The contract will provide post-design services for armoured platforms including Bulldog, Warrior, Challenger 2, Challenger 3 when in service and other vehicles.

According to a contract award notice, the Defence Equipment & Support Land Equipment Vehicle Support Team, part of the Ministry of Defence, intends to award a single-source contract for up to 5 years plus two option single years (total maximum contract duration including options is 7 years) to Rheinmetall BAE Systems (RBSL) for provision of Post Design Services (PDS) activity for current in-service armoured platforms.

“This contract will provide PDS for armoured platforms including CVR(T), Bulldog, Warrior, Challenger 2, Challenger 3 (when in service), Challenger Driver Training Tank, Titan, Trojan, Terrier, AS90, CRARRV and Panther along with safety/In-Service management support for the above plus future developments of the above platforms.

It is considered that the award of the contract is excluded from the application of the UK Public Procurement Regulations pursuant to Regulation 7(1)(a) and 6(3A)(a) of the Defence and Security Public Contracts Regulations 2011 in order to protect UK essential security interests. Further, that this direct award can be made for Technical Reasons.”

Explaining why there was no competition, they add:

“RBSL are the Design Authority (DA) for these platforms and therefore have the essential technical data across all platforms, skills, experience and historical technical knowledge to deliver this requirement which they have built up over the 20+ years they have been supporting these MoD platforms.

As the DA, RBSL has a detailed understanding of the inherent design of each vehicle, understand the implications on the safe operability of the vehicles from any proposed design changes and can design modifications to each vehicle accordingly.

This knowledge and supporting data is critical to ensure the platforms remain safe by design and risk is ALARP. Without this data and technical know-how any modifications developed for these platforms by a third party would require considerable further work and an additional interface to build up the necessary background knowledge of each complete platform to ensure no unintended effects of each modification on other systems, from both an operational and safety perspective.

Any new Design Authority would need to reverse engineer each platform to ascertain the necessary background knowledge in order to endorse each vehicles Safety Case. This would come at considerable time and expense to provide the necessary confidence that the integrity of these platforms has not been compromised. This additional obligation would result in disproportionate technical and safety difficulties which would have an impact on the effectiveness of operations together with a disproportionate impact to MoD on time and cost.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

That’s a laugh! PDS on CVR(T), Bulldog and Warrior?

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Tbh the one that caught my eye was Panther, I was sure they’d all been removed from service and viewed as unsatisfactory.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

From the Army’s website: “Panther is in widespread use with various commanders, sergeant majors, and liaison officers for armoured, armoured recce and armoured infantry units.
This protected patrol vehicle is also used as the commander’s vehicle for engineer troops, anti-tank, mortar and supporting fire platoons.”

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Though I agree with Dern. I too thought they’d been withdrawn with the likes of Husky and sold.

The Army website? About as useful a source of accurate in depth info as a chocolate fireguard!

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

Not wrong there Daniele! it was a quick peek.

johan
johan
1 month ago

No they are around and still in service, used more as a support wagon and replaced the 101 as were more reliable and better.

Brooklyn
Brooklyn
1 month ago

I am making $92 an hour working from home. i was greatly surprised at the same time as my neighbour advised me she changed into averaging $ninety five however I see the way it works now. I experience mass freedom now that I’m my non-public boss. 
That is what I do.. http://www.profit97.com

Last edited 1 month ago by Brooklyn
peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

The Panther fleet was put up for disposal by the MOD due poor reliability with other vehicles to take over roles !

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Definitely not seen any around for yonks, I think I’ve seen Husky in service more recently than Panther (though come to think of it, haven’t seen any Husky’s in years either.)

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

They are still around used more to replace the 101s

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yes the whole fleet was put up for sale in 2018 for £450+K Each. As of 2021 they had still not been sold, no idea what going on with them at the moment, still hanging around waiting for someone to buy them I suppose.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yeah that squares with my vague memories, thanks for the info!

