Over the past two weeks, British troops have been refining their desert war-fighting abilities on a training area six times the size of Salisbury Plain as part of Exercise Khanjar Oman, which serves as their primary training exercise during their four-month deployment to Oman.

During this combined exercise, the soldiers collaborated with the Royal Army of Oman on the Ras Madrakah joint training area and worked towards a simulated assault on an enemy urban zone.

The exercise evaluated the troops’ capacity to train and operate in challenging terrain, such as desert plains, intricate wadi systems, and mountains.

Moreover, the exercise served as an opportunity to enhance critical soldiering abilities, including operating in austere environments, collaborating with partner forces, and learning tactics that can help safeguard the British public from potential threats.

This event is the British Army’s leading yearly training and defence engagement initiative across the Gulf region, with up to 1,000 British and 100 Omani soldiers taking part.

Throughout the deployment, British personnel will engage in unit training, joint exercises, and serve as a forward-based force capable of developing regional security capabilities and responding to threats as they arise.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Mr Bell
Mr Bell
9 months ago

Are these British or Omani C2s? about the C2s Oman- can we buy them back please as we need as many as we can get out hands on?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I think they are replacing them anyway?

The problem with the intensely negative noises about British programs is that it damages exports and sustainment pathways.

But I agree if they are getting rid then we should buy them up as it would make a very decent stock for attrition reserves/war stocks. Although frankly I’d upgrade the lot to CH3 for commonality if nothing else.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago

Agree the present plan to have 36 CH3 as attrition reserve, fleet management and training is simply insanity….the moment we loss any CH3 for any reason ( a fire, transport ship foundering or war etc) we loss the ability to manage the fleet of vehicles and maintain two type 56 regiments….it’s utter stupidity of the greatest degree as we cannot replace losses so say we lose18 tanks ( a deployed squadron) we would need to either reduce our 2 type 56 regiments, run a separate smaller tank fleet or sell the all the CH3s and buy a who new fleet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agreed – 36 tanks is nowhere near enough to cover those three roles adequately.

Ian
Ian
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You would be surprised number is not always best.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Ian, what do you mean? If we need 20 tanks for the Trg Org, 10 for the Repair Pool and 28 for the Attrition Reserve – then 36 is not enough! [My numbers are speculative and may be wrong, but they make the point]

DaveyB
DaveyB
9 months ago

Yep, they’re replacing them with K2 Black Panthers.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

We have 227 in-service CR2s and plan to convert 148 to CR3 – so there are 79 left over – we have no need to buy more CR2s from Oman.
The big issue is that there is no funding or case to convert more than 148 as the army is being downsized yet again.
Unless BW does a U-turn.

Jonno
Jonno
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I think you need to appreciate that you probably need a 2:1 force to be sure there is sufficient replacements to cover losses, breakdowns, upgrades and two campaigns. In any case two regiments is a joke. We need nearer 300 CH3 for 3 Regiments training etc. Believe me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonno

Jonno, I learnt in my first week at Sandhurst that classically you need a 3:1 ratio for success in the offence, but that is for very different reasons to the ones you outline. Generally one element is assaulting, one is providing fire support and one is a reserve – but there are other ways to view this. I favour a rule of 4 but that is another story. Back to your point: In terms of covering upgrades, you have a Repair Pool that supplies the unit with replacement vehicles. In terms of covering a loss due to breakdown – there… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I disagree. The second hand cost of these units will be peanuts and even if they are used for spares/sustainment that would be worthwhile. The issue is that in an increasingly dangerous world we have gone down the CH3 route. CH2 is long since out of production and so having a larger stock of CH2 hulls gives CH3 broader long term relevance. The other alternative is, if more tanks are needed, to buy them in which then means two types or scrapping CH3. Looking at the performance of the Russian tanks I am confident that CH2 (+trophy) never mind CH3… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

Not sure what the Omanis would charge us for 38 x twenty-year old CR2s. Maybe £2m each? To what end – strip for spares? Having bought 386 CR2s and the active fleet having reduced to 227 in the wake of the 2010 Defence Review, we have never been short of tanks to rob for spares (in fact we once had 159 for that purpose!!), although it is always an absolute last resort to cannabalise vehicles and should be done sparingly – it is never the default way of acquiring spares. A grateful Govt has decided to reduce from 3 to… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That may be on the cards as the real world has clearly shown that Britain does not have enough CH2s, if we are to supply to Ukraine, and boost CH3 numbers and commitments with the current in-service vehicles. We have predicted this shortfall on this site for some time and some indication from Government on how to resolve the situation would be valuable.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

As a minimum we should retain our third armoured regiment therefore re-draft the Future Soldier document and step up funding. Ideally to enhance the Attrition Reserve and Repair Pool too.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The VRNs are British, the flag flying from the lead tank is a Union Flag and the caption in bottom right corner says they are British CR2s. We have 227 CR2s left in-service out of the 386 we bought, as someone decided to scrap a load. 227 is enough for our three armoured regiments. HMG has decided to cut us down to two armoured regiments (and reg manpower cut by 10,000) and 148 is just enough for them, but a few more would enable a larger Repair Pool and/or Attrition Reserve. The answer is to convert more than 148 tanks… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
9 months ago

Anyone notice in the picture above, obviously British C2s the long rectangular add on side skirt running the length of the tracks and the tubular add on frame around the ammunition holding area of the turret- are these fittings due to combat experience in Ukraine and some of the lessons being learnt or relearnt there? anyone know if these fittings are now standard across the C2 fleet?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I think they’ve been around for some time.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Could be wrong, but one for Graham Moore to answer.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I think Pongoglo, Mike, AlexS and Mark are right. I was MoD Equipment Manager for (withdrawn) CR1 and all tank variants, but not CR2.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

👍

Pongoglo
Pongoglo
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

These look like the CH2 we upgraded for Basrah towards the end of our deployment there. They received an additional armour package together with an RWS above the gunners station which can clearly be seen in the pic above. They also had an improved air conditioning system for the desert and an ECM package on a frame above the turret which raised the profile somewhat and seems to have been removed.From what I recall there was about a Squadron plus. Often wondered what happened to them , they would be ideal for Oman.

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They’re the side screens developed for mounting the Challenger 2 TES armour package that was used in Iraq from 2007 onwards. They have the main armour blocks removed, but the lower “shelf” is still there as it’s part of the screen assembly

IIRC the screens have a secondary function disrupting airflow that draws sand into the running gear on Challenger 2. Which is probably why they’re fitted for the exercise in Oman, even without armour

AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Thanks Mike that is it.

AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

In the Iraq the side skirt armour was thicker.

Marked
Marked
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Been around for donkeys years. They were fitted when used in Iraq as well.

Donaldson
Donaldson
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The picture used has been around for years so all pre-Invasion

Steve
Steve
9 months ago

Would be interesting to understand how many troops we currently have deployed where for what.

It seems that NATO is concerned that we can’t meet our committment of 5k troops for the rapid deployment unit, which kinda seems like a low number to have issues with.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Yes, because the army is so unbalanced. The current enduring Estonian deployment of a single large BG should not be an issue for a 76k army, if it had the right balance of infantry to armour, and all the varied CS and CSS. It doesn’t have that though. The forces that can rotate into that BG to keep the deployment going are miniscule as armour, Armoured or Mechanized Infantry, Armoured Engineers, SP guns, MLRS, AD, EW, have been repeatedly cut in review after review since 2005. How many of the army’s 30 odd Infantry battalions are useable for the Estonian… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 months ago

I woudnt take much interest in the shadow DS. Their job is to pick holes in the government so they get elected. We will have to wait until the elections to see what they actually put in their manifesto around defence, and even then I would take it with a huge gain of salt. Personally I want the conservatives gone as they have caused too much social / international damage to the country, with their culture wars (marginalising people is never a good thing and always ends up badly). Not to mention the economic damage. But I don’t trust either… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I would say we are still suffering the effects of 2010/15 reviews. There was so many efficiency savings that would allow the MOD budget to break even. That hasn’t been corrected. So every time the billions saved through efficiency and land sell off etc doesn’t work out that shortfall has to come out of the budget. In the first few years after the review projects can be delayed, costs passed onto next year etc but after several years those costs catch up and the original cost is now much higher. Then add in inflation and things costing more than was… Read more »

John
John
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

What’s more concerning about the army as a whole is that it’s challenged to meet its numbers, or down to the bare minimum during peacetime. If Ukraine has illustrated anything, it’s that attrition during a real conflict will take its toll quickly.

If things went kinetic, there would be very little to reinforce, and next to nothing to replace — in both equipment and manpower.

Steve
Steve
9 months ago
Reply to  John

If we are struggling to meet our peace time requirements then for sure there would be major problems in the event of a war. They struggled to keep 10k deployed in afgan/Iraq, which makes no sense considering that included all forces in the area and not just the army and not just front line forces but also all the support and logistic guys, so in theory it should be way under a 10th of the whole force in rotation.

Last edited 9 months ago by Steve
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The army is rapidly heading down to 73,000. Don’t forget that not all that number are truly deployable for a new Operation for a whole host of reasons. So 5,000 (about a brigade) is quite a significant number – it may represent nearly 8-10% of the available manpower.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

One of the things missing when talking about Army numbers dropping to C70ish from 82K was that a numbers of bods were medically downgraded and undeployable and that there were some 5k PIDs unfilled, since circa 2010, so, it’s not a new concept. Where the Army missed a trick for the good of the Armed Services was giving those PIDs to the Royal, Royal Navy and RAF – they could have been filled, with a Royal potentially being able fulfil their new role and their Bde one: something that Americans would have welcomed and in potentially dire need for Arctic… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

David, I have heard others use the term PIDs but this was not one I heard during my service days – think it must be a US term? Anyway you are right that a number of bods were not-FE, our working figure was 10%. There were many other reasons folk were not deployable too.
Interesting idea transferring posts to the other services, so if the Infantry were under-strength you would say a Platoon does not now need to have a UE of 1+28 but could reset it to 1+25, and transfer those 3-per-platoon slots? Interesting.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham. I’m not sure if you are engaging or being disingenuous.

I never said reducing a fire team for example.

What you might look at is the multi-capbadge efforts to get a unit into theatre. Some Infantry units have required three cap badges to flesh out their companies.

So, for several years we have always had under manned ‘headline’ units fleshed out by other units.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

David. Disingenuous – I hope not – that is not my style. I was trying to put an example of your proposal out there for discussion/consideration.
You seem to be talking about something different now – it was the under-strength army transferring unfilled posts to other services (RM, RN, RAF), which I thought was a good idea and so I posited an example.
Now you talk about an infantry battalion making up its numbers by ‘borrowing’ personnel from other cap badges in order to get to strength for deployment. That is a whole different story.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Sir,

It would be an experienced SNCO infanteer cadre to comment on reducing a fire team, not me, and I’d suggest, not you.

I was not suggesting a reduction in fire teams as such, I said that our unfilled PIDs should have been given up: the Army just would not face reality wrt their manning. And the PIDs were lost.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

It would not be my preference to reduce a fire team anymore than it would be my preference to reduce the army by another 10,000. Perhaps my example could have been better chosen, though!

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Army has been sub 10K bods for over 10 years but, Braid would not face the facts and just rolled over to the Treasury. Gunbuster makes a point about bums on seats, however, in Royal Irish, we needed that number of blokes to perform our duties – there was no gapping. Taking sections, platoons, companies out of other Bns to augment the main Bn is not the answer – unless it was Rangers or PARA. Both of us were going to take the fight to the enemy. I’m divided, Royal Irish Rangers should have remained a model for the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I thought that the big infantry Regiments concept was to allow for some flow between battalions of the same capbadge – and Reserve Army soldiers of same cap badge to fill out numbers for a reg battalions deployment etc. Example The Rifles has 4 reg bns and 3 reserve bns. If one reg bn is deploying they can draw on 3 other reg bns and 3 reserve bns for top-up manpower. Can that not happen? Agree that it is better if all bns are up to strength but that is unrealistic.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

There you go. AR should be deploying into role as formed cohesive units or merely acting as BCR? However, should AR be a stop gap for piss poor Army recruitment AND retention? No Bn should be underhanded to the extent they take on a Company from a different Bn to make up the numbers. My contention would be that if that is the case, that Bn should be put on notice to disband or amalgamate and hang up their colours. The PIDs should go to Bns who can recruit – PARA for example…. (shudder) or of course… …the RMP who… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

