Absolute waste of money

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posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 02:04 PM
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It was announced today that the MOD (God bless 'em) has just paid £250M for a dozen or so Chinook helicopters for our special forces and the sodding things are grounded!

Why?

Because some nitwit at MOD wanted add-ons over and above the original US specs and, as a result, the choppers are grounded without air worthy certifications.

My questions to all you bright sparks out there is simple. Apart from the Nimrod fiasco, the Merlin fiasco, the Ptarmigan fiasco, the 2 super carriers fiasco - no aircraft small enough to operate from them, the SA80 fiasco, can anybody think of anything else that the MOD has wasted money on.

Oh! One other thing. Who, in your opinion, should carry the can?




posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 11:51 AM
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Well, other British military fiascos include the Bowman radio, the Eurofighter (10 years late), and a bunch of much older ones. The oldest, I think, were the "Forty Thieves". These were 40 74-gun line-of-battle ships built during the Napoleonic War. The yard which built them (Hickman's, I think) cheated the Admiralty so badly (by only putting in the heads of bolts to save copper, using poor wood, etc.) that many of the ships simply fell apart and sank in rough weather.



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 01:02 PM
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Well, Old Man, thanx for the post.

I'd certainly never heard of this story but it just goes to show that it's not just Hoon 'The Loon' who wastes taxpayers hard earned dosh.

What I'd like to know is, why the hell do we need the Typhoon Eurofighter? Who are we going to fight with this multi-billion pound 'pink elephant'?



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by fritz
What I'd like to know is, why the hell do we need the Typhoon Eurofighter? Who are we going to fight with this multi-billion pound 'pink elephant'?

Mabye because it will be our only fighter plane in service....I mean the F-35 is overdue and only going to be used by the RN....

[edit on 26/02/2005 by devilwasp]



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 07:39 PM
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Actually whilst they may have their problems this isn't quite the bungling MOD story as 1st made out.


The problem has arisen because the MoD cannot validate the software codes used by Boeing in the helicopters' avionics system and flight controls. The US company is not prepared to release these for security reasons.


news.independent.co.uk...

What I'd like to know is this - what security 'issues' do Boeing and the USA think they might have that requires them to render the aircraft useless to the UK, supposedly the USA's 'best' ally?

How come they didn't pass this little nugget of germane info on during the bidding process?

......is it any wonder the UK is looking more and more to Euro solutions to our needs when this is how we get treated?
I suspect these may be the last US helocopters we ever bother with.

(and might this have anything to do with the on-going legal case of the Chinook crash which wiped out almost 30 of the most senior intel people in the UK armed forces in June 1994?)

news.bbc.co.uk...



posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 11:10 PM
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You can hardly blame the US for the problem it was the MoD that wanted all the extra crap put in over and above the design specs. Just incredibly bad MoD management.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 01:26 AM
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We are supposed to be 'allies' and that terrible crash on the Mull of Kintyre has no bearing on this. MOD interfered with the original specs and wanted more gadgets and goodies above the original spec. U.S did not want to hand over codes - fair enough!

But here on our little island, should'nt we be able to build our own heavy lift helicopters. Did we or did we not, have one of the most advanced helicopter industries in the world. This was called Westland and, if my memory serves me correctly, it was the then Tory government that refused to bail out the ailling company by purchasing medium lift helicopters and by ordering the super Puma which eventually was made elsewhere and allowed Westland to go to the wall and much of the ongoing work went to the US and Europe.

Yes, I know! Westland still makes helicopters but it is a shaddow of it's former self and mainly services other helicopters.

As for the Eurofighter - it is an horrendous waste of money. Over budget, over priced and way over the supposed delivery date.

As a side note, I was once sat on Kitty Tor on Dartmoor with a chap who was working on the design of the wings. He said the MOD had opted for polycarbonate wings which were made in sections, then 'glued' together.

This Chief Technician said there was thought to be a problem with the design because of what he called 'surviveability from small arms fire'. That is, if [and a pretty big if at that] the wings were hit by anything larger than 50 calibre AAA, they [the wings] would start to 'peel' apart because they had been manufactured in layers.

Now I do not believe that the MOD would knowingly build in this type of defect into a multibillion aircraft, but it does kinda make you wonder what corners have been cut to bring this aircraft into operation - given the audit office's outcry over the project's management.



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 03:27 AM
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Originally posted by fritz

As for the Eurofighter - it is an horrendous waste of money. Over budget, over priced and way over the supposed delivery date.



Not like you have a choice. The JSF is also over budget, over priced and way over the supposed delivery date.

My solution.

Get this instead.


external image



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 04:08 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey......is it any wonder the UK is looking more and more to Euro solutions to our needs when this is how we get treated?


sorry but we dont sell our best technology to anyone, even on joint projects we use different equipment than our partners, your MOD shouldve accepted what they originally asked for, sorry but we want to keep our secrets and not risk them being found by a country spying on you(our country is more able to hide things, being far away from prying eyes and all).