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It was decided to replace the existing 101s with the Panther fleet, when not used quite so Hard they sort of make do.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They sound over-priced to me.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Wiki says: ‘At end of April 2018, the UK Defence Equipment Sales Authority put the entire Panther 4×4 fleet up for sale with 395 vehicles available’. A service life of just 9-12 years. There is a good chance they would have been sold by now, but I have found no details of a sale.
I am not sure what would have made them unsatisfactory, though – their spec was pretty good.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Never was on Panther but I believe there was a percieved safety issue with the way the internals of Panther where laid out.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

The probelm with Panther is that British Army put a lot of weight, and used a lot space in it over the capacity of the vehicle.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

The lads’ did that with every vehicle but they weren’t retired after just 5-10 years.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

This wasn’t the “lads” but BA mounting very heavy radios and coms systems in it.

It seems they are not retired. It was reportedly the intention but all evidence points they are in service and in use being deployed overseas.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

That puzzles me. There would have been a Safety Case done and signed off before the vehicle was released to service.
I have only recently heard some tales of unreliablity and a strange late realisation that other but much older vehicles could do the job.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

From what I have been given to understand it’s to do with the internal layout, can’t access casualties from inside, and if a door is jammed shut you can’t get casualties out through a different door.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They had reliability issues in heat, role could be undertaken without a specific separate vehicle so just added an extra type for no real reason. Basically a poor procurement.

Harry Pagus
Harry Pagus
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I was driving near Haltwhistle, just south of Hadrian’s Wall, yesterday (4 July) when I encountered a Panther escorting an Army 4 tonner. It had an Enforcer weapon station fitted and was heading up to the Military Road just south of the Wall.

George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It caught my eye too. With the Dusseldorf Rheinmetall connection the KF51 “Euro Tank” also called Panther came to mind. Then I remembered the Protected Patrol Vehicle.
Interestingly, Rheinmetall list Challenger 2/3, CVR(T,) Bulldog and Warrior, along with Panther KF51 among their products. Tut tut.

Challenger replacement has not been mentioned but I wonder if the decision has already been made behind closed doors. The EU Army, Euro Tank KF51. This “design support” announcement being one step closer to making the choice publicly acceptable.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Of course you have to have PDS in place to invoke safety mods, if nothing else.

BB85
BB85
1 month ago

I thought Panther was sold off, I take it this is more of a maintenance contract rather then designing enhancements and upgrading the existing fleet of vehicles.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  BB85

Maintenance is done by the User (Level 1) and REME (Level 2 and Level 3).

PDS is basically modifications, but not to give additional capability – that would be an upgrade. They are mods to comply with changing legislation, maintain safety and to deal with obsolete spare parts. The mod kits or modified parts, when developed, would be fitted by REME (usually).

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago

My mate’s brother (skilled gunsmith) is building a “weapons specialist” Dalek – as you do. Now a few of those for the British Amy would give the Roooskies something to think about.

On a serious note I think we need a sovereign capability, and not to have to rely on a German company for heavy armour design & build. It was the likes of Vickers/BAe etc. that had the original design authority & manufacturing design information – not Rheihnmetall. Why is the UK again just handing over and ceding control.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago

As it was so shall it ever be.
Could be worse – could be ceding it to the yanks…again.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

At least US equipment works.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob
  1. USS Ford?
  2. Zumwalt
  3. XM 2001 Crusader SPH
  4. Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
  5. Airborne Laser
  6. Joint Tactical Radio System
  7. RAH 66 Comanche Attack Helicopter

I’m sure I could find a few more

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

The Comanche did look great mind, that ‘Cold War dividend’ at work again eh. Mind you the Cheyenne was my personal favourite another stunning if over complicated copter that failed to make it to production, yep the list is endless some good, some bad and some just plain ugly.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

👍

izzy
izzy
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Well, if the Army buys the Bell 360 Invictus for its scout helicopter, at least we get something that looks like the Comanche even if it’s not a stealth design…

Still sort of darkly amusing that the Comanche program took so long that it actually got a spate of high-budget flight simulator computer games before the aircraft was canceled. Has that happened for anything else?

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ooh! oh! I forgot the combining gears on the LCS’s😉

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Not only. The other LCS have cracks in aluminium hull that limits its velocity.

