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Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?

uk 75

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I am very much as sceptical as you about government spin on cyber. However, the relstionship between GCHQ and NSA is rather like the one we have on Polaris/Trident. Despite the best blather of politicos on both sides of the Atlantic there is serious depth to it.
 

SteveO

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Boxer Armoured Vehicle Details and Variants
Surprisingly the UK versions will get a 12.7mm machine gun in a remote controlled weapon system and not the Nerf gun I was expecting!
 

SteveO

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The huge issues in the intergrated review (F-35B, Challenger 2, Warrior and MIV purchase/upgrade)
Always worth a look. Whatifery of the future!
 

JohnR

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With regard to Boxer, it's a pity the MOD didn't have a more joined up thought and developed a tracked chassis that could also use the same modules as the wheeled one, to perform the roles of the Ajax family. Haven't a German company developed a tracked modular tracked chassis? Is it compatible with the Boxers modules?

A vehicle I am interested in is the German Wisent , it reminds me of the WWII command vehicles used by the British Army, and could be useful in ancillary roles.

Two vehicles that have either been withdrawn or are overdue for replacement don't seemed to have been addressed, one is the Striker ATGM vehicle, the second is the mortar carrier based on what must be clapped out FV432.

Also what is the status of the Warrior upgrade program, it seems to have been going on for a very long time?
 
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SteveO

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Think Defence and UK Armed Forces Commentary both have plenty of information on Warrior upgrade and many other programs. Definitely worth a visit.
 

JohnR

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I've been reading Think Defence since I made my earlier post ;) interesting. Really fascinating. Particularly interested in the section regarding the AEC proposals.

Regards.
 

SteveO

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Yes, the AEC proposals for a large family of vehicles for the British Army are very interesting. Lots of common sense solutions out there but not a lot of will to embrace them fully it seems.
 

JohnR

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It makes total sense which means the powers that be will never adopt it:eek:, mores the pity.
 

Flyaway

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Doesn’t sound like that name has gone down too well looking at the comments underneath?
 

JohnR

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.What is the radar performance of the Wedgetail compaired to the Sentry? When are they due to be in service?
 

Hood

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Yep looks like the RAF might have made a booboo with the name, enforced neutrality by invasion was justifiable at the time from British perspective (in fact Churchill as First Lord had planned to invade northern Norway to ensure their neutrality and cut off iron ore shipments from Sweden via Narvik, but the Germans got wind of it and pipped us to the post) history is a wonderful thing when you assume you are good guys incapable of doing wrongs and wearing those heavily tinted spectacles. Of course Iceland is a NATO member (probably had no choice of that either with USAF airbases on the island) and of course we'll forget the numerous Cod wars that saw them ramming our frigates and giving our Shackletons, Hastings and Nimrods long flying hours keeping an eye on them rather than Soviet subs....

Its encouraging that we will have at least one Wedgetail and that is hasn't been axed yet, either that or the MoD has brought a very expensive wooden crate...

To answer JohnR's question, I'm not sure that I have seen a solid date for first delivery, the MoD always said early 2020s, I would be surprised if the first was ready by 2022, the last of the five (if five are brought) was to be completed by 2026 so I estimate IoC would be around 2024.
If only three are brought, then I assume they would all the planned new-build airframes and the MoD would drop the conversion of two second-hand 737NG airframes.
 

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A surprise announcement of £16.5bn extra defence funding over the next four years, which has been put together literally in the last few days.
The Defence Review has not of course yet been revealed so we don't know what will be cut, but it will go some way to plug the £13bn gap in the equipment fund, although much of the plans do seem a little far-fetched and not directly connected with 'hard' defence, but in keeping the with usual hubris that flows out of Downing Street these days.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...-command-how-uk-defence-budget-could-be-spent

1) Creation of a National Cyber Force, delayed by GCHQ and MoD turf wars. I still don't quite see why this should naturally sit within the MoD. I think the Royal Cyber Corps would have been a cooler name though.

2) Creation of a Space Command based at High Wycombe, which seems to be a joint-service organisation with a satellite rocket launch capability from 2022. Some criticisms of who will staff it and who has relevant experience within the armed forces.

3) Creation of an artificial intelligence agency. No details at all on this yet as it was hastily thrown into the paper but there are rumours it will be led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It will probably replace the current Office for Artificial Intelligence, which was created in 2017 within the departments for business and culture.

Whether all this is pure hubris to try and match the USA, China and Russia is open to speculation, there are grounds for a stronger cyber force but there is ample scope for turf wars and dissipation of effort (surely cyber and AI should be united?). Much of this smacks of buzzwords rather than solid planning (this is very much a Johnson project and not MoD-led I suspect) and while the magic money tree keeps pumping its good, but whether we will be in the position to honour these promises in four years time is open to question.
 