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by namehere
sorry but we dont sell our best technology to anyone.


Like Trident for example..



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 09:29 AM
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Namehere,

You having a laugh mate?

For a start the Chinook is a Transport Helicopter. What possible technology do you think it could possibly have that would be of interest to an enemy spy?

As for the US not selling tech to anyone. The US has been happy to sell its topline tech to almost anyone with the money to buy it.

Fritz,

Here is another boondoggle for you from those nice chaps at BWOS, the Astute Class of subs.

Cheers

BHR



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 02:22 PM
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Originally posted by namehere

Originally posted by sminkeypinkey......is it any wonder the UK is looking more and more to Euro solutions to our needs when this is how we get treated?


sorry but we dont sell our best technology to anyone, even on joint projects we use different equipment than our partners, your MOD shouldve accepted what they originally asked for, sorry but we want to keep our secrets and not risk them being found by a country spying on you(our country is more able to hide things, being far away from prying eyes and all).


The UK is a close ally and it gets more tech than u would like to think, as mentioned before, the trident one of the most adavanced objects ever created!



posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by fritz
We are supposed to be 'allies' and that terrible crash on the Mull of Kintyre has no bearing on this.


- Er you'll find there has been plenty of questions raised about the FADEC flight control system used by the type of Chinook that was involved in the crash.
Boeing have not been as completely cooperative about that case too either.

www.ccsr.cse.dmu.ac.uk...


MOD interfered with the original specs and wanted more gadgets and goodies above the original spec.


- Er, and what?
Anyway, what do you mean "interfered with the original specs"!?

This is absolutely normal with any 'foreign' procurement.
If you want to talk changes to spec how about when the UK insisted on completely different engines for the Phantoms we bought 35yrs ago?
The idea this is in any way unusual, puts undue pressure on the manufacturer or is just somehow 'damagingly' unattainable is pure nonsense.

If we follow your line of 'reasoning' then the most amazing thing is that when tendering for the contract Boeing did not say either that they were not going to pass on the flight control codes or that the adaptations and/or upgrades the MOD wanted were not possible.

But the fact is that it is almost always the case that the customer nation want their particular machine (whether it be helicopter or plane) adapted to more fully suit their own needs.

Go look up the history of almost any of this kind of stuff sold by almost anybody.


U.S did not want to hand over codes - fair enough!


- No, if the things can't be flown without the codes then absolutely not "fair enough", actually.

As someone has mentioned before, if the UK can have something so sensitive as Trident D5 what the hell is a helicopter control system in comparison?

Let's be honest.
This is just another example of the parochial instinct that the US right-wing demonstrates from time to time (the most laughable and outstandingly damaging example of course was the refusal to share nuclear secrets after WW2 despite British scientists and science contributing so much to the US nuclear effort).


But here on our little island, should'nt we be able to build our own heavy lift helicopters.


- The costs of development are so high that cost-sharing is a reality the world over.
Even the USA has to do it these days.


Did we or did we not, have one of the most advanced helicopter industries in the world.


- Once upon a time that is true.
And........?


This was called Westland and, if my memory serves me correctly, it was the then Tory government that refused to bail out the ailling company by purchasing medium lift helicopters and by ordering the super Puma which eventually was made elsewhere


- No, not quite.

(This was the all to do with Maggie and her tory gov's love affair with Reagan and all things American.......it almost brought down the Thatcher gov at the time, it caused Heseltine to storm off, Leon Brittan to resign and all the trouble that lot eventually led to for them.)

It was 1986.
Westland were in trouble.
Orders were good but mainly on the basis of some new pending and unflown designs (mainly the EH101 Merlin, an excellent machine and, as time would tell, fully justifying the orders placed for it), so, cash flow was the main issue.

Maggie wanted to use this to turn Westland (a hitherto successful independant UK manufacturer) into mere fitters screwing together early Blackhawks for the RAF.
In 1986 the RAF meanwhile said it neither wanted nor needed Blackhawks. They still don't.

Heseltine wanted Westland to maintain it's independance and join a cooperative consortium in partnership with European manufacturers.....which is pretty much what has happened so many years later with AgustaWestland.

(Just google the 'westland affair' and get ready to wade through a ton of links.)


As for the Eurofighter - it is an horrendous waste of money.


- As opposed to what?
Europe should just let it's high-tech aero-base be destroyed and whats left in Britain simply screw together what we are allowed to when we then have little choice but to buy American, eh?

Or do the wider costs never actually figure into any of this (especially when it has the word 'Euro' included in there somewhere, hmmm?)


Over budget, over priced and way over the supposed delivery date.


- Or to put it another way; a cost-effective solution to the defence needs Europe actually has where the only genuine competition is an American design so grossly expensive even they are having doubts about buying even half what they originally imagined (with all the cost implications that has) or what?......

