister. Jeremy Corbyn defended the IRA and mourned the passing of the murderer Martin McGuinness but was strangely silent about the 1000 plus British security forces who, doing their duty, were murdered by the IRA. Corbyn's contempt for our armed forces is well known. He has missed attending two consecutive Armed Forces Days, preferring to go to a rock concert instead.

    Frankly, and not just in connection with this post, every year that passes I feel an increasing shame in my country and many of its people, when once I felt pride.
    A feeble feminine reaction so apologies - but I find the tears welling up reading your post. I had no idea it was so bad. We have heard of housing, medical lack of care etc and that was bad enough, but not that they have to buy their own kit or suffer the consequences. Yet the top of the military have excesses. We have a top military house near here that is a palace. Totally unnecessary. It seems we are being sold short all around.
    My vote counts just as much as your's xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by cromwell View Post
    Well as someone you occasionally have described as a liberal glad to oblige ,put it in this section as it's less likely to get lost.
    You’re ok for a Manc liberal Cromwell.

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    The Major highlights the symptoms of the key problem, which is that NATO and general military procurement is a gravy train indistinguishable in character to that of the EU bureaucracy.

    Too many people at all levels are doing very nicely by the status quo for any effective change to come anytime soon. Even Trumps 2% exhortations is less to do with security as to chiding European nations to placing fat juicy orders with US Defence Contractors.

    In addition to the rest, we have disproportionate sums squandered on vanity projects like the Carriers and the Trident System. We can have a sufficient capability in both these areas without spending on these OTT cost options.
    I will not even start on the F35 flying Turkey....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sampan View Post
    I will not even start on the F35 flying Turkey....
    Or the flying scandal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lankou View Post
    The other result was my ex employer losing all subcontracting to the MOD.
    The only surprising thing about that post is that you were ever allowed within 100 miles of a defence contract.

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