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Uk Boxer Purchase Imminent.


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I find it hard to comprehend the utter incompetence of UK procurement policy. Nothing against Boxer, it's pretty good as far as wheeled death traps go, we were going to purchase the beast before. Just the years of wasted time, the conflicting decisions and general MoD paralysis.

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According to Monty over at Think Defence, the UK MoD have responded that no decision on what to purchase has yet been made. Presumably they need a little more time.....

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Any deal with the Eurozone is suicidal right now, and will remain so until Brexit clears up, what happens if the pound slumps and it's a fixed price contract in Euro?

 

We could have bought these any time up to Brexit and had a good deal. We didnt, I guess simply because the previous incumbent thought austerity was far more important than any other consideration.

 

Quite why we are falling over ourselves to buy some now is worthy of consideration. There seems to be a number of Army projects that got a green light lately. Something seems to have lit a fire under them.

 

 

I find it hard to comprehend the utter incompetence of UK procurement policy. Nothing against Boxer, it's pretty good as far as wheeled death traps go, we were going to purchase the beast before. Just the years of wasted time, the conflicting decisions and general MoD paralysis.

Sadly, it seems its always been like that, even back in WW1. If you havent read the following its worth giving it a through. Stern comes across as a bit of a Captain Mainwairing, but considering the bureaucracy was lined up against him like reams of barbed wire, they probably needed someone a bit like a tank to get through it. One historian looking into the period actually contends Stern was somewhat understating his own importance if anything.

https://archive.org/details/tankslogbookofpi00ster

 

The best procurement examples we have ever had I would argue have been items we have designed and built ourselves which the War Office or MOD have just picked up and run with. It always seems to go wrong when the MOD gets involved in defining the project, or trying to manage it in some fashion.

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Can someone clear something up, why do we need Boxer to replace Scimitar? I thought that was pretty much the role of Ajax?

From what little I know about the whole FRES thing, some of the old CVR(T) duties would be taken over by the Utility Variant (FRES UV) and some by the the Specialist Variant (FRES SV). It's looking like the SV is the Ajax and the UV will be the Boxer. I guess they want a wheeled scout vehicle of some sort as well as the Ajax? What replaced the Fox CVR(W) when it was pulled from service?

Edited by Walter_Sobchak
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The only time I have ever heard any senior UK officer bad-mouth the US military, was when TRACER (pre-FRES) was cancelled. The usual UK attitude was respect tinged with envy. I had a very, very, senior bod screaming at me as a writer and researcher "We have been fucking shafted, fucking shafted". I was shocked and do not know the ins and outs, but UK military were not well pleased.

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I remember thinking WTF? when we dropped out of Boxer development. Then again, when we held trials of Boxer, VBCI & Piranha V. I wasn't surprised that we selected Piranha V, though, because it ticked all the boxes: not French, not the one we'd dropped out of previously (i.e. Boxer) because selecting that would be an admission that had been a mistake, & a special British-specific model & thus guaranteed to be the most expensive, as tradition demands. But of course, that was all just another exercise in spending money on AFVs without buying any, as has become traditional, & the project was allowed to wither away.

 

So now it could be back to where we were many years ago, having spent £300 mn not buying heavy wheeled AFVs, according to some estimates (& over £1 billion not buying AFVs of all types).

 

When will I be allowed to decimate the entire UK military procurement bureaucratic & political structure? I think they need some encouragement to do what they're paid for. Start with the politicians, of course, & include Treasury ministers.

Edited by swerve
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"Oh, why does Britain need more tanks when they have education that needs more money?!?!?"

 

(Chris will understand, I'm not being serious here...)

 

And more hospitals.....

 

There are no prizes for guessing who he'd vote for if he was on your side of the pond. :)

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Can someone clear something up, why do we need Boxer to replace Scimitar? I thought that was pretty much the role of Ajax?

From what little I know about the whole FRES thing, some of the old CVR(T) duties would be taken over by the Utility Variant (FRES UV) and some by the the Specialist Variant (FRES SV). It's looking like the SV is the Ajax and the UV will be the Boxer. I guess they want a wheeled scout vehicle of some sort as well as the Ajax? What replaced the Fox CVR(W) when it was pulled from service?

 

Yes, I think you hit the nail on the head. We used to have 2 AFVs for the recce role, because we used to prefer one for section recce, and the other for long range recce (though the blues and royals just to mess everyone up, used both). When Scorpion was withdrawn, Scimitar fulfilled both roles. What has now happened is that the recce regiments have been disbanded, but the utility of them has been merged with Tank Regiments, which look bizarrely now look a little like Early WW2 German Heavy Tank regiments with a mix of heavy and light Afvs. I know Ajax is to fulfils the role with the MBT's in these regiments displacing Scimitar, and I had assumed it would also be taking over Battalion recce in the Armoured Infantry regiments. Looks like they intended to replace that with Boxer.