......a 'warmed over' much older Russian design (however nice it looks) inferior on almost every level to Eurofighter/Typhoon and in need of such extensive "interfering with the original spec" to stand a chance of being competitive (especially, ironically enough, in terms of it's electronics fit)
?

(BTW......ask the Indians about their experience with operating and using Russian kit. The back-up is, apparantly, appalling.)


As a side note, I was once sat on Kitty Tor on Dartmoor with a chap who was working on the design of the wings. He said the MOD had opted for polycarbonate wings which were made in sections, then 'glued' together.

This Chief Technician said there was thought to be a problem with the design because of what he called 'surviveability from small arms fire'. That is, if [and a pretty big if at that] the wings were hit by anything larger than 50 calibre AAA, they [the wings] would start to 'peel' apart because they had been manufactured in layers.

Now I do not believe that the MOD would knowingly build in this type of defect into a multibillion aircraft, but it does kinda make you wonder what corners have been cut to bring this aircraft into operation - given the audit office's outcry over the project's management.


- Interesting anecdote (as they almost always are) but you'll find 'plastic aeroplanes' are the future and becoming the norm the world over (it also relates to stealth tech....which, hopefully, means the other guy never even sees you to shoot at you at all).

But seeing as I have known some people in what was until recently British Aerospace I can tell you that the wing for Typhoon goes a long way back and has evolved through several stages and designs; it has nothing to do with the MOD requiring a 'plastic wing'.

Honestly it sounds like this guy was 'guilding the lilly' a little to me.

(It's nothing like the plastics you or I encounter in our day to day lives.
It is actually fibres (like for instance carbon) laid like cloth - where the various directions of the 'weave' is all important for strength - held in resin(s) - shaped and baked in a vacuum; an autoclav.

By the way it tends to shatter locally rather than peel apart, actually.)

They do test for an ability to absorb some damage you know (and you might like to consider that anything other than maybe an A10 or a big bomber being hit by anything other than small arms fire is usually pretty catastrophic).


[edit on 21-3-2005 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 02:01 AM
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As for the US not selling tech to anyone. The US has been happy to sell its topline tech to almost anyone with the money to buy it.

Dead on, look at this, www.iiaf.net...


......a 'warmed over' much older Russian design (however nice it looks) inferior on almost every level to Eurofighter/Typhoon and in need of such extensive "interfering with the original spec" to stand a chance of being competitive (especially, ironically enough, in terms of it's electronics fit)
?

Quite frankly I disagree, the latest Sukoi planes, as opposed to the migs you may be reffering to have, while keeping the same form come a long way to improving speed, manuverability, R.C.S. and loading. Of particular note are the great improvements to avionics, though I suspect still behind western standards, and the 3d vectored engines, at the very least it's blazing hot.



posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 01:10 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp

Originally posted by fritz
What I'd like to know is, why the hell do we need the Typhoon Eurofighter? Who are we going to fight with this multi-billion pound 'pink elephant'?

Mabye because it will be our only fighter plane in service....I mean the F-35 is overdue and only going to be used by the RN....

[edit on 26/02/2005 by devilwasp]



Tornado ADVs (F series) could be kept going alot longer, its the replacements for Jaguar and Harrier that need to be worried about.
Eurofighter was bought to keep jobs in BAe and the like. Weapons, politics and economics, all linked so strongly they are impossible to seperate.



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 10:24 AM
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The U.S. was only giving to secret tech to the U.K. back during the cold war days, when our top priority of keeping the soviets in check overrode our need to keep our tech for our selves. But now that the cold war days are over there is no need for the U.S. to sell others our most advanced tech. Even the F-35 that the rest of the world is getting is a different version than ours, and wont have some of the tech that the U.S. ones will.



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
The U.S. was only giving to secret tech to the U.K. back during the cold war days, when our top priority of keeping the soviets in check overrode our need to keep our tech for our selves. But now that the cold war days are over there is no need for the U.S. to sell others our most advanced tech. Even the F-35 that the rest of the world is getting is a different version than ours, and wont have some of the tech that the U.S. ones will.



There was no "giveing" it was legaly traded or bought...
....So your entintionally giveing your ally bad tech?



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 12:34 PM
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Hmm,

To honest, what do you mean that some of the F35 tech isn't being given to other nations, lad, you really need to pull your head out of the sand and start reading.

The F35 version will be the same for every nation, unless that nation requests a different load out or specs.

Also, there are nations with the same or better tech than the US versions, aka British/Italian Counter Measures, Russian Ejector Seats, Russian IR attack systems, British weapon control software.

At least we, aka the british, aren't giving the americans the Spearfish torpedo technology, to the yanks. The fastest guided torp in the world


Oh, by the way, you do know that BAE are helping to build the F35? The means that they have access to the information on that design. Lad you really are making an a_s_s of yourself.

- Phil

[edit on 24-3-2005 by gooseuk]



posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 01:46 PM
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Good Post Paper Plane uk!





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