Grey Havoc

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Given current events, I would have to say that I am pretty skeptical here.
 

norseman

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The cyber thing..... oh my god the torturous process and stepping on current capabilities and the "hybrid" nature of how it will be deployed. Don't get me started on this.
 

norseman

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and yes, buzzwords, lack of joined up thinking, trampling on current projects and fuzzy with the figures as it drags in some current projects already well in development.
 

Grey Havoc

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Hood

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All paywalled stuff so can't comment in depth, but its no surprise the reservists cop the axe, they did in 1957 too.
Sounds like the cuts are thin options, reduced training costs, not sending HMS PoW to the USA for working up, civil servant recruitment freeze etc.
Let's not kid ourselves this is the Defence Review, this is mere trimmings before the big feast.
 

Hood

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Nice announcement but it doesn't say how many Wedgetails. 3 or 5? Has a decision yet been made?

Can't help thinking when Scotland becomes independent the MoD is going to have some major basing problems on its hands.

Wonder if they'll call it Iolaire AEW1?

Chris

My money is on either Spitvulcane AEWR.Mk.IIIF or the Boeing Watson-Watt.
 

CJGibson

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That'll be why they're keeping Leeming open...

Chris

PS Have I just kicked off a conspiracy?
 

SleeperService2

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Sounds like Harrier all over again. Navy love frigates and destroyers, RAF like flash fighter jets. All else is vulnerable. Interesting to see how they define Europe in 'us having the most powerful navy in Europe' Surely the Russian Baltic bases count?
 

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The Sentinels have been on living on borrowed time for the last decade. At least they made it this far and at least the capabilities will be kept alive in other platforms, though not a like for like replacement.
The history ever since ASTOR was always long and rocky.
 

Grey Havoc

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Not too unexpected, given the near implosion of both the Ajax program and Boxer procurement last year. Not to mention how flogging off what was left of Britain's indigenous AFV development & production capability to Germany went. Sir Carter was a big supporter of that, as well as the not unrelated proposed scrapping of the remnants of the tank fleet and replacing it with a FCS redux without even token heavy armor. Fortunately, support for that idea has really plumented in the last few months, with even a fair bit of support now in Parliament for the development of an 140 mm armed 'Challenger 3' (though actually realising such a project is another matter all together, thanks in part to Sir Carter :rolleyes:). Another thing that didn't likely didn't help his position was his apparent support for taking the (increasingly overhyped in recent times) concept of Joint Operations and bringing it to what some consider the logical conclusion of carrying out a Canadian style scrapping of the Royal Navy and RAF. And let us not even talk about the mess that is the much vaunted 'Cyberwarfare' program...
 
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Pirate Pete

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It will be interesting to see who is appointed as the Chief of the Defence Staff.
It used to be a position that was held in rotation between the three services which helped to avoid the worst of the 'favouritism' towards a particular arm of the forces. This has on occasion in the past not been the case, but we shall see...
 

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If we are keeping MBTs, then the next question is are we to sustain UK capacity in tank technologies or allowing that to wither away?
Without a product to apply such things to, UK located industry is 'just another bidder' for subsystems supply, and 'national preferences' will make such bids fraught at best.

Could there be a case for a new armoured chassis and powerpack?
Certainly there is for new turrets. Whether that's for the existing Rheinmetal 120mm smoothbore, or for some new 130mm or 140mm gun.
 

Fluff

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If we are keeping MBTs, then the next question is are we to sustain UK capacity in tank technologies or allowing that to wither away?
Without a product to apply such things to, UK located industry is 'just another bidder' for subsystems supply, and 'national preferences' will make such bids fraught at best.

Could there be a case for a new armoured chassis and powerpack?
Certainly there is for new turrets. Whether that's for the existing Rheinmetal 120mm smoothbore, or for some new 130mm or 140mm gun.
Both Germany and USA, and probably Korea, would love a paying customer that wants the 130 or 140mm. Probably best if we take say a 10-20% stake, maybe we just make the gun or something, for all vehicles made. I'm not sure going it alone is the best option, we just dont need that many tanks, and is there anything wrong with Leo2 chassis?
 

zen

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If we are keeping MBTs, then the next question is are we to sustain UK capacity in tank technologies or allowing that to wither away?
Without a product to apply such things to, UK located industry is 'just another bidder' for subsystems supply, and 'national preferences' will make such bids fraught at best.

