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£207 million???

Discussion in 'Military Rants' started by John A Silkstone, Apr 26, 2010.


  1. John A Silkstone United Kingdom

    John A Silkstone Mi General MI.Net Member

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    The Ministry of Defence has spent £207 million on an armoured vehicle that has yet to leave the drawing board, despite seven years of development.

    The Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) was supposed to provide soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan with better protection against roadside bombs but its development has dragged on and costs have continued to rise.

    The MoD released the costs of the FRES programme after a freedom of information request by The Times. Last month General Dynamics, the American defence company, was awarded a contract to build a handful of FRES demonstration models. This will enable the company to turn the blueprint into a real vehicle, although FRES remains years away from entering service.

    A report into the MoD’s procurement processes last October found that about £2 billion a year was wasted on poorly managed equipment projects. Bernard Gray, the report’s author and former special adviser to the ministry, said that procurement methods were harming Britain’s “ability to conduct difficult current operations”.

    According to the information released by the MoD, it spent £6 million on an initial concept phase for FRES and then £133 million on the FRES Utility Vehicle, which was effectively scrapped last year when the MoD restructured the programme. The new model is called the FRES Specialist Vehicle and the MoD has spent a further £68 million on this variant.

    According to military insiders the money has been spent on salaries for the bureaucrats managing this project, outside consultants and to pay some of the costs of companies competing for the contract. The MoD confirmed that at least £14 million of the total had been spent on administration of the project.

    Armoured vehicles have been a top priority for the Army since it was deployed to Iraq in 2003. The Snatch Land Rovers that had been traditionally used to transport soldiers provided insufficient protection against the roadside bombs favoured by insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The MoD has spent more than £1 billion on new armoured vehicles such as the Mastiff and Ridgeback but these are seen as temporary solutions and FRES was meant to be the long-term answer and become the backbone of the Army’s vehicle fleet.

    As such, FRES was originally planned as a £16 billion project to buy 3,000 armoured vehicles but this has been steadily scaled back. The contract is now worth about £2 billion for 600 vehicles. General Dynamics hopes that its FRES vehicle will reach battlefields in 2013 or 2014 but this could be delayed or the whole project cancelled depending on the outcome of the Strategic Defence Review to which all political parties are committed after the election.
    Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “The whole FRES programme is just another example of a procurement programme going over time and over budget. This is yet another reason why the procurement process needs radical reform that only a new government can provide.”

    An MoD spokesman said: “The Specialist Vehicle fleet will provide improved protection against a wide range of threats and bring significant benefits to the Army, including greater firepower, longer-range sensors and sighting systems and a higher level of reliability, and is one of the highest equipment priorities for the Army.

    “The vital work that has so far been done on the Utility Vehicle element will inform the remainder of the programme. That money has not been wasted.

    “Considering the overall size of the programme and its importance in equipping our Armed Forces this is not an excessive assessment-phase spend.”



    I must admit that I can never get my head round the fact that the MOD pay out this money without chasing up the supplier. There should be a clause in the contract stating that if the job is not completed by a given time then the cash will have to be paid back.

    Silky
     
  2. GunBunnyInaMAB

    GunBunnyInaMAB Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    Hey Silky, I just got a great idea!! Let's form a Defense Contracting Firm, submit some radical armored vehicle designs, and then watch the cash just roll in. Then when the cost overruns exceed the entire Defense Budget, and the MOD cancels the contract, we all retire to the West Indies!!!
    laugh;laugh;laugh;
     
  3. Raven Gold

    Raven Gold Mi Corporal MI.Net Member

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    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Really? Why can't people just stick to the tried and true? Vehicles like the Casper, a 30 year old design, are virtualy imune to most anything anyone in Afghanistan and Iraq have at there disposal. (Or atleast anything capable of being hidden in a roadside ambush.) Why waste all that money on this kind of crap and just buy out for manufacturing rights to exsiting blueprints. Or if it's REALLY nessecary, just rip off the overall design.
     
  4. GunBunnyInaMAB

    GunBunnyInaMAB Mi Captain MI.Net Member

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    Because that's too easy. Remember, anything developed for the military must be extremely complicated to build; Overly confusing to learn how to use correctly; Nearly impossible to keep servicable in actual battlefield conditions; and completely outdated and obsolete when it actually goes into service!!!

    solthum
     
  5. Raven Gold

    Raven Gold Mi Corporal MI.Net Member

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    Oh yes, of cource, how could anyone be so stupid... :rolleyes:

    Refer to quote below.
     
  6. milinet

    milinet Mi Recruit MI.Net Member

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    more money for mili and people cannot eat in many countries
    its realy bad
     

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