back to article Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt

There were heated exchanges at Parliament's Defence and European Scrutiny Committee this week as members attempted to get the Minister for Defence Procurement, Stuart Andrew, to put a figure on the cost of the Galileo project. Andrew did not have the number to hand, which prompted Mark Francois MP to splutter: "Oh come on, …

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  1. John Robson Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Three weeks...

    When we're out it'll only take three weeks to recoup that though...

    Boris said so...

    (I would put the joke icon, but I don't actually think it's funny)

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Three weeks...

      After I stab the brexiteers in their collective necks, you're all invited to my knighting ceremony at Buck House.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three weeks...

        I'd rather laugh at you when you are in the dock for murder f**kwit.

        1. goldcd

          GBH surely

          I want them to stick around to share Sunday lunch rat with me.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: GBH surely

            "I want them to stick around to share Sunday lunch rat with me."

            No chance. They have their well insulated bolt holes all set up. You didn't think they were doing this for the benefit of ordinary folk - did you?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: GBH surely

            You have rat? You lads don't know you're born. Outside London we eat human flesh and like it.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "I'd rather laugh at you when you are in the dock for murder f**kwit."

          A Brexiteer without the balls to sign their own name.

          My prediction

          By the time the transition period ends the number of people who admit they voted to Leave will be as high as the number who admitted they voted for Oswald Mosely on VE night 1945.

          Not fu**king many.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: "I'd rather laugh at you when you are in the dock for murder f**kwit."

            Who said anything about murder? Stab in the neck means stab in the neck...

            1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: "I'd rather laugh at you when you are in the dock for murder f**kwit."

              I the same way that Brexit mens Brexit - well played

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Three weeks...

        You and the new EU Federal State Army? (Which they're actually building and if we remain will completely replace ALL internal armed forced - thats bye bye RAF, Royal Navy etc).

        And thats not hyperbole. the EU has announced this was its plan all along, despite lying their faces off saying they didn't want a "federal states of Europe" just before the referendum.

        1. MrJP

          Re: Three weeks...

          Citation on the EU "army" set to replace domestic forces, s'il vous plait?

        2. BongoJoe

          Re: Three weeks...

          But, but... They may have some aircraft that they can put onto our aircraft carriers!

        3. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Three weeks...

          @AC

          Sounds alright to me. I’d be quite happy with a federal Europe, and one European military. It’d save money overall - and give us a bigger stick to wave around too. No wonder the Putinists and Trumpists foment dissent over Europe - it’s just a pity that so many people believe their codswallop.

          But… but…, I hear you whine, that’d be undemocratic (it wouldn’t - we vote for our European government - undemocratic is leaving Europe on a flimsy to nonexistent mandate), Brussels doesn’t care about us. Brussels doesn’t understand us. And no more it does - at least, no more than London understands Manchester. Sod it - London doesn’t even understand Oxford. So we’d be no worse off.

          So how about this? Federal Europe for the big things - Defence, Trade, Human Rights, Galileo and so forth, and increased local government for the regions. That’s the way it was going before the simpleton / traitor Brexiteers screwed it all up. So thanks, ’tards.

          And breath /rant.

        4. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Three weeks...

          Oh noes. We can't rely on the US to bail us out given who's currently in charge but we can't do something like NATO does already but on a European scale as that would be The EU-Pan Galactic Empire Superstate Army Taking Away Our Sovrinty.

        5. strum Silver badge

          Re: Three weeks...

          >And thats not hyperbole.

          No - it's just a plain lie.

          There was never any prospect of an 'EU Army', while the UK was a member. Now we're leaving - that could change.

          1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: Three weeks...

            Bearing in mind that every single action, with the possible exception of the Falklands War, in which Britain has fought since WW2 has been a clusterfuck, why would an EU army be a bad idea?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Three weeks...

            "There was never any prospect of an 'EU Army', while the UK was a member. Now we're leaving - that could change."

            Proof that if you look at a bad situation long enough, you will find a silver lining.

          3. No Salah

            Re: Three weeks...

            You haven’t heard of an EU Army? Just a big lie is it?

            Jeez don’t you guys have computers?

            If you did you could look up the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) on the internet.

            Here’s a sample of the information available there to members of the public who want to inform themselves...

            “The Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) is the part of the European Union's (EU) security and defence policy (CSDP) in which 25 of the 28 national armed forces pursue structural integration. Based on Article 42.6 and Protocol 10 of the Treaty on European Union, introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, PESCO was first initiated in 2017.[1] The initial integration within the PESCO format is a number of projects planned to launch in 2018.”