Could there be a case for a new armoured chassis and powerpack?
Certainly there is for new turrets. Whether that's for the existing Rheinmetal 120mm smoothbore, or for some new 130mm or 140mm gun.
Both Germany and USA, and probably Korea, would love a paying customer that wants the 130 or 140mm. Probably best if we take say a 10-20% stake, maybe we just make the gun or something, for all vehicles made. I'm not sure going it alone is the best option, we just dont need that many tanks, and is there anything wrong with Leo2 chassis?
So you're saying let it all wither away?
What exactly is so bad about the Challenger II?
 

Fluff

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I dont see our capacity in tank tech - where is it? Germany are churning out a Leo2 variant for every country that asks, more armour, slightly longer gun. They have a tank factory. We dont, we would put one together(expensive) for what will be a relatively small number of vehicles. The design/factory costs against such a small number will be punitive. Better to grow NATO compatibility, and face the inevitable facts, that we arent planning a huge tank v tank battle, any time soon.

Chally 2 is fine, but needs a new gun, probably a new turret, new sites, comms etc self defence. The time and cost to develop this, when its already mostly been developed for Leo and M1. I'm taking a pragmatic approach. And, as with F35 better to have 10% of a thousand tanks, than 100% of 100 tanks....

I grant that Boris may feel differently, and want the Vickers Churchill X to be all home grown.
 

zen

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So it would seem we have some production facilities in the UK, involving Rheinmetal in one and Lockheed Martin in another.

On the basis of 'small' numbers, arguably these sites should just be closed.
But I'm as yet unsure on the basis of Technology.

However I note relations with Poland, who definitely do have and will continue to need large fleets of armoured vehicles is something of a work in progress.
 

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I don't think its any coincidence that British tank development has heavily relied on export interest, in particular from the Middle East since the late 1960s. That often provided the ready cash for the development programmes, Iran's large orders were probably quite a boost to keeping the production facilities alive between Chieftan and Challenger.
There is no longer that kind of export success likely, so any economic production will be difficult. I don't see us going alone with the chassis, drivetrain, armour, armament and electronics or starting from scratch. So a developed current model seems most likely.
But then we don't know what the defence review will say and even if the CDS changes in the next six months, its probably too late to reverse what has already been planned.
 

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On a purely financial level if say we accept commitments to Polish security, it is cheaper to buy them more tanks and pay for crewing them, than for us to buy tanks and crew them ourselves.
 

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Anyway as I've said elsewhere, the development of a longer ranged rocket Brimstone system is rather complimentary to SPEAR III.
One being fast, the other more persistent.
Ideally like Jumper and using CAMM techniques like soft launch.

I see in the weapons for Tempest options, we can see smaller and larger ASRAAM options.
 

Siberia

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Navy love frigates and destroyers...
I would suggest their one true love is aircraft carriers if their sacrificing whatever necessary to gain them is anything to go by.


On a purely financial level if say we accept commitments to Polish security, it is cheaper to buy them more tanks and pay for crewing them, than for us to buy tanks and crew them ourselves.
Sounds like a possible NATO project. They already have a fleet of fourteen – down from eighteen – E-3 Sentry aircraft so why not tanks?
 

JohnR

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I've been reading about us; the UK, joining the Eurotank consortium as observers to ultimately replace Challenger 2. One video; on Youtube, mentioned that we were also observing other similar projects, which projects could these be - the only ones I can think of are the future developmen of the K2 Black Panther and the development of a Merkava replacement I've seen somewhere, but I can't remember where (I really need to make notes).

With regard to the Eurotank project I hope that the Germans take charge of the budget, last thing anyone needs if a $27 million tank. What the hell did the French do with the Leclerc, were French tanker jealous of the British BV and insisted on a Gourmet Galley and a wine cellar?? Or did they gold plate the instruments??
 

zen

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I've been reading about us; the UK, joining the Eurotank consortium as observers to ultimately replace Challenger 2. One video; on Youtube, mentioned that we were also observing other similar projects, which projects could these be - the only ones I can think of are the future developmen of the K2 Black Panther and the development of a Merkava replacement I've seen somewhere, but I can't remember where (I really need to make notes).

With regard to the Eurotank project I hope that the Germans take charge of the budget, last thing anyone needs if a $27 million tank. What the hell did the French do with the Leclerc, were French tanker jealous of the British BV and insisted on a Gourmet Galley and a wine cellar?? Or did they gold plate the instruments??
Perhaps the Turkish effort based on the K2?

Here's a question, why in these discussions when talking turns to a foreign design of tank, the tendency is to only talk of the Franco-German option?
 
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