And the ASW module do not work. USN discovered 20 years latter that LCS makes same noise as an aircraft carrier.

izzy
izzy
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Zumwalt not too bad other than costing so much that they couldn’t afford the numbers to make its gun ammo affordable. A rather unique failure mode, to be sure. (I suppose that sort of happened with Vulcan and Blue Steel, but the aircraft was still fine with other weapons.) I’d add the Sergeant York AAA vehicle to the turkey list. One can draw a line between “canceled it because it was costing too much to develop into a fit working state (e.g., RAH 66, Sgt. York, ABL), or mostly worked but cost too much for the utility (Crusader, lots of… Read more »

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

You forgot that nail that they are using for air 2 air refuelling

Ian M.
Ian M.
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

Boom Boom!
Geddit?😜

Aaron L
Aaron L
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

The US has had it’s fair share of issues getting new kit developed and online.
The Zumwalt class destroyers and their Littoral Combat Ships (Not abandoned but are already being withdrawn from service) spring to mind for the Navy.
Then you had the Comanche and VH-71 that flopped.
For armoured vehicles, there was the Future Combat System and the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.

All of these had billions of dollars sunk into them and then abandoned.

Last edited 1 month ago by Aaron L
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

German every time….Neff ovens, Bosch drills, V2 rockets, Tiger, tanks, asprin….if its German it works.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

mmm perhaps a touch sensitive there – should stopped at Bosch drills…oh and maybe asprin…

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You might want to think again if you believe the German mechanical superiority meme. Even the Tiger you mentioned was a basket case for reliability. To say nothing of BMW and VW

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Well my son runs a petrol Golf with 200k miles on the clock. Runs like a sewing machine 🙂

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

And who do we have to thank for VW ? The British Army 1945 restarted the plants and production 20,000 Beatles later in 1949 handed the company back to the wee Germans and thanks to Monty and co your son has a golf 👍🏻

British Army #1 undisputed heavyweight champions of the world 1707-present 😎😃👍🏻

🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Indeed! Germany has us to thank for their post war constitution too. Pity we can’t do a modern one for ourselves 😉

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

my grandad shot a tiger in the arse in his crappy ickle Sherman. and didn’t cheat on his emissions. must be so proud your son drives a Hitler champion. does Dad drive a Audi. as you sound a cock

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Nah! Citroen Relay …great van 👍

P Fennell
P Fennell
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Sounds like he’s been stitched up…

taffybadger
taffybadger
1 month ago

My BMW’s were hardly a case example of reliability, my current VW Tiguan (brand new) plastics cracked in the heat !

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

If only, Bosch is very often rubbish now my jigsaw stopped working in little more than a year so replaced with a far superior hitachi ( expensive mind) and my old oven was a joke, bought on the impression of reliability to replace a 20 year old Philips that still worked, it was far more expensive than many competitors with less functionality. Yet the light went inside a year and the oven itself stopped working altogether in 3. Replaced it with a Hotpoint far superior better built and technologically looks about 20 years more modern and capable. Bosch in non… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Hitachi, now you are talking 😊

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

There are 2 grades of power tools: DIY tools which are designed for 13 hours continuous use and then go phut. And the robust tools for industrial use which last much longer. You are better off getting the latter if you use them a lot. I have found that Swiss tools are the best for quality.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

You need to distinguish between the professional ranges of tools (blue) and the domestic ranges (green) with Bosch. The green tools have always been pretty rubbishy and are designed down to a price point and a drill is designed to drill 20 holes as its lifetime design. The blue tools are a bit variable. At one time, without question, you would have gone for a blue planer or jigsaw from Bosch without thinking. Most of the proper professional stuff these days is battery powered so there is no longer the R&D investment or volume in mains powered tools that there… Read more »

Stephen Davies
Stephen Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Overly complex, overly expensive… overly Tutonic.

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Not my German bathroom scale: it stopped, so I had it open and I was shocked by the rubbish design and construction. Got a Chinese one: superior in every respect. And I am a professional senior engineer – I know what I am talking about.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Is that what they call a balanced view? 🙂

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Are you say Rheihnmetall equipment doesn’t?

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

WHO MAKES AJAX, USA used to produce good kit, now the greedy money is taking over.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Errr, the British and Spanish?

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

America, makes the MOD look like amateurs in the art of poor procurement and pissing money away on things that never work. They have so much money to spend efficiency is just not a word they use. There is a reason why they are still building Burke’s 34 years after the first keel was laid down and that’s not through choice but bad procurement.