        6. HolySchmoley

          Re: Three weeks...

          >the EU has announced this was its plan all along, despite lying their faces off

          That'll be the EU that the UK has been a core and influential member of for 45 years?

        7. Chris Parsons

          Re: Three weeks...

          Bravely posting anonymously.

    2. adam 40

      Re: Three weeks...

      A huge increase in National Health Service spending over the next five years is expected to be announced by Theresa May in a speech on Monday. The numbers are larger than expected and, significantly, allow the prime minister to say that she will deliver the resonant figure on the side of the Brexit bus, an increase of more than £350m a week. Indeed, by 2023 public spending would be £385m a week more in real terms than today.

      Boris was a lying git then, it wasn't £350m after all....

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Three weeks...

        But how will it be funded? If it's not from Brexit savings then the bus was still absolute bullshit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Three weeks...

          It will be funded by hyperinflation, £385M a week buying a loaf of bread or a course of antibiotics, patients choice.

  2. NoneSuch

    FFS

    This is the reality of a post-Brexit Britain.

    You voted for this (or didn't vote at all) and now it's time to pay the piper.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FFS

      > "You voted for this (or didn't vote at all) and now it's time to pay the piper."

      Not to mention that IIRC the UK was involved in drawing up the rules that excluded non-EU members from Galileo.

      "'I never thought leopards would eat MY face,' sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party." (Credit: Adrian Bott)

      1. technoise

        Re: FFS

        This non-EU nation is in the project.

        https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-becomes-major-partner-in-eu-satellite-program/

        1. Trollslayer Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: FFS

          Israel can join the Galileo program because they pay with money from the US.

          1. JohnG Silver badge

            Re: FFS

            "Israel can join the Galileo program because they pay with money from the US."

            The irony being that Galileo's raison d'etre is essentially: We (the EU) cannot trust the USA and their GPS.

        2. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: FFS

          "This non-EU nation is in the project."

          You find it all on the wikipedia like, and of course information on how much different countries pay.

          "In July 2004, Israel signed an agreement with the EU to become a partner in the Galileo project.[61]

          On 3 June 2005 the EU and Ukraine signed an agreement for Ukraine to join the project, as noted in a press release.[62]

          As of November 2005, Morocco also joined the programme

          ....."

        3. RJG

          Re: FFS

          Correct. They are an associate member, exactly the same as the UK now is.

          They are not a core member with access to all the secure encrypted protocols.

          that is the UK's complant.

          please try and keep up.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Justthefacts

            Re: FFS

            Please explain what benefits access to the encryption give.....

            It only benefits military receivers with access to the encryption sequence. It isn’t relevant to ordinary citizens or commercially.

            So, *what wars would you like to fight* where that is a relevant consideration? Do you wish to exit NATO?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: FFS

            >They are not a core member with access to all the secure encrypted protocols.

            I wonder (not really) what would have happened if we'd asked Lockheed Martin to move Trident from GPS to Galileo so we could have a genuinely independent nuclear capability.

            1. Robert Sneddon

              Trident

              The Trident missiles don't use GPS since they spend their time underwater a lot and GPS signals don't penetrate seawater very well. In flight after launch they use an internal inertial guidance system and in space at the top of their ballistic trajectory they use a star tracker system for final course changes before their descent to glory.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Trident

                >The Trident missiles don't use GPS since they spend their time underwater a lot and GPS signals don't penetrate seawater very well.

                Very sassy. The official line is 'Trident does not require GPS' or 'GPS is assumed to be non-operational' - nonetheless almost all test flights used it and failures of the inertial guidance system are a matter of public record - eg the Trident Missile Testing Defence Parliamentary Committee session from 2015 which was published last year.

                1. Robert Sneddon

                  Re: Trident

                  The test flights of Trident used GPS to monitor the missile's operation, not to control it in flight. It's kind of obvious, really, it wouldn't be a test of the inertial guidance system, a key component of the missile if they relied on GPS just for the test flights and just hoped the INU worked if, God forbid, it was ever used in anger.

                  There have been over 150 test flights of Trident D5 missiles over the years, nearly all have flown successfully. A few have failed, not a surprise there.

