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Rant MOD Waste money

Discussion in 'All Non Military Discussion' started by John A Silkstone, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. John A Silkstone United Kingdom

    John A Silkstone Mi General MI.Net Member

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    The Ministry of Defence has been criticised for spending £149 million on an “urgent” upgrade to 900 tanks that can still only be used for training.

    The armoured vehicles will be used in Canada and Britain because they offer insufficient protection against mines in Afghanistan.

    A defence source described the procurement, at a time when equipment shortages for troops have caused public anger, as a waste of money. “We certainly don’t need 900 of these things for training. It seems crazy to do this upgrade work on vehicles that are more than 40 years old and then put them into storage, which is what will happen to most of them,” he said.

    Commanders in Afghanistan have frequently criticised the shortage of suitable armoured vehicles in the country, where 98 British soldiers have been killed this year alone.

    Under the £149 million refit programme, ordered as an Urgent Operational Requirement three years ago, 900 FV430 variant vehicles were given new engines, drive trains and driver controls and reclassified as Bulldogs.

    The MoD said that the tanks, which first entered service in the 1960s, had originally been refitted for deployment in Iraq.

    But another defence insider said yesterday that the ministry had been “caught between two stools” — spending money that was justified for Iraq but now leaving the Government with a legacy of expensive vehicles that were only good for general training. Mines are one of the main threats in Afghanistan and the Bulldog is said to be too low to the ground to allow deployment.

    The lack of protection on the Army’s existing fleet of vehicles, such as the Land Rover Snatch, has been blamed for the high number of casualties caused by roadside bombs and mines in Helmand.

    The Government has responded by spending £1 billion on new armoured vehicles such as the Mastiff and Ridgback. Although these are being deployed in Afghanistan, commanders have admitted that there are still shortages.

    It was revealed in August that nine Ridgback armoured vehicles had been stranded in Dubai for weeks because the RAF had insufficient planes to transport them to Afghanistan.

    The upgraded Bulldogs are capable of carrying ten soldiers and two crew. The 15-tonne vehicle is armed with a turret-mounted machinegun and has a top speed of 32mph (52kph).

    Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “We are increasingly concerned that the procurement programme is out of tandem with our military needs. This needs to be done on a detailed and thoughtful basis which can only come as part of major acquisition reform.”

    A spokesman for the MoD defended the spending programme, which costs the equivalent of 2,980 Snatch vehicles. He said: “We provide our Armed Forces with the vehicles that best meet their operational need. The Bulldog was specifically upgraded for use in Iraq where it played a key role in providing armoured protection for many personnel.

    “In Afghanistan, where the terrain and threats are different, this role is performed by the Mastiff and Ridgback. The Bulldogs continue to have a role in training exercises in the UK.”
  2. GunBunnyInaMAB

    GunBunnyInaMAB Mi Lieutenant MI.Net Member

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    It doesn't matter where you live, or the language you speak, Bureacratic Waste is a fact of life, or in this case, death. Rather than fortify the armored vehicles used in actual combat, they spend the money on training vehicles.

    Ah.... The stupidity of it all...

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