Nimrod MRA4 v Birdman of Bognor

"My biggest duty as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is to our Armed Forces and to make sure that they have all the equipment and all of the protection that they need to do the absolutely vital job that they are doing"  David Cameron

I've been following the debate on the Nimrod MRA 4, and other "colossal procurement clusterfvcks of our time," over with the well informed team and readers at Think Defence. It's worth a visit.

My own laser like treatment of the governments PR challenge in explaining away how £4bn of aircraft R&D, and the subsequent gaping hole in capability, ends up being gently dismantled by a JCB digger managed to nail the issue pretty well I thought. I reproduce it here with some degree of pride in my two and a half minutes well planned prose........ which would be about the same time the government spent discussing the abandonment of the program.

 Tommy Gunn, Chief Designer, Nimrod MRA4, BAE SystemsAs far as I can recall, this entire sorry project, in all it’s mutations, has been a weapons grade fxck up for what feels like most of my adult life. The aircraft being wrecked look like something a hyperactive three year old would have made with 2 egg cartons, a fairy liquid bottle and glue made from flour and water. That anyone is shocked or surprised that the project is finally getting a headshot is in fact, the only surprise. It’s been so compromised over the years it’s a miracle that we didn’t end up with the sort of contraptions made famous by the Birdmen of Bognor.

Birdmen of Bognor

Not to worry though, I’m pretty confident that BAE Systems will conjure up another wheeze to rape and pillage the taxpayer for the next 30 years, to be announced by another stupid politician with the phrase, “thousands of jobs in high technology,” whilst the urgent search begins to find a new batch of remedial teenagers on YOP schemes to manage it until their eventual retirement from the MOD.

Jerry Thrapper; Head of Procurement; MOD - Air Systems