DMJ
DMJ
1 month ago

It’s a joint venture company with BAE

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
1 month ago

At this point, I’m not sure BAE can be considered British anymore – they’re too big, and Rheinmetall BAE Systems is based in Telford and already handling the Challenger 2 LEP.

DRS
DRS
1 month ago

This is probably the reason … ‘Bonkers’ City rules hand China and Russia military edge over UK (msn.com)

A decade ago, shipbuilder Babcock was 58pc owned by British investment houses, but now that figure has slipped to 37pc. Rolls-Royce has fallen from 37pc British ownership to 7pc and defence contractor BAE is down from 38pc to 26pc.

US investors now own 54pc of BAE, 71pc of Rolls and 49pc of Babcock.

DRS
DRS
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Does the government still have golden shares in all of these? If not any way to get this?

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Yes they do

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Exactly.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Trouble is when these firms do deals to take over other defence contractors, they offer a share option. so they dilute themselves each time. and then license builds and badges. its much like Leonardo. and there broken record. Just sold a load of AW149 and None will be made in the UK.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago

Bae is British at least as things stand most big companies are multinational these days let’s be honest but the management of it is British (for now). Trouble is Bae rarely hang on that long in partnerships they prefer to invest in the US and I suspect this partnership is merely to be a hand over job until it is sold off completely to its partner otherwise why not combine with its Swedish or US vehicle interests? A sudden sell off to a German Company would have looked terrible politically but a slow manoeuvre towards it will barely be noticed… Read more »

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

BAEs is now a multinational operation and no longer classed as British, Losing that Pissing contest over the MRA4, which in turn they Grounded the Harrier Fleet and stopped production of the Gearboxes for the Invincible class. that also cost their approved bidder slot on UK mod tenders, and now have to be a Joint Bidder.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago

RBSL is BAE Systems Land but Rheinmetall bought a 55% share.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Yep, there is the problem. A controlling interest and inheriting “Design Authority” for those products.

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
1 month ago

Great photo. The Challenger is a beast. Give any Russian a smelly pant day seeing one of them charging down on you!
We need to Upgrade All the tanks not just 148. It’s such a small number.
I know theoretically, as claimed by many, but not me, the 120mm rifled gun is useless and blah blah but what’s it shooting against and in what number considering the current fiasco? Surely it’s still a viable weapon or is it simply about the ammo supply?
AA

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago

I think the ammo as much as anything it just damages flexibility on a large scale. That said 120mm now is decidedly lightweight as good as that gun once was. Sad that once again as soon as we produce a fantastic weapon or piece of equipment it stays in use for so long that we never set out on an endeavour to create the next big advancement and the moment we do have to replace it the only alternatives are foreign. Talk about a victim of your own success eh. We used to produce the best guns in the World… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Don’t tell that to the Americans, they apparently really didn’t like the 17lber.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi Dern, how are tricks? Apparently they disliked the recoil of the17dr in a tank turret and that the 75mm standard pop gun fired faster. Now that does seem nuts when one considers the 75mm couldn’t penetrate a panzer v/vi front armour.

Thy also claimed the HE shell on the 17dr was less powerful or capable than the 75- unsure how true that was.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Not bad. Not just the recoil, apparently it was also the size and lack of accuracy they didn’t like. But they didn’t choose the 75mm over it; the 17lber was considered as a replacement for the 75mm on m4, and the 3inch gun on M10, but was found unsatisfactory due to the above mentioned issues and (to the US) unacceptably cramped turret conditions. So the 76mm eventually was introduced to replace the 75 on the M4, and replace the 3inch M10’s with the M18’s (and later the 90mm on the M36). The 75mm did have better preformance in HE than… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks for the detailed reply Dern – a great read.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Yes, that was true about the lower HE content on the 17 pounder HE shell. To solve the problem with hindsight is blatantly obvious, but! To maintain the shells integrity being fired by a very high velocity propellent, that gave the shell a high muzzle velocity. They made the shell’s case much thicker, as they found the thinner one was fracturing after firing. This caused it to break apart or track away from the gun’s boresight. The thicker case cut down on the internal volume, hence the smaller HE charge. What they should have down was cut down on the… Read more »