                  There's a lot of other military kit in use by British forces that does use GPS and we have access to the encrypted high-accuracy GPS data for that purpose as part of NATO. We can, of course, be locked out of that access if the US so chooses. They have changed their minds on this before and they control the system with no-one else allowed input. Galileo is a civilian global positioning system with military applications as a secondary benefit so access to the encrypted high-accuracy data it provides can be purchased for use for things like autolanding airliners and harbour manoeuvering of ferries etc.

                  What we're losing by leaving the EU is a place at the table deciding how Galileo is developed in the future and contracts to build the secure parts for it and we're no longer on the preferred supplier list for things like satellite components and integration since it's an EU project and EU-based companies will have first dibs rather than, say, SSTL.

                  1. Justthefacts

                    Re: Trident

                    You do know that none of what you say is actually true, right?

                    Harbour manoeuvring ferries.....you can’t use GPS-type nav for that, for multiple reasons. The issue isn’t the precision of the nav-code, (which makes zero difference for this type of application), nor even Dilution of Precision. River and harbour pilots are necessary because underwater sand-banks move. And radio reflections off the water cause positions in port to be off by 200meters quite often. End of. Shame neither you nor the EU actually *asked any Port Authorities* before claiming it.

                    Auto landing airliners is done via airport radio beacons. It’s a solved problem, and nobody is interested in GPS type nav for it.

                    “Deciding on the future direction” is pure control-freakery EU jargon. Why would you want to? It’s free, and a useful add-on to GPS. That’s all.

                    Missing out on contracts: Yes. Just exactly like we did when part of the EU. Both the SSTL and Astrium offers were cheaper, technically better, and would have come in on time, compared to the German OHB proposal, which was slideware. But, we lost the bid anyway. SSTL built two satellites in one quarter the time of OHB, to keep the orbital slots rescuing the whole project, and proved they were better, but still didn’t win the work. UK had to pay for SSTL tech demonstrators out of a separate budget, that wasn’t EU money. The EU financed only the (non-UK) launchers. Please give facts and which specific components you think are or might have been UK return on Galileo, had we stayed in?

                    1. Orv Silver badge

                      Re: Trident

                      Auto landing airliners is done via airport radio beacons. It’s a solved problem, and nobody is interested in GPS type nav for it.

                      There's actually quite a lot of interest, at least in the US. Maintaining all those radio beacons is expensive and they're seeing increased failure rates as the equipment ages. ILS will probably be the last to go, but we're already seeing experiments with using GPS instead of VOR beacons, allowing more direct flight paths.

                  2. Red Bren
                    Mushroom

                    Re: Trident

                    "There have been over 150 test flights of Trident D5 missiles over the years, nearly all have flown successfully. A few have failed, not a surprise there."

                    When you're incinerated in a nuclear apocalypse, it doesn't really matter if it the enemy's or your own side's nukes that are doing the incinerating...

                  3. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Trident

                    >The test flights of Trident used GPS to monitor the missile's operation, not to control it in flight. It's kind of obvious, really.

                    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-38716446

                2. david 12 Bronze badge

                  Re: Trident

                  Test flights of the Trident missiles used GPS payloads to calibrate and test the inertial guidance system.

                  The Trident missile system has multiple-independently-targeted warheads: I don't know how they work. Nothing I've seen suggests that they use GPS (there are problems with reception, lock-in, and speed), but I don't have any specific information.

                  One of the first possible suggested uses for a proposed satellite navigation system was to provide location information for launch sites, to be used with alternate-launch-site missiles. I don't think GPS is used by submarines to get accurate launch location information (in any normal scenario, they would be underwater for long periods before launch), but again, I don't have any specific information.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Trident

                    >I don't think GPS is used by submarines to get accurate launch location information

                    Don't know why you think that - it's among the primary purposes for which it was created.

                    >Test flights of the Trident missiles used GPS payloads to calibrate and test the inertial guidance system.

                    Nope, GPS updates are received throughout flight - in fact Boeing have made much of the improved GPS unit they'll be adding under the contract they won last month to update and maintain the navigation subsystem. Reliance on GPS is of course a non-issue in the US......just a little problematic for UK claims of operational independence.