For many years AR (then TA) deployed as formed units – battalions etc. Indeed there were even TA Brigades (15 Bde and 49 Bde especially). There seems to have been a trend to row back from that as I understand and for many ARs, especially Infantry, to deploy as individuals either bringing regular units up to strength (polyfilla) before they deploy or as BCRs. However in contrast to all of that, when I was in Camp Bastion in 2008/9 our FP Coy was a mix – 2/3 AR and 1/3 Reg, commanded by an AR Major – they were superb.… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The RN carried certain gaps for years. When it came to reductions they looked at the gaps, determined that the RN had lived without that gap being filled for 3 years so it could live without it permanently and binned the draft off the drafting plot. The unable to deploy medcats also (rightly) got binned. You reduce the numbers on the plot without actually reducing the bums on seats numbers. The problem is you where short of numbers to begin with but now its confirmed! How long does it take an Army battalion to regenerate for a deployment? I heard… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

The RN approach is interesting, but sounds risky. If in that 3 years you had not gone to war (and the Navy (great though they are) hasn’t recently done much actual kinetic warfighting – last time 1982?) you might have got away with scrapping posts permanently. Conversely the army could not do that. When I was serving it was reckoned that about 10% of the army were non-FE, and it wasn’t generally because they were fat buggers who couldn’t pass the BFT. Most carried injuries from training or combat. If the army binned that 10% it would have been harsh… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Graham Moore
David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The irony in your post Sir, is that Royal did do a tour.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Yes, I deployed at the same time as 3 Cdo Bde on Op HERRICK in 2008 as an individual. I was COS Camp Bastion and my boss was RM.
Royals were also used in NI many times. If the army was large enough it would not have to rely on the Royals – that was my point.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
9 months ago

Maybe they can bring back some extra “unwanted” tanks from Oman and Jordan on the return journey. 😆

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

With my ( limited) understand of the current army orbat, the logical thing to do is to upgrade as many as you need to guarantee to be able to field an armoured division. I.e. 50% more than the proposed 148; . I make that 222 plus spare and attrition.

Last edited 9 months ago by Paul.P
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I would think upgrading all C2s to C3 would be sensible. Plus purchase all the Omani C2s to provide a decent war reserve or additional tanks for Ukraine.
When our tank numbers are tight and the British army surely must be reinvested in and taken back upto around 90,000 troops. We’ve got to get to 3% GDP to defence ratio. Cut the welfare bill, which has ballooned, to pay for it.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

To be honest most of the welfare bill is locked into either: 1) pension 42% 2) disability payment for the disabled 16% 3) working household benefits 18% ( basically topping up low wages) 4)social care payments for the ill and frail elderly 13% only 2% goes on unemployment benefit. Considering the wealthiest section of our society are the retired ( not meaning all retired people are wealthy, but most wealth is held by the retired group) the only way to really get control of the welfare bill is to start means testing the state pension (should we really be giving… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Jonathan
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Even start by allowing people to return the pension and other old people benefits if they don’t want them.
Best way to get money is a growing economy and not spend the increase instantly.

PeterS
PeterS
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Some years ago, the New Zealand government brought in a reduction in state pension payable to people with private pensions. Anyone with a decent private pension got nothing. The gov lost the next election. The best way to keep the lid on pension costs is to raise the qualifying age to reflect both life expectancy and the number of years spent at work. The main reason why so much wealth is held by the elderly retired is house price inflation and the fact they have paid off their mortgages. The real need is to get better value for money from… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Hi peter, one of the issues with raising the pension age is that it works for some professionals groups but not for most jobs. The reality is it’s not life expectancy you need to look at it’s the healthy life years…the problem we have in the UK is we are ridiculously unhealthy and actually have a really low number of healthy life years ( in-fact I think it’s dropped not gone up) but the NHS keeps us alive despite ourselves so our life expectancy has gone up. so the UK healthy live years ( how old you are when your… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Hi Peter I will take you on one point…that’s the bureaucracy of the NHS…it’s more the bureaucracy of the DOH. The DOH and central NHS England functions that service the DOH have gone bonkers in this administration and there are some savings there. But you have to remember most of the management of the NHS is actually about making the health system as cheap as possible. Because health care systems are insanely complex and health economics open to so much abuse if you don’t have a fair amount of senior people keeping a lid on it your going to get… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I actually asked you about this the other day!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

The pension age for females went from 60 to 67.

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

State Pensioners are Not in the wealthiest 20% of society. I are one’.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

Not all are are, but many are. I for one have paid into 3 pension pots and when I retire in 4 years I will have occupational and private pensions well above the average family income…do I really need a state pension as well ( nope…..I will simple end up handing it out to my kids TBH) my mother in law is sitting with around £400,000 in the bank and a pension private pension that’s the average wage….simple put her state pension ends up in her savings account as does a fair bit of her private pension. With pensions I… Read more »

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Suggest you Drop-a-Line to No11′. You are obviously astute in money matters and born at the right time. Those of us on AFPS75 are not so fortunate. Means testing is not cheap & yes you could do all of that and it would probably release enough monies to the Defence Budget to get us half an F35.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

Well the pension budget is 44billion a year so it’s actually not chick feed…and means testing does not need to be that costly you can link it to tax just like child benefit is….child benefit was once universal now it’s not if your a higher rate tax payer…if it pays to take child benefit of or higher rate tax payer ( which is actually a small budget line) then removing pension based benefits from higher rate tax payers would be equally as easy and cost effective. The government means test the hell out of almost all other benefits…pensions are one… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

I think most of us ex-army who had a long period of service, retired on 1/3 final pay? Not a fortune, and certainly inadequate to pay the mortgage etc.

Last edited 9 months ago by Graham Moore
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Lets not forget that if you work and when you eventually get a state pension any Private/Armed forces pension income are taxable. Its very likely that your Armed Forces pension can be taxed in the 40% bracket. If you means test you would lose a chunk of tax income. People would work out how to get a private pension that missed the means tested limit and instead either spend their earnings or hide them. Worst case you end up with lots of people without adequate pension cover that need additional State support in latter life which drives the Govt Social… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I have not studied economics but am starting to doubt the establishment mantra that you have to have economic growth before you can spend more on defence or other public services. Some of the newer economists like Stephanie Skelton and Mariana Mazzucato are questioning some of the basic concepts like deficit and wealth creation which we have taken for granted since before WW2. I think we need new models which prioritise sustainability.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

To be honest at some Point we are going to have to look at our economic model as it does depend on growth… as you cannot in a finite eco system have unlimited growth… it does not work and will end in, well no more growth at all…. There is finite oil we can burn, finite crops we can grow, finite damage we can do to ecosystems extracting resources..finite fish in the sea. At present our economic system is based around the concept of a post scarcity environment ( you can extract and creat never ending wealth) that whole concept… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I understand that ‘growth’ is predicated on free or inexpensive inputs: energy, labour, raw materials, land. I’m hoping we find water on Mars, cos we’re running out here on Earth – using it all to irrigate the soya crops we are feeding to cattle, chickens and farmed salmon.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

You’re too pessimistic. People have been saying similar things since at least Malthus. Never underestimate the creativity and adaptability of the human race. Farming, Free trade, Steam engines. the internal combustion engine, the internet. We’ve been proving the pessimists wrong for 20,000 years.