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
1 month ago

I note Ajax isn’t on this list…

JamesF
JamesF
1 month ago

GDLS are design lead, not RBSL

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Probably because the contract covers i”n service” vehicles and Ajax is still lamentably from from being that…

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

As stated above that will if it ever enters service be handled by General Dynamics not RBSL who will be responsible for all the legacy stuff much of which came out of Bae and it’s long acquired companies most notably Vickers and Alvis, such lovely historic names to contour with.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Ajax is not made by BAE. It is made by GDUK aka GDLS. Different company.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

Ajax is neither in-service nor a BAE Systems product.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Can someone explain this to me? Sounds like a contract to manage the keeping of these aged platforms going somehow when they break down because components that are no longer available fail….

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
JamesF
JamesF
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

It’s a catchall term for in-service engineering support to the fleet managers:

Post Design Services (PDS) are formally contracted for during the In-Service phase of the equipment life cycle. PDS can comprise of a plethora of activities designed to maintain the equipment’s capability through the In-Service phase. Examples of PDS activities are:

  • Configuration Management
  • Obsolescence Management
  • Technical reporting
  • Function and Design reporting
  • Engineering Surveys
  • Modification Implementation
  • Design/Prototype testing
  • New Component Design and Testing
  • Technical Documentation
  • Onsite Training
Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesF

Informative. Thx.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesF

I wonder if some of these depleted component stocks can be produced via 3D printing. A lot of vehicles could remain useable and probably improved no doubt this way and offer great savings in the initial required over production of parts for a possible 30 plus year storage life. Just don’t tell the Russians.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesF

Great answer James. As an Equipment Support Manager for tank derivatives in 2002/3 I had a dedicated civil servant (PDS manager) who liased out to Industry who had the PDS contract. For our more elderly vehicles the focus was generally limited to managing obsolescence in components, sub-assemblies and assemblies and doing safety mods. Quite interesting doing that for the Cent BARV fleet as the vehicles had been gun tanks in the late 1940s and were converted to BARVs in 1961!

James Fennell
James Fennell
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham, it’s these ‘boring’ contracts that make the UK armed forces function better than others. Russia buys lots of kit but the support is often wanting. With the focus on readiness in the IR and DCP, I suspect we need to invest more in PDS, training and the like to ensure rapid availability.

Spitfire
Spitfire
1 month ago

Just embarrassing…the MOD needs to buy off the shelve and proven products as the Ajax programme shows…they are simply no good at project management. 3.5 billion spent. The Leopard and Abrams have had two upgrades and the Challenger is currently obsolete. Ridiculous state of affairs which will be seriously exposed in a war time setting.

Paul A Bestwick
Paul A Bestwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

Ajax was originally supposed to be off the shelf.

Aaron L
Aaron L
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

Think obsolete for the Challenger is a little strong, it’s still a very capable machine especially against the other MBT’s it’s likely to actually go up against.

When fitted with the TES package, it’s arguable one of the most well protected MBT’s around.

A new smoothbore gun, a new powerplant and a hard kill APS would easily bring it up to par with the Leopard (which has it’s own issues) and the Abrams.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

Your assumption that other forces do not have issues bringing kit into service is wrong. All countries that develop armoured vehicles have had major issues with lots of projects. I doubt any project has made it from design to service without having major issues crop up. Buying off the shelf is seen as some kind of magic solution when it is not. It works for some high end aircraft etc when requirements are exactly the same. For vehicles not so much. British projects should not be written off. The main issue with Ajax has been the gap left from making… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Very true.

The point I made the other day was that there are a huge number of cost effective procurement successes.

Things like NLAWS that came in on time and on budget and has been thoroughly tested by that nice Mr Zelenski. Apparently he thinks it is rather effective against Russian tanks?

Tams
Tams
1 month ago

They are very effective against tanks, but only if you can get quite close to them.

In combined arms, that opportunity should be very rare. Thankfully for Ukraine (and us), the Russians suck at combined arms.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Agreed.

However, my Crystal ball forsees NLAWS-ER becoming a thing…..

