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, …

  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)

  2. 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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Three weeks...

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

  4. goldcd

    GBH surely

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

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. MrJP

    Re: Three weeks...

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

  8. BongoJoe Silver badge

    Re: Three weeks...

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. Chris Parsons

    Re: Three weeks...

    Bravely posting anonymously.

  23. 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.”

  24. 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.

  25. 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)

  26. RJG

    Re: FFS

    I'll just remind you that those in the top half of the UK voted strongly to stay in the EU.

    And one of the main arguments in the Scottish referendum for staying part of the UK was that if Scotland didn't stay it would be out of the EU.

    Guess how how well those arguments will work next referendum?

  27. seven of five

    Re: FFS

    U KOK it was, if I am not mistaken.

    Feel free to implement the ROI/NI border agreement as soon as you like along the river tweed and welcome back. (And pass me another can of IRN BRU, thank you very much.)

  28. technoise

    Re: FFS

    This non-EU nation is in the project.

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

  29. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Re: FFS

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

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: FFS

    Of course the Scots wanted to stay in. They profited the most from the EU's generous farmer-sponsoring. In fact AFAIK the agricultural industry is the heaviest EU sponsored industry. Granted food is important but this fixation to the farming industry lead to a common disconnection with all the other industries and people. With brexit as a consequence.

    I'm not surprised that Brits voted against the EU. I AM surprised that nobody else had the guts to do the same. Nonetheless I'm (still) convinced that in the long run Brexit is not a Bad Thing(tm).

    We'll just have to take the bull by the horns, re-build our Industry again and become the technological force again that we once were. We need innovative ideas from innovative people like there used to be C. Sinclair, A. Sugar etc... Besides we don't need to be IN the political EU to make business treaties. In fact without all that red tape companies can deal with other companies directly. It used to work in the eighties (or other times before the EU) why can't it work now?

  31. 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

    ....."

  32. 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.

  33. This post has been deleted by its author

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. Roo
    Windows

    Re: FFS

    "Guess how how well those arguments will work next referendum?"

    Brexit was never about planning ahead...

  38. 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.

  39. 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)

  40. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: FFS

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

    Who's this "you" you had in mind? Wasn't me and I rather think it wasn't most UK voters on here.

  41. steviebuk Silver badge

    Re: FFS

    One massive flaw with that argument, and I haven't down voted as your opinion is as valid as everyone else's, is that the government is allowing our tech to be sold off. We had ARM, but the Chinese bought that out and the UK government agreed it. The Chinese just took advantage of the weak pound at the time so they could get it cheaper. And that is the issue. They've been forced into an agreement that they have to keep the UK branch, but I don't expect that to last. Once that has run its course they'll probably shutdown the UK branch making everyone redundant.

    Also tariffs may be another that reason the tech industry and others will never pick up again in the UK.

    I don't know if it's the same as in the 80s but Alan Sugar said at the time (video interview of it is on YouTube) he made all his Amstrads abroad as there were tariffs in the UK. From rough memory I think there was a tariff he'd get hit with if the items were built and manufactured in the UK. He said because of this it worked out cheaper to get them made in abroad and then imported in.

  42. 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.

  43. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    FAIL

    Re: FFS

    We'll just have to take the bull by the horns, re-build our Industry again and become the technological force again that we once were.

    Still got your war pamphlets, I see.

    Dig for Britain

    <Britan can take it</i>

    They profited the most from the EU's generous farmer-sponsoring.

    Per person it's probably the welsh farmers who benefit most. Scotland makes most from the Barnet formuala for redistribution within the UK.

    Of course, those who make the most are the large agribusinesses and I don't see much changing there. Well, perhaps they'll push to replace Bulgarian and Baltic farm labourers with others they can pay even less.

    It used to work in the eighties (or other times before the EU)Did it bollocks, it was until the Single European Act that all trade barriers in the EU fell.

  44. 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.

  45. 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?

  46. 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...

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. HolySchmoley

    Re: FFS

    "We'll just have to take the bull by the horns, re-build our Industry again and become the technological force again that we once were. We need innovative ideas from innovative people like there used to be..."

    That speech would've made a good Monty Python sketch, with the orator sinking into the sea as the sun sets on the British Empire...

  50. 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.

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