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I unfortunately have a slightly less than normal view..my everyday life is assessing what can go wrong and trying to shall we say get people who cannot see the train coming to get off the tracks….it’s sort of left me with a “plan for the worst and optimistic outlooks kill” view..as I’ve seen a far to many dead people and babies cause by the “it won’t happen brigade”. It does make me always assess and consider the worst…not saying optimism is wrong…it’s really important but…sometimes you need the “what if types” keeping it real. I know there are mass murdering… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Wow well you see people when they’ve well truly effed up. On a personal level that’s always been true. Like the guy back in the stone age who was told lions are vegetarians who love being petted and believed it ! Maybe my ignorance keeps me optimistic. They say the stupid are happier than average at least until it kills them. 😁😂

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Yes unfortunately I’m the unwanted guy in the back who’s job it is to point out when people are being idiots….the number of time I’ve had to make statement like “ you do realise what you are talking about is dead babies and grieving mothers”…makes me kind of popular amongst senior decision makers…but someone has to do it.

AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I have not studied economics but am starting to doubt the establishment mantra that you have to have economic growth before you can spend more on defence or other public services.

is this some kind of joke? Do you want to abolish Math?

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

No 🙂 It seems to be a matter of questioning some basic concepts. Debt for example: Stephanie Kelton takes on our approach to debt and spoofs the simplistic metaphors, like comparing national income and expenditure to ‘family budgets’ in an attempt to prove how dangerous debt is. In her upcoming book, The Deficit Myth (June 2020), she argues they are not at all similar; what household can print additional money, or set interest rates? Debt should be rebranded as a strategic investment in the future. Deficits can be used in ways good or bad but are themselves a neutral and… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Paul.P
AlexS
AlexS
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Sorry but you just wake up from a very long hibernation? What she says is what all Kenesianists have been saying for almost 100 years…with banana republics all over world as testimony. If the deficits can be used in bad or good ways they are not neutral. Right there is a logical fallacy. “what household can print additional money, or set interest rates” They can, it is called getting on credit. Credit creates money. Mona Lisa value is 10B$ for western world but probably 1$ for a tribe in Africa or New Guinea or a Inuit or worse. That is… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Morning Alex, I don’t think you can measure the productivity of teachers by quantity. Quality is probably a better measure. An unacceptable %age of young people leave education poorly qualified for working life. The concept of value is also exercising the minds of the new generation of economic thinkers. Described as “one of the most forward-thinking economists of our times,” Mariana Mazzucato is foremost among the flame throwers. A professor at University College London and the Founder/Director of the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, she asks fundamental questions about how ‘value’ has been defined, who decides what that… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Paul.P
PeterS
PeterS
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

What happened to the rest of the 386 Ch2s we bought? Are the hulls still available? If they are, why can we not do what the US is doing with the Abrams: strip the hull back to bare metal and then rebuild with updated engines, weapons and electronics. With these numbers we shouldn’t need the 38 we sold to Oman. At the very least we should upgrade all 227 active hulls to give a meaningful reserve.

Louis
Louis
9 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

One was completely destroyed in Iraq leaving 385. Mid way through 2011 there were 345 in service meaning hopefully at a minimum we could restore numbers up to 345 minus the 14 for Ukraine. The 40 tanks that went out of service before 2011 could be used to bring the 118 that went out of service after 2011, back into the main fleet. They should be in decent condition. 3 ABCT’s each with 88 Challenger 2/3 would probably require a fleet of 350+ Challengers which would be possible if Omani tanks were bought up which should be fairly easy to… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

There couldn’t have been 345 tanks in-service in 2011 as the 2010 review reduced the in-service fleet to 227.

Louis
Louis
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It also had the two RTR regiments merge but that only occurred in August 2014.
Similarly 9th/12th Royal Lancers and QRL amalgamated in May 2015.
7th Armoured Brigade re-roled in 2014.

Last edited 9 months ago by Louis
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Louis, I am sure you are right but my comment is also right.
227 has been the declared number of in-service tanks since implementation of the 2010 review.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

I hear that 3 tanks were written off (the Iraq war blue-on-blue, the Castle Martin range incident one and another).
The numbers were reduced to 227 in-service tanks in the 2010 defence review, thus 159 were taken out-of-service, of which 80 were scrapped with very little publicity between 2010 and 2018.

So we have 227 in-service and 79 out-of-service tanks.

The 227 is predicated on three armoured regiments but the army is reducing to two armoured regiments (part of the 10,000 troop reduction) hence cannot justify 227 tanks.

Louis
Louis
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Do you have any sources to support that or is it just from your personal experience.
I’m by no means disputing your claim at all but I’d just be interested to read up on that.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I am a bit surprised to be asked to prove ‘my claim’, but here goes: 3 tanks written off – the blue-on-blue in the Iraq war is very well documented https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/mar/26/iraq.rorymccarthy1 https://www.reddit.com/r/DestroyedTanks/comments/3dgqoj/challenger_2_of_the_queens_royal_lancers/ as is the breech explosion at Castlemartin – https://www.westerntelegraph.co.uk/news/16359429.inquest-soldiers-deaths-castlemartin-range-concludes/ https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/soldiers-killed-tank-castlemartin-pembrokeshire-14918126 The 3rd tank lost is hearsay, I admit. 2010 Defence Review reducing army from 386 to 227 in-service tanks: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-strategic-defence-and-security-review-securing-britain-in-an-age-of-uncertainty Fact Sheet 7: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/62489/Factsheet7-British-Army.pdf Extract from Fact Sheet 7: In order to meet the Future Force 2020 structure, the Army will: • reduce by around 7,000 to c.95,000 personnel by 2015, but with no changes to combat units… Read more »

Louis
Louis
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That is all common knowledge,
I was referring to the line where you said 80 CH2 were scrapped with little publicity. I was just asking where you learnt about this and if there is any online information referring to it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Louis

I see. I read about the 80 CR2 being scrapped, from someone on this site. It was apparently said in a Parliamentary answer sometime in 2018.