The guidance/warhead/UI seems to be fine so all it needs is more range……

Don’t ask me for lottery numbers……

Spitfire
Spitfire
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Some good points made…but we are below critical mass and way behind on vehicle procurement. The Ajax programme is an issue with suspension causing motion sickness for the troops. Our Challenger tank is 2 refits below par and we are only acquiring 148. We can produce the items needed but currently its not cost effective.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

The Ajax programme is an issue with suspension causing motion sickness for the troops”.
That’s a new one!

Spitfire
Spitfire
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Plenty of tossers on this forum

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Major issue with Ajax and yes there are many, but the main problem is the Vibration and noise. this is down to the lack of bracing and damping in the Hull. now to fix all the installed kit has to be removed and the bracing and damping plates welded into the Hull. next problem all the internal kit is designed around that empty hull space. which now has bracing and plates fitted and the kit doesnt fit. and this is why its taking so long. there is a Upgraded Hull with the damping work down. flying around the proving ground,… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Bollocks

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Ajax. Gap from making the last vehicle? GDUK (brand new company) had never made an AFV before, even if their US parent had.

Job should have gone to BAE but they had a skills gap – last AFVs they built in UK was Trojan and Titan in 2002/3.

Finney
Finney
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

technically Terrier which I think was finished around 08/09 before they closed the plant in Newcastle

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Finney

Thanks Finney. I had forgotten about Terrier (60 vehs). Though Wiki gives different dates: ‘Manufacture of the first TERRIER production hull began on 27 January 2010 at the company’s Newcastle plant.

Finney
Finney
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Wiki will be right! Ordering Terrier, a very bespoke vehicle on a unique chassis, while failing to upgrade Challenger or Warrior or any of the other big fleets, resulting in the closing of the plant, will surely be looked back on as one of the stupidest and most avoidable mistakes in Army procurement.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Finney

Too true. The army used to be very good at doing upgrades. look at the Wiki piece on Chieftain – so many different Marks during its 30 year life.
AFVs always got a Base Overhaul roughly every 7 years which was when the major upgrades also happened. These upgrades were done in-house by REME Base workshops (later called ABRO and then later again, Babcocks) so no work for BAE there. Only hyper-big upgrades went to BAE.

Terrible that Challenger, Warrior and AS90 etc never got significant upgrades.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

You are casting that line long and deep, Fishing for attention their Buttercup. Challenger Still Holds a 0 Loss in combat versus other MBT. Something the Leopard has been exposed badly and the Abrams isn’t clean either. maybe is was that Good it didnt need a upgrade every 5 years untill its nearly right

Spitfire
Spitfire
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Not sure of your ‘Buttercup’ comment. Yes the Challenger has proven itself in the past but the point Im making is that comparative MBTs have had not one but two upgrades.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Spitfire

Chally is obsolescent here and there, not obsolete – that is why it is getting a LEP.

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
M. Whitehead
M. Whitehead
1 month ago

Why bother with Warrior and Bulldog, they are being retired though Ajax is over due and not working.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Interesting fluff article in the Daily Mail regards the next Tory leader with Ben Wallace in the lead, if he does replace BJ, how do you all think this would impact the Uks defence spending?

Opera Snapshot_2022-07-04_144139_www.dailymail.co.uk.png
Last edited 1 month ago by farouk
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Somewhere between slim to none. I don’t think Boris is going to go. The tories always have this problem of wanting a new leader. Within a few months of getting a new leader the rumblings of discontent will start again

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Issue is we didnt vote for Ben Wallace at the last election. if the tory party wants a new leader. fine. but the public voted for the fella to do the job after Cameron and May screwed the pooch. Untill labour gets a grip very little option, i am happy to vote Liberals at local level, but they made a mess when they were in cahoots with Cameron. and not accepting the public vote on Brexit, is undemocratic and yet they are happy to use the same system. wait till these Local bye elections are done and the Liberals keep… Read more »

ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Re Liberals.
That is assuming you do not see what happened as a Fascist coup via dirty referendum which is a common Liberal perspective. Then it is your democratic duty to oppose it.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

You don’t vote for party leaders in a GE you vote for your local MP, they decide what party (if any) to be a member of and vote for its leader.
There is no democratic deficit in changing PM without an election, it’s very commonplace.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

https://defence-blog.com/us-army-orders-more-m109a7-paladin-howitzers/?amp. Not entirely related but could we not add some extra onto the end of the production lot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

I doubt it. Without a funding uplift there is little wiggle room in any of the armies vehicle projects. Just now it’s boxer and ajax(pending dec 22 decision). Then I think challenger 3 and AS90 are next. Then bulldog. As large as the budget is there still seems to never be enough.
I think the U.K. should just try to find enough money for some long barrel 155mm. Be it truck mounted, M777 towed. Main point is it has to be cheap and shipped to Estonia ASAP.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Uplift?!!! There was £23bn uncommitted procurement spend in the Army’s ten year equipment plan at the start of the year. How much freaking wiggle room do they need!