 

The numbers are a bit of a surprise. Even assuming they want to replace ALL FV432's (high time) the numbers still look rather high to just replace the Mastiff regiments as projected. I mean we only have about 420 warriors to fill out about 6 Warrior regiments. And we are buying 800 Boxers? Even allowing for command and support vehicles, and keeping a battalion of vehicles stood up in Estonia and Poland, that seems a wee bit high. Im all in favour of it, but surprised all the same.

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I remember thinking WTF? when we dropped out of Boxer development. Then again, when we held trials of Boxer, VBCI & Piranha V. I wasn't surprised that we selected Piranha V, though, because it ticked all the boxes: not French, not the one we'd dropped out of previously (i.e. Boxer) because selecting that would be an admission that had been a mistake, & a special British-specific model & thus guaranteed to be the most expensive, as tradition demands. But of course, that was all just another exercise in spending money on AFVs without buying any, as has become traditional, & the project was allowed to wither away.

 

So now it could be back to where we were many years ago, having spent £300 mn not buying heavy wheeled AFVs, according to some estimates (& over £1 billion not buying AFVs of all types).

 

When will I be allowed to decimate the entire UK military procurement bureaucratic & political structure? I think they need some encouragement to do what they're paid for. Start with the politicians, of course, & include Treasury ministers.

Pretty much what we did in the 20's. It it hadnt been for Vickers we would have gone into the late 1930s with WW1 tanks.

 

I read something the other day attributed to Holford Mackinder which sums up pretty much what I feel at the moment. He most have wrote this in 1904, but it still seems somewhat pertinent.

 

'The Successful powers will be those whom have the greatest industrial base. It will not matter whether they are in the centre of a continent or on an island; those people who have the industrial power and the power of invention and science will be able to defeat all others'.

 

Im not going to repeat all I said on the challenger thread which im sure ive wearied everyone else of. But in light of how the Americans are now desperately scrabbling around for doctrinal and technical dominance over a rising China, and a lesser extent Russia, it rather begs the question what the hell we are doing. We have offloaded industrial capability because we assumed it was SO 19th Century, and its starting to look as if its going to be the cornerstone of Political and economic dominance in this one too.

 

As I say, food for though. I put it no more highly than that.

 

 

My own view? Form MOD as a company, and make the Military top brass, Treasury, Foreign Office and whatever analogue they have of the DTI these days form the board. Its not as unwieldy as it sounds, we did pretty much the same thing with the board of Network Rail where all the rail franchises (the people whom most need the service) had chairs on the board. It was expensive, but it worked well. The central problem of MOD is that its replicating a form of Government that has not really worked correctly since members of Government stopped talking over strategic problems over a few brandy's in their local club. Does Foreign Office REALLY dovetail with MOD on a regular basis? Does Treasury and the Foreign Office? Probably not. And yet all their interests are intertwined with Military capability I would argue.

 

Or maybe we should sell MOD to Group 4. it couldnt be much worse. :)

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The only time I have ever heard any senior UK officer bad-mouth the US military, was when TRACER (pre-FRES) was cancelled. The usual UK attitude was respect tinged with envy. I had a very, very, senior bod screaming at me as a writer and researcher "We have been fucking shafted, fucking shafted". I was shocked and do not know the ins and outs, but UK military were not well pleased.

That is pretty extraordinary.

 

I got the the impression we had closely aligned our requirements with the Americans over the WOT, to the point when we required just like the Americans the ability to carry an IFV or an APC in the back of a Hercules. Maybe they figured that whatever replaced Stryker on the same specifications we could slipstream and procure on the cheap.

 

Skybolt 2? :)

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The only time I have ever heard any senior UK officer bad-mouth the US military, was when TRACER (pre-FRES) was cancelled. The usual UK attitude was respect tinged with envy. I had a very, very, senior bod screaming at me as a writer and researcher "We have been fucking shafted, fucking shafted". I was shocked and do not know the ins and outs, but UK military were not well pleased.

 

In some ways TRACER (either version) would have been a more advanced and appropriately designed vehicle than Ajax / FRES SV, even though it preceded it by almost two decades.

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/06/story-fres-2000-2003/

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oh the irony to come back and wanting Boxer. ^_^

 


 

Even Stormer 30mm would have been a step up on what we have been using for the last 2 decades. And it would have kept UK AFV manufacturing alive.

Makes too much sense. Edited by Panzermann
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oh the irony to come back and wanting Boxer. ^_^

 


 

Even Stormer 30mm would have been a step up on what we have been using for the last 2 decades. And it would have kept UK AFV manufacturing alive.

Makes too much sense.

 

 

Irony is something we do well :)

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