Louis
Louis
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

ARRSE seems to agree with this saying slightly more than 300 are available.
Great shame that they were scrapped.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Evening Mr B. Per my reply to Jonathan I think we need help from the new generation of economists to move beyond the accepted zero sum game we all take for granted. I’m far from claiming expert status as chancellor to the exchequer but the way we are used thinking of money problems has to undergo some sort of transformation.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You need to get the DS to reverse his 10,000 cut which would save the 3rd armoured regiment (and more besides). Then we could convert all 227 tanks to CR3s.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The ‘size’ of the Army was cut to reflect the actual strength of the Army. To get the Army back to 82,000 would require either lowering entrance standards or increasing pay.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

There is an Establishment figure (the target, the figure required for defence of the Realm) and an actual strength and they will never be exactly the same. The former is the figure for which funding is provided for wages, equipment and accomodation etc – and to which you attempt to recruit and retain against. It is very convenient for the Govt to minimise the effect of a cut to Establishment partially on the grounds of poor recruiting and retention but it is disingenuous: I might need a salary of £2000 a month to pay my bills but if I only… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If there are other ways of the Army reaching strength why hadn’t/haven’t they implemented them ?

Last edited 9 months ago by David Steeper
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Reaching strength is all about optimising recruiting and retention. Recruiting – this has been contractorised (PFI, I think) for over a decade – the service provider, Capita, is useless. It runs a very slow bureaucratic system – it can take a year or more to get a young person into the army and to their Phase 1 training unit – a huge number of recruits just bin it. MoD should sack Capita and go back to recruiting in-house. Why haven’t they done it? Good question – MoD might have to pay cancellation charge and would have to resource army recruiting… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

All of the above affected the RN with its Black Hole of recruiting which it suffered from. There are no easy or cheap fixes. Retention bonuses where tried. In my case as a Tiff, I and lots like me looked at the bonus and the terms of service. 15 K for 3 years return of service. 5k a year Taxed at 40 % with NI as well. So say 2500 a year Divide by the months 208 Quid ish a month In those 3 years you can expect to be deployed for at least a 60/40 split away from the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks GB. Great answer. There is often a MoD-run Forces Satisfaction Survey – not sure if it is just aimed at those leaving or a wider group. Anyway they don’t seem to do much with the info, like fix the reasons for dissatisfaction.

One demotivating factor for the army since 2014 is likely to have been a lack of real soldiering opportunities, by which the lads mean kinetic op tours.

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

A question is why are we struggling so much to recruit?

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Unemployment is under 4%. Young people have lots of options. Armed forces pay and conditions are not attractive enough to attract enough recruits. Some accuse the ‘woke’ publicity as well but I think that’s marginal.

Mike
Mike
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Good points. In addition to the unemployed though, there are a lot of not economically active people out there.

I wonder also, is this a result of the peace dividend? So many will thankfully only have known peace within Europe that the requirement for a strong military is not on their radar as important. Combine that with the strong push to university from school that has been ever present since the 90’s, and where is the pull to get into employment from school?

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Mike

You could be right about Uni taking a higher % of school leavers since the 80’s or so. But the armed forces have halved in size since then. The people in charge will be reluctant because it will cost a lot of money but I just can’t see anything else than a significant pay rise changing the situation.

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Also, while Uni does take a higher % of school leavers, I think a higher % of soldiers have degrees now as well. It’s somewhat surprising how many enlisted now have, if not completed their undergrad, at least attended university.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Plus for the army, a lack of ‘edgy’ op tours since 2014. That’s a huge factor.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Can’t remember where but I read somewhere that Iraq/Afghanistan helped Army recruitment but it hurt retention. A lot of guys signed up because they wanted to experience combat but left once they had. The Army full time strength has been falling since 2010.
MoD F.O.I. question
Request size of the Army, Navy and Airforce from 1700 to 2016.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Interesting. MOst soldiers like to do a fair number of op tours, but not a ridiculous number which impacts on career courses/career development, family life etc. Many soldiers choose to only do 4 years service so some may have done one tour and then left, on that basis. A seasoned soldier who has done ‘too many tours’ and is getting grief (including sometimes a demand to quit – ‘its me or the army’) from the wife/girlfriend may jack it in after yet another tour. That was never my issue, which was a moan about the lack of op tours –… Read more »

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Woke I think is marginal, the greater impact I think is retention. You can recruit as much as you like, but if people keep getting fed up and signing off, then you’re buggered.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Whilst I was serving in the RN we had the famous black hole moving through recruitment caused by the closing of basic training. We lost new joiners which meant in latter years we had shortages of LH, PO and CPOs. It was a horrible time with gaps all over the place . People got promoted who should not have been promoted when they where because they where not ready for the additional responsibility or they where just S**t at their job. People stuck their notice in an left because they where doing 2 or 3 peoples jobs or you had… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Very interesting. I read a report once that said the average soldier who was not in a technical-type role had a reading age of 12 or less. Pretty tragic.

John Clark
John Clark
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I would tend to agree, the Army struggles to maintain strength in peace time. It wasn’t an issue in the latter part of the cold war, as the economy really wasn’t good in the 1980’s, as many of us remember well. They moan about it now, try leaving school with 3 million out of work… This at least ensured a steady stream of young recruits to keep the Army numbers up. It seems today, it’s the tail wagging the dog, as fewer and fewer youngsters want to join the Army, they are restructuring the Army to reflect the ever reduced… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by John Clark
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Remember though, the reduction to 2 regiments predated the latest cut, it was a General Carter idea as part of his Strike Brigade fantasies going back to 2015.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

OK mate. I was morphing stuff together.

Going back to Strike brigades – nothing wrong with the concept of Strike (killing the enemy at long range with appropriate fires and with the associated cueing), but every brigade needs some sort of strike capability (with equipment suited to the ‘weight’ of the brigade). Just not specialist brigades. I am sure we agree on that point.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Absolutely. As we knowe, the Strike Brigades in the form they were going to take did not meet that criteria, from their light guns in the RA regs to the Boxers divorced from their firepower on Ajax on tracks.