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

When you place that across the entire Army which will include everything from Pensions to Housing. that £23b will disappear. without as much as a pair of boots for the dogs.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The decision on AS90 is expected later this decade, around 2026 I think. It’s replacement is supposed to reach IOC in 2029. Plenty of time for different options to be considered. The recent 2.5% announcement gives no new money until 2026 so I doubt anything will be brought forward.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Lots of potential options in the future but not many if they are needed in haste. I really like the look of rheinmettal’s new long barrelled howitzer both on the hx3 and tracked chassis as a step up from vehicles like archer.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

The M109A7 are only half new build, they are taking the casemate and gun off the older M109’s and bolting it to a Bradley chassis. Besides a slight performance improvement its mainly to deal with obsolesce of the M109 carriage and its lack of parts commonality with any other US army vehicles. Theres also a seperate BAE development program to design a new gun firing rocket assisted shells that would replace the casemate on the M109A7 but I am dubious how widespread its introduction would be beyond a specialist resource, with the barrel going from 38 calibres to 58 calibres… Read more »

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Thank you, everyday is a school day.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

300 million? To support the handful of vehicles the army has left? Impressive profit for someone there!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

£60m per year, spread over 12 vehicle types. Not so much.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Come on lads its the 4th of July, plenty of US flags in my wee town, and heres a word (or two) from the US President

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

If you liked that you should try meme the left on youtube. But don’t watch while eating or drinking.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Ah, yes. July 4th, the date that separates out why the Canadians didn’t need to go to war over slavery and even the French can be accommodated without bloodshed, why they don’t starve themselves to afford healthcare, why their police don’t undertake 1,000 extra-judicial executions every year, why their children have rights afforded by a UN convention, why even Americans hold them up as models of politeness.

That’s what they got for listening to slave-owning twenty somethings instead of the Germanic rantings of a lunatic King. July 4th. Without it, America would be a warmer Canada. Happy Birthday, USA.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

👍

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
1 month ago

Just buy 400 new Leopards and be done with it.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

Ah yes the legacy tank the Germans are working on replacing! That would be a good move wouldn’t it?🙄

Den
Den
1 month ago

This a point of tank and armoured vehicle suppose to be tested in the first place and with this Israeli explodin armour deffence that the challenger 3 is getting I think 300million wasted again keep 225 challenger 2 tanks put the Israeli thing on them al and start spending the money on what we really need I’d spend that 300million on getting Trafalgar class going it won’t cost that much as they got plenty of life left in them and use same sonar and firepower as th astute which we only have 4 astute now and we need better air… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Den

Ageing vehicles need engineering support (PDS as described by James F), as do ageing aircraft and ships, in fact more so than equipment in the first flush of youth.

£300m over 5 years is £60m per year spent on 12 different vehicle types. I worked in DE&S – believe me that is not a fortune!

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  Den

The Trafalgar class submarines are at the end of there life and that it is it. The only one is service is 31 years old (Ironically older than Challenger 2) not sure were this idea comes from that you can just magically extended the life of a nuclear submarine

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Den

Challenger 2 have a rifled gun for which no one makes any rounds anymore.
The Israeli thing is not explosive armour but an anti-missile system as such it has anti missile radars and those need energy so the tank energy system needs to be revamped.
With a new gun you need a new fire control system and new modern sights.
I don’t think it is possible to be less expensive.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Other things like automated control of turret for better aspect to use the Israeli thing also matter.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

BAe still make the Charm 3 APFSDS rounds for it, plus the training rounds. It was the HESH and Smoke that was stopped being produced, until a firm in Belgium started up a production line.