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UK military spending review   General Military Discussion

Started 13/3/21 by autogun; 12586 views.
In reply toRe: msg 47
autogun

From: autogun

3-Jun

From BBC News website, 3 June https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61679080 :

The government must either scrap or fix a troubled modern armoured vehicle programme - or risk compromising national security, a report has said.

A review of the Ajax project by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) concluded a "litany of failures" had led to the years-long delays.

So far no operational vehicles have been delivered, despite the 12-year-old project already costing over £3bn.

The new reconnaissance vehicle was supposed to enter service in 2017.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it agreed with many of the recommendations and was taking steps to address them.

It added that any further delays would not be paid for by the taxpayer, due to the fixed price contract of £5.5bn agreed with a US weapons manufacturer. 

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graylion

From: graylion

3-Jun

scrap it and buy Lynx or K-21

DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

3-Jun

They won’t though.

graylion

From: graylion

3-Jun

DavidPawley said:

They won’t though.

Nimrod AEW.1

Nimrod R.4

Boxer

...

DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

4-Jun

No, they won’t replace it, not they won’t scrap it.

Nimrod R.4.

Sentinel R.1

L110A2/A3

graylion

From: graylion

4-Jun

R.4 was replaced by P-8?

PRM2

From: PRM2

5-Jun

Bearing in mind this isn't an aircraft forum, I'll stick to some brief observations about the Nimrod AEW3 and MRA4 (there are good summaries on Wikipedia).

On the Nimrod AEW3, it was apparent from the very start that the platform was too small for the task and although when it worked it was very good, it just wasn't reliable enough. Without doubt the best decision made was to cancel it and buy the AWACS instead, despite the injury to national pride.

The Nimrod MRA4 was also compromised from the start due to different reasons, but could have been made to work.

Originally the RAF was going to adopt the US P7 in the 1990s, however the cancellation of the P7 left a gap with rapidly ageing Nimrod MR2s. The MRA4 was meant to just be an avionics/mission systems update with minimal airframe change and was originally called the 'Nimrod 2000', as this was the overly ambitious date to get the aircraft into service.

Things got much more complicated when the Rolls Royce BR710 engine was selected (a British aircraft must have a British engine!), as an engine of that diameter wouldn't fit into the existing wing root and therefore the wing had to be enlarged. This caused a massive amount of unplanned work and arguably resulted in an unbalanced aircraft (a bit like what has also happened with the 737 Max). Ultimately almost every system on the aircraft was also changed, resulting in a aircraft that was just entering service in 2010 when it was cancelled in the 2010 Defense spending review.

What is not often stated is that Boeing Military Aircraft did a fantastic job on the MRA4 Mission System, which just worked, and must have helped with the development of the P8, the irony being that the UK has probably paid for the same capability again on the P8.

The MRA4 in 2010 still had issues to resolve, but it was a very capable machine with excellent range, endurance and payload, due to the efficient engines and enlarged wing. It could also carry a lot more ordnance than the P8 in its large bomb bay and underwing. The UK decided to take a 'capability holiday' from fixed wing maritime tasking which is now finally being being met by purchase of the P8. Hopefully the P8 is sufficiently robust for low level operation in severe weather conditions, which is still required for effective anti-submarine work.

RovingPedant

From: RovingPedant

5-Jun

Foreword - I fell foul of the forum arrangement and have picked on a message a year ago. Still... 

DavidPawley said...

Did the bbc mention that LM is closing the factory where the Ajax turret is made because of the WCSP cancellation?

GDLS has already declined to purchase the factory and maintain production. The turreted Ajax are de facto cancelled.

Why would the BBC mention that? Surely they'd need a credible source?

Even so, a year ago there were ~60 turrets delivered

DavidPawley said...

The NVH issues are due to the weight reduction demanded by MoD; the only fix is to redesign, adding the weight (~8 tonnes) back which can’t be done without breaching the contracted requirements.

 

Some of them, maybe, but equally the latest report (25th May 2022) is saying things like:

The Department has also found that the headsets worn by crews—which the Army uses on all armoured vehicles—did not provide expected levels of protection. It will start upgrading its headsets from August 2022

While an earlier report (HS&EP Ajax Noise and Vibration Review) notes that additional sources of noise and vibration come from running gear, engine and quality control issues.

DavidPawley said...

The LAND400 project team was right to reject the Ajax proposal as unfit for purpose.

Possibly, but we don't know their reasons and if they are the same.

DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

7-Jun

RovingPedant said:

Possibly, but we don't know their reasons and if they are the same.

Well, the L400.3 team was warned by British Army personnel that Ajax was useless.

Regardless, L400.3 requires 8 dismounts and Ajax has 4 so, it fails immediately.

DavidPawley

From: DavidPawley

7-Jun

RovingPedant said:

Why would the BBC mention that? Surely they'd need a credible source? Even so, a year ago there were ~60 turrets delivered

Credible source? LM press release...

60 turrets for how many hulls accepted?

Ajax is dead. It has taken down WCSP in its thrashing around. Chances are there will be further program casualties before the end is finally admitted.

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