Strike is fine, if it is done correctly and not a hashed job. Other armies have plenty of examples of well equipped wheeled brigades.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Due to the recent cut by 10,000 the army will only be able to field two armoured regiments – 112 tanks in total. 222 fleet size is too high a number.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

So simplistically we need another 66 in order to field 3 armoured regiments? 148+66 = 214 CR3s.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Regts are Type 56, so 56 tanks. Then you would need a larger Repair Pool and Attrition Reserve. 227 tanks in total should do it! ie the same number we have today.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Understood. Thx.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

We don’t need to buy ancient CR1s from Jordan or 38 CR2s from Oman for the British Army. Why do you think we do?
Or are you talking of these to gift to Ukraine/

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Gifts for Ukraine. Once refurbished. That way we aren’t removing the British armies ability to wage war or more crucially stand it’s ground.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Yep, that makes sense. Up to Oman and Jordan of course, but surely someone has given them a nudge by now?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, tanks that can possibly be upgraded to be of some use to Ukraine especially if using same UK ammo for now. And yes, ieven some, the best of the rest, for bumping up the UK’s stocks if deemed useful and worthwhile.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Fair point about Ukraine. But why does the British Army need more than 227 tanks (less 14 to UA) for an Orbat with just 3 armoured regiments?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly the point I often make. Until the ORBAT changes considerably, which I highly doubt it will, more than that is pointless.
Restoring to 227 updated CH3 in a saved KRH would be a great outcome.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

👍

Dern
Dern
8 months ago

I’ve said it before but:
1x Type 44 Regiment in 1 DSR to finish the mimicry of the old American Cav Regiments please.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes, I recall. I’m in agreement. Can we have some extra CS CSS for them too? 😉

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago

I’mjust going on what I read and hear but one of issues Wallace has selling a budget increase to No10 and 11 is the Army’s opinion on why it is where it is. As far as they’re concerned it is in no particular order Politicians, the Navy and the RAF who are responsible. Strike Brigades, Ajax, Warrior, AS90 the rarely mentioned other than by Daniele of the continuing gutting of the Army Air Corps etc etc are all the fault of one of the above. Outside the Army or at least the senior ranks of this is met with stony… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by David Steeper
Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It looks like Ajax will be accepted; a case of better late than never. A Boxer IFV variant should be easy enough; its a known science. CR3 is a low risk project; we just need some more. Which leaves AS90; we just need to buy a regiment’s worth of Korean built K9s – persuade the Korean army to sell us some and build the rest in the UK. The above is mostly funded – the budget problem will be the increase in troop numbers. We need some creative thinking – how about offering to write of graduates tuition loans for… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I agree that the Armoured Infantry must get Boxer IFVs to replace their Warriors.
We need to retain the third armoured regiment and to convert all 227 tanks to CR3.
We need to scrap the 10,000 cut to the regular army.
I like your idea about the graduates but that would be more relevant to officers as relatively few non-commissioned ranks are graduates.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We need to think out of the box on recruitment. How about the army getting into the business of further education? The established players need the competition. Why not start offering T-levels and apprenticeships in soldiering and allied skills. Target 18 year olds, both sexes, modular course; infantry skills + technical skills recognized by civilian education bodies – IT, plumbing, engineering, surveying ..….a mix of home based and military accommodation / practical and theory, pay the minimum wage. Recruits would be able to walk into a job after 3 years or stay or leave to take a university degree.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I think you are absolutely right to think out of the box. The detractors would say that the army is so small and no commitments have been dropped so they would not have time to spend on this further education. Many soldiers in the technical corps have trade qualifications of course. There is also the NVQ scheme which was adopted at least 15 years ago for all ranks including officers, and across all Arms & Services, and this was seen to be especially useful for the ‘teeth arms’. I know little about T-levels so they could be a good idea.… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

To coin a phrase ‘take back control’.
Apparently the govenment want to phase out BTECs and replace them with T levels – technical vocational qualifications which stretch from 16 up to degree. Seems like the perfect opportunity to get in at the start…propose syllabus/ modules/skills – launch courses, advertise….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

When would you get your soldiers to study for those T-levels? How many hours per week would they need for studies and for how long?

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Dunno..I’m just winging this. ..🙂. But say there was there were syllabus modules on topics like IT or logistics or mechanical engineering for example. The army could certainly teach and,/or deliver supervision / theory/ practical experience of these subjects all the way from basics through to degree level. If these T levels are at the embryonic stage they should be influencing the syllabus content…get in at the inception.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Soldiers requiring IT, logistics or mechanical engineering knowledge and skills for their job get it anyway in Phase 2 training and modular courses thereafter. You are talking about FE for all, as I understand it so as to improve the appeal of an army career. Worth exploring but who would do the training (other soldiers with the skills, but they are needed back in theri units), how long would it take and could soldiers be released from theri core task to do it?

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, I don’t know. All I am saying is that it is an avenue worth exploring further. Maybe it will lead to the creation of a new entity. How did police community support officers come into being – versus special constables? Sometimes the solution to a problem is something that doesn’t exist now.

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

To be fair, you do get civilian qualifications in line with your promotion, you just have to do the paperwork.
eg a Cpl will get a level 5 City and Guilds qual in Leadership and Management just from their standard career path, CSM’s get the equivilant of a Masters Degree.
Plus your ELC’s which you can put towards whatever further education you want, plus your SLC’s that you can easily put towards skill courses if you so choose…. so what you’re suggesting is practically a reality anyway.

Paul.P
Paul.P
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Thx. Maybe promote these new T levels more in the recruitment ads?

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Nothing new about it, SLCs and ELCs have been around for longer than I have. Trade qualifications have been around for a while too, and are listed if you look up the roles you are interested in. eg: just casually clicked on the first role that came up on the British Army website: https://jobs.army.mod.uk/roles/royal-electrical-and-mechanical-engineers/vehicle-mechanic/ and when I scrolled down to job requirements, immediately after it lists: Qualifications you could get after training Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Maintenance Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Engineering Qualifications at different levels, in Leadership and Management Car and HGV licenses + Opportunity… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Right, what I am saying is that the army should make much more of this in recruitment. Its a real, competitive asset.

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I guess, but how? TV ads need to be short and snappy, you can’t really list huge numbers of quals that various trades can, or can not get.

Paul.P
Paul.P
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

What am I, an advertising executive 😂
I dunno….something like this.
The Army needs more technical soldiers at all T levels to degree. If you are physically fit and want to develop technical, teamwork and leadership skills and the resilience to deploy them under pressure in defence of your country we want to hear from you. Student loan or a life – your choice.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

On numbers I think we need to increase pay if possible concentrated where there are shortages. The armed forces pay formula needs to change as does the NHS’s. We aren’t facing the same issues recruiting in other areas of the public sector and we’ll have to recognise it. Or the issue will not go away. On Ajax I think we will end up with something that is close enough to spec that we’ll contractually have to accept it but I’d wait and see how effective it is in practice.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I think Ajax entering service is looking more likely than not at this point.
Where are the shortages?