                    1. Chz

                      Re: Trident

                      It's *one* reason, not a primary one. The Americans are fully aware that a nuclear deterrent that requires GPS is worthless. US doctrine assumes GPS in peacetime, but not in a hot war. To use Trident as an example, an SSBN will occasionally get a GPS fix to verify its own location. But it doesn't have to, and does so rarely. In wartime, it may *attempt* a GPS fix - because who doesn't like to triple-verify things like that - but a launch can take place without it. To-the-metre location is not required for a successful D5 launch. You get a decent rough estimate of launch location and the stellar navigation can handle the rest. I mean - seriously - they were launching nukes from submarines for *decades* before GPS was around. It helps with accuracy, but given that they quote D5's CEP at under 100m, it can be out an order of magnitude and make little difference to the end effect. (Unless it's a first strike at hardened targets - but then GPS would be available)

                      To sum - GPS is optional and nice to have, but not at all required for the nuclear deterrent. There are plenty of *conventional* weapons that are near-useless without it though.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Trident

                        >they were launching nukes from submarines for *decades* before GPS was around.

                        Yep, previously they used NAVSAT. GPS was first introduced into the Trident's IGS on the D5, though launch platforms had already shifted by then. In the updated navigation sub-system finalised last month, the IGS is being spun off to Draper and will no longer include integral GPS as this is provided by a new discrete Boeing unit. But you know all this, cos you're like an expert and not just reading wikipedia or something.

              2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
                Meh

                Re: Trident

                The Trident missiles don't use GPS since they spend their time underwater a lot and GPS signals don't penetrate seawater very well. In flight after launch they use an internal inertial guidance system and in space at the top of their ballistic trajectory they use a star tracker system for final course changes before their descent to glory.

                GPS was developed from a predecessor called TRANSIT which was developed during the Cold War specifically to provide US ballistic missile submarines with an accurate position prior to launching their missiles.1 GPS provides this functionality too, as well being extended to other branches of the military, and more recently to us proles too.

                Inertial guidance doesn't do diddly squat unless you know exactly where you started from. Whilst Trident missiles might not use GPS, the Trident launch platforms certainly do.

                1See for example page 3 of https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf99712826/pdf99712826dpi72pt01.pdf

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Trident

                  GPS technology was developed from a predecessor proposed during the cold war to provide Land-Based US ballistic missile launch sites with accurate position, because the process after moving the missiles around was so difficult (ie all day) by conventional means.. The idea was to move the missiles around by train.

                  Nuclear launch submarines stay underwater, and don't use GPS for positioning. GPS was developed (out of earlier ideas) to provide civilian navigation information, after the loss of an American airliner over Soviet Territory. Normally the US military is a bit pissed off at having such a huge chunk of "their" budget directed to political/civilian "research" projects, but it always been the case that the military is able to use civilian navigation aids. That approach was justified the first time the US military really wanted to use GPS, when they had to turn off jitter and supply civilian GPS receivers to the troops.

              3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                Re: Trident

                The Trident missiles don't use GPS

                ..since it probably won't be available in the case of a hot war - all those EMP bursts will fry the majority of satellies pretty quickly..

                1. Robert Sneddon

                  GPS and EMP

                  Nuclear EMP is unlikely to damage the GPS satellite constellation, or Beidou or GLONASS or Galileo either. The satellites in question orbit at an altitude of 20,000 km or so, far enough out so that any terrestrial or even stratospheric nuke bursts could damage them. They're already radiation-hardened given their operational environment which is another reason they're quite durable in the face of such energy-directed effects.

                  They fly in widely-separated orbits to provide maximum coverage on Earth with close to the minimum number of satellites and that means attempts to attack a complete satellite constellation directly is tricky since they'd need to be hunted down one by one, just about. I've seen unattributed statements that in a real hot war GPS could be knocked out quite quickly by the Other Side but there were no details on how this might be done.

                  1. Orv Silver badge

                    Re: GPS and EMP

                    Over smaller areas it's pretty easy to jam on the surface, but that's nothing like knocking out the whole system. Anti-satellite weapons are possible but not as easy as science fiction makes them out to be, and they can't be pre-deployed stealthily.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FFS

        You almost hit the nail on the head. The overarching problem with the UK is that there have simply been one too many "No clubbing baby seal" parties, whose manifestos (in the small,small print) have actually advocated increased "baby seal club production" and reduced taxes on "baby seal meat and fur hats". Over half the country has lost ALL trust in the establishment to the point where we simply assume they are lieing... about absolutely everything and anything. This manifests a sort of relected reverse psychology wherein whatever they say is good for us, must be bad; whatever they say is true is clearly false. It's what caused brexit - child psychology 101. But you can't blame them - they do have a valid point (on the mistruths, not necessarily on brexit)

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