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Shortages ? Do you mean shortfalls ? If yes we won’t know till it gets in the hands of operational units.

Last edited 9 months ago by David Steeper
Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

No, sorry, I was a bit cryptic. When you were discussing pay you mentioned that increases should be focussed where there are shortages…( of manpower). I was asking if you had a view on where these are.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

No worries. On specific trades we’re having a hard time with that would be better discussed by someone with personal knowledge and experience but in general terms we need to improve retention of experienced personnel at all levels but especially Petty/ Warrant Officer level.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I posted this some days ago. I’ve been banging on about the purchase of the K2 Black panther (and partnering with the next-gen K3) along with K-MLRS and to consider the Redback IFV. The workshare alone would make this a desirable option and create a solid base for continued production going forward. Not to mention an earlier entry into service date. After all, there is an ongoing war in Europe right now and NATO is asking them to supply munitions to help restock our dwindling supplies. “Two South Korean defense firms have shipped their first tanks and self-propelled howitzers to… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Nigel Collins
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

If we go with some Redback IFVs, hopefully a UK licri build with a bit more range and more engine oomph. I think it a bit less than the Lynx at the moment, but happy to be corrected on this.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Good morning, Quentin D63, 140hp extra for Lynx and the KF41 weight is approximately 44 tonnes. A bit more oomph is always welcome though!

Redback 1000HP and the combat weight is 42 tons.

Last edited 9 months ago by Nigel Collins
Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Morning and thankyou. You are spot on I think.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

We are donating £3.2Billion to Ukraine this year and possibly next, why not give them more Chally 2s and three instead? Ukraine would have a steady supply as we take on UK Black Panthers to replace them. “Hyundai Rotem also passed through the “door opened by Poland” and offered very good conditions to Warsaw. Thus, on July 27, 2022, the Armaments Agency of the Ministry of National Defense in Warsaw signed framework agreements with the Korean Hyundai Rot for the purchase of 1,000 K2/K2PL tanks and with the Korean Hanwha Defense for the purchase of 672 independent K9A1/K9PL self-propelled howitzers. Less than… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

My guess is that arms shipments are co-ordinated / sanctioned by NATO.
I would send 50 CR2 and make sure they could be replaced by buybacks from Oman. But several Leopard users might each want to donate 5 or 10. Politically it looks better to get 5×10 Leo’s from different countries. Keep donations from Germany , UK and US to a minimum perhaps?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel,

There are no CR3s at the moment – the first don’t get finished and released until 2027 (IOC), by which time the Russo-Ukraine war may well be over.

You must think the Treasury to be very generous to fund the purchase of hundreds of Korean tanks for the British Army to replace hundreds of CR2s gifted to Ukraine, when they have already stumped up £800m for the CR3 project. Treasury ain’t generous, sorry to say!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, Their armed forces will need modernization once they become full members of NATO when the war finishes. This has been mentioned quite a few times in the past. We are gifting them £2.3Billion this year which can be replaced by tanks instead that they so desperately need. What would we would get from this? as I posted above: K2 Black panther (and partnering with the next-gen K3) along with K-MLRS and to consider the Redback IFV. The workshare alone would make this a desirable option and create a solid base for continued production going forward. we are already looking… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

NATO would want guaranteed peace before Ukraine’s membership applicaion could be considered. The application process can take many years. They will certainly have to restructure and transition towards modern (non-Soviet/non-Russian) equipment. We are spending £2.3bn on military aid for Ukraine this year. Not sure what you mean by ‘We are gifting them £2.3Billion this year which can be replaced by tanks instead that they so desperately need’. The £2.3bn of military kit we are giving Ukraine is of many different items not just tanks. ‘What would we get from this?’ Again I don’t understand that. What would we get from… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Re-gifting, are they paying us for the supplied equipment that we send or at a later date? I could be wrong on this. Deduct from the £3.2 billion+ and increase the number of Challenger 2 tanks they receive instead plus the other equipment that they require to make up the balance. The unit cost of a Challenger 2 “new” was £4,217,000 so we could easily afford to give them more and replace these instead and (backfill) with the K2 Black Panther. I’m guessing their value would be £2M per unit now. What would or could we potentially get from this?… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, I had not heard any reports of our billing Ukraine for the kit, so assumed it is all gifted. We paid £4.2m a copy for CR2s in 1998 (ISD) or therabouts. How does that mean we can ‘easily afford to give them more and replace these instead and (backfill) with the K2 Black Panther’. I don’t get that. If we give UA all of our CR2s, cancel the CR3 programme (which would cost us many £m in cancellations charges), then pay for 148 or 227 K2s plus the initial spares pack, training aids, special tools etc etc –… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Graham Moore
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We are not charging them at all. Instead of gifting/giving them £2.3Billion, reduce the amount by the cost of the additional tanks we give to them instead. Plus, we would benefit from the workshare and entry time into service no doubt. Apologies if I haven’t made that clearer, posting in the early hours is never a goos idea! Black Panther cost £7.14M per unit at today’s rate of exchange. Challenger 3 cost £6.8 per unit, a difference of £340,000 per unit extra. Would we lose out overall? That would depend on how much we allocated to them out of the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We have gifted Ukraine £2.3bn of kit since Feb 2022, not £2.3bn in cash. No-one is going to stop the CR3 programme – we have waited far too long for it to happen – CR2 should have had a mid-life upgrade around 2008-2010. Ben Wallace is trying to speed it up (a bit) and may increase the number beyond 148. CR3 does not cost £6.8m per unit. It is a £800m programe so we are spending an ammortised £5.4m. I really don’t know why you think we should scrap the CR3 programme just as it is starting, pay milions in… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You make some very good points Graham. One, How do we pay for the equipment we supply Ukraine with? Two, “In 2021 Britain announced a £800 million ($1 billion) contract to upgrade 148 Challenger 2 tanks to the Challenger 3 standard. This comes down to around $6.8 million per tank. This figure might also include servicing and training costs.” £ 5.7 Million, I stand corrected. Three, Challenger 3 is also not battle-proven. 4, Why spend this amount of money on an old tank when you can buy a new one and no doubt far quicker? I also look at the future potential for… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

1 Paying for equipment supplied to Ukraine. The money might come from the Foreign Office budget but is more likely to come from the Treasury’s Contingencies Fund Account. They would not come for the Defence Vote. 3.CR3 is not battle proven – CR3 evolved from CR1 and CR2 which very definitely were combat proven – it is only certain CR3-specific items that are not combat proven. What is the point here? Some advocate buying KF51 Panther – not only is that not combat proven – it is still in development. Some advocate for purchase of Korea’s K2 Black Panther –… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We will no doubt opt for more Challenger 3, also “not combat-proven” and on paper inferior to the K2, missing out on a brand new chassis with the potential for a future K3 MBT with an unmanned turret and 130mm smoothbore cannon plus workshare of course.

When will Challenger 3 enter service? The initial operating capability for the upgraded tanks is expected by 2027, with full operational capability expected to be declared by 2030.

Fingers crossed there not required before then along with Ajax.

LINK

Last edited 8 months ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, I am not sure why you cannot agree that so much of CR3 has been carried forward from CR2 and in some cases from CR1 – so it is somewhat unfair to claim that the whole CR3 tank has not been combat proven.

What exactly makes K2 so much better than CR3?

I do agree that K2 has been delivered quickly to customers.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

K2 Black panther has been designed from the ground up as a 4th generation MBT, Challenger 3 will still have to undergo these trials sometime in 2027 with a war currently taking place in Europe now.

The next generation of MBT is already on the drawing board, come 2030 there will no doubt be a prototype available and an opportunity missed to be involved from the start.

LINK

Some specs on the Redback, but I’m not sure how it would compare to Ajax.

LINK

Last edited 8 months ago by Nigel Collins
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Of course CR3 undergoes trials – it is on Reliability Growth Trials at the moment. Good, thats what we do with new kit. It doesn’t matter if a war is on – that won’t affect the Trials programme.

Redback is an IFV – why compare it to Ajax, a recce vehicle? Totally different roles.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The army has spaffed 10 billion plus up the wall without any responsibility regards the RAF and RN. It irks they, along with their allies in the media, keep throwing it about.

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 months ago

Increasingly my go to on this is Gabriele Molinelli on Twitter. He’s got a thread about how it’s demonstrably untrue that the Army has lost out to the RAF and RN on funding. I can see how people might think he’s too critical but I think it’s fair to say he has very compelling arguments.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Agreed. His knowledge is superb and is a must read for me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It seems to be the case that the army lost £5bn of FRES funding to the future carrier programme but that was ages ago.
I agree that the army has spent its procurement money very badly on just about all of the AFV upgrade and procurement programmes in the last 20 years.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

20 years?
They are still using FV 430!
Thats a 1960s design. Ok its been upgraded to Bulldog but that was more out of necessity due to the lack of progress on TRACER/FRES/Boxer(original concept which the UK left)/ Warrior upgrade/ BOXER( Which we rejoined!) and AJAX.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

My point about 20 years is that the last AFVs bought and fielded for the British Army were the 33 Trojan and 33 Titan combat engineer variants, made in 2003/4. Virtually no upgrading of any AFV over that 20 years either, but Bulldog based on FV432 is a rare (and inglorious) exception. I am well aware of the age of the FV430 – it was the first AFV I hada ride in – they are still in service because a stingy Government did not replace every 430 with a Warrior back in the 80s. 432 Ambulances and 432 Mortar carriers… Read more »

Dern
Dern
8 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I didn’t think TRACER/FRES/BOXER was ever meant to replace 432?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Blame doesn’t just lie with the army for the procurement failings – but it wholly attaches to politicians for ‘the cuts’. The army leadership for 20 years was not focussed on core equipment. As we know, no-one will acknowledge failings.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

The reference to the size of Salisbury Plain is telling – it really is the tiniest training area for armoured warfare training.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

And they don’t use all of it either I believe regards manoeuvre training? The bits around Battlesbury Bowl and Warminster, and the eastern area out if Bulford / Tidworth I think.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago

That surprises me. Of course there are many users on the Plain at any one time from various different units. A manouevre unit or sub-unit cannot book the whole SPTA.
Some of SPTA land is owned by farmers not the MoD and their permission has to be obtained before use.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I meant not used for armoured vehicles, but other units like you say. For example Larkhill range I don’t think armour uses that area being a direct fire gunnery range?
Another part of Larkhill is a test range for MoD QinetiQ.

Imber is well used. G Earth shows where the tracks are!

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago

Now, you’ve done. I saw a firepower demo at the bowl and the A10 was awesome.

Finally, a Chieftain role back over an improvised bridge and the engineers were set to blow the bridge – well that’s what the tannoy said….

“Blow the bridge.”

“Blow the bridge!”

“BLOW THE… BRIDGE!!!”

Guess the Soviets captured the bridge 😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

👍I only saw one such FP demo, it was at Larkhill and open day, ticketed, for is civvies. No A10s, they had Jaguars. Chinooks dropping LGs onto the gunline. AS90s, company of Warriors with Tanks assaulting the distant hill, which the Jags had previously rocketed.

I loved it. After, at the Amesbury roundabout on the 303, the peaceniks were demonstrating against spending money on defence. The usual idiots.

Dern
Dern
8 months ago

Most of it is used, the issue is there’s a massive Artillery Impact area in the North for the AS90’s to fire onto. It takes a big bite out of SPTA, just to the east of a major through road that cuts the area in half, that in turn creates the impression of “only the eastern and western bits” being used for maneuver training. But it’s technically all contiguous, just a bit narrow in the middle, and you need to be careful crossing the A-road.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
8 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern.
Thanks, I think that is the A road to Devizes, with Westdown Camp? I recall the “Tank Crossing ” signs along there.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Good article, which says that Ukrainians had wanted whole brigades of western tanks. I heard they had asked for 300. Is that the same thing – I don’t know UA Orbats. But they mostly have 31-tank battalions (AB troops have 1 coy T-80 tanks in an AB Bn – very different to a British Para Bn!)
So leaving aside the AB speciality, then 300 tanks is about 10 tank battalions, which does amount to several brigades.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s interesting when you click on the link to information on the AB units themselves and read that we’ve got rid of most of our C2s that you see where Mr Axe gets a bad reputation for not always being accurate in his reporting.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I missed that bit about getting rid of most of our CR2s. Some buffoon scrapped 80 of them sometime in 2010-2018. We have gifted 14 (barely 5%) to the UA.

David Barry
David Barry
9 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

David Axe

Pinch of salt on his

Facts.

(It’s late, sorry Sir).