back to article BAE bulging with cash and wardroids, worried about future

Global war-ware behemoth BAE Systems announced bumper results this week, and puffed its new robot stealth bomber and other battledroid offerings. But chief executive Mike Turner, speaking against a background of serious financial difficulties at the UK Ministry of Defence, joined other weapons-biz kingpins in dropping heavy …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    UK Government is Kliing Defence

    The UK government seems intent on a course of destroying our armed services in 40 years of defence having served in the FAA in the Falklands & Gulf War 1.

    The current funding is seriously inadequate to take forward technology and equipment programmes which will save the lifes of our service personnel, in both current and in future operational theatres.

    The current funding levels put at risk the future of the armed services and the ability to react to a crisis effectively. In NATO definitions of an armed service the level of our armed services, if they reduce much further will revert from the RAF to an Air Wing, the army to an armed combat unit and the navy to a maritime unit.

    Do the citzens of this country want us to become a third world armed service, I think not.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everything is going to plan..

    "Society of British Aerospace Companies"

    What? You mean there are actually enough of them to form a society ? This includes all those manufacturers who use Balsa wood of course.

    Actually the primary purpose of the defence industries is to provide jobs and the illusion that the UK can match high-tech threats.

    I believe BAe aircraft is now just an assembly plant for components made by other countries.

  3. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    Turner Quote

    Should it not read, "Turner suggested that UK politicians need to prioritise defence in the same way that America does, or he and his industry colleagues would find themselves unable to line their pockets."

    Paris - make love videos, not war videos.

  4. Red Bren

    RE: UK Government is Kliing [sic] Defence

    Perhaps investing in Adult Education might be more urgent!

  5. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Boys will be Boys ......

    "Speaking to the Today programme yesterday, Turner suggested that UK politicians need to prioritise defence in the same way that America does, or he and his industry colleagues would find themselves unable to properly equip British forces." ..... seems like they are not Fit for Purpose, then. ....which might seem to agree with Red Bren above.

    Might I suggest ESPecial Forces to milk/cream the Money System with nothing more Invasive than Command and Control of Computers and Communication in AI Created CyberSpace. A little something which the Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee has a note of. At least he should have for it was definitely sent electronically. [Sun 10/02/2008 09:07] Surely no one is stealing e-mails?

    Now that wouldn't be cricket, old boy.

    Or maybe Alex isn't as bright as he needs to be in todays, Theatres of Operations. Ah well, with a bit of Adult Education that can be easily Fixed.

    As an Aide Memoire he should be looking for .... A Step Forward into IntelAIgents Fields ...... Red Hot XXXX Zones ..... for Natural Controls.

    Although, if Truth be told, with the latter C42 System, would the former be Guaranteed so that the Cart could be moved no matter where you put the Horse.

    And if BAE have the Cash, they can Immediately have the Flash and Rest Easy.... I Kid U Not.


  6. Solomon Grundy

    BAE Grassroots Marketing

    For an excellent example of grassroots marketing (or classified brainwashing technology) please reference: "UK Government is Kliing Defence" as posted above.

  7. David Webb


    Its all about the cash. We've always managed to maintain (just about) a decent military force, up until after WW1 we had the biggest navy in the world, but times change and so does money. Now the government is quite happy to spend billions upon billions on pensions for civil servants whilst killing the pensions of everyone else. This gov. has done nothing but waste money, then spend more money on trying to find out how they wasted the money, then spend more money trying to fix the problem they made in the first place, which causes more problems which brings in a catch 22 situation.

    We will never be able to spend like the US spends on the military, the US spends too much, one major economic glitch and the US military will crumble faster than the Russians did when the USSR fell.

    What we need is a sustainable armed force, one which we can afford to equip properly, what we really need is every member of the armed forces to hand in their resignation in protest at the way they are being treated, maybe then the government will take notice and give them the equipment they require (but without paying too much, naturally)

  8. Mark


    Ministry of Defence.

    So why are troops training for desert conditions? Jungle? Unless they're REALLY forward thinking and covering all bets for global warming, that doesn't sound like a defensive force.

    Navy to keep the shipping lanes open.

    Enough air power to keep air superiority over the UK.

    Enough ground forces to ensure that UK soil is not taken over.

    Any more than that ought to come under UN/NATO control as part of our commitment to European and international stability. And that could include any nuclear deterrent (which is going to be a US-permission only capability soon anyway, so why not give the button to the UN?)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As America does?

    Both the UK and America should take a time-out and quit sticking their noses in where they don't belong.

    There's a joke in Russia that goes, "What was Sadam's only big mistake?"

    Answer: "Building his country on top of George Bush's oil!"

    Any idiot with half a brain should be able to research where the 2.13 million barrels of oil that was being produced from Iraq NOW goes...

    Here's the trick -- the US 'buys' this oil at about $40 per barrel (less than half the world rate) -- but Iraq doesn't get the cash -- instead, it goes to US contractors to rebuild the country that the US destroyed in the first place.

    Sounds like a great business model?

    Oh yes, and that production figure was 'between wars' -- when the oil infrastructure was probably in the worst condition ever -- I'm sure the US (and well-funded contractors) have managed to at least double the amount available.

    Too bad the UK doesn't get the same deal. Oh well -- first come -- first served!

    Maybe the UK needs all these fancy weapons to find their own "oil mama" country to invade. Look out Norway -- the Brits are coming!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    "Enough ground forces to ensure that UK soil is not taken over" would require a couple more armoured divisions (we have *one*), and several more mechanised divisions (again, we have just one). Defending the UK mainland from ground forces hasn't been practical since WW2.

    Arguably we have enough "Navy to keep the shipping lanes open", but which shipping lanes do we care about? We can't defend the Atlantic, and we barely have enough capability to defend tankers coming from the Middle East, without the extra cost of defending overseas territories (e.g. The Falklands), peacekeeping/interdiction operations or humanitarian aid.

    About the only thing we can defend is our skies, and even then the odds are against us if an enemy gets that close.

    Pushing the burden onto the UN/NATO sounds good but is a textbook example of the Tragedy of the Commons - everybody assumes they can use it, nobody supports it, so the system collapses.

    We have, basically, three options:

    1. Abandon our overseas territories and any notion of being a military power, disband the army except for a token peacekeeping force, disband virtually all of the surface fleet, and hope that nobody ever does anything to threaten us or our economic interests, as our only options would then be a) cry or b) nuclear war.

    2. Buy the cheapest possible hardware to save money in the short term - the Abbey Wood approach. Of course, since most of this matériel is foreign, we'll lose our manufacturing base, and then the options are either pay whatever the US charges (and their lack of cost-control is legendary) or go to option 1 (do not pass Go, do not collect £200m).

    3. Support the Defence Industrial Strategy and buy enough homegrown tech to avoid skills fade. This probably needs a small budget increase, and definitely relies on the MoD and industry to cooperate.

    Paris, because she knows what it takes to keep squaddies happy.

    AC for obvious reasons.

  11. This_One

    hang on ....


    Well, if we stopped killing poor people in the third world and changed the Ministry Of Offence back to the Ministry Of Defence, you know .. made to defend all us nice british people from the Nazis and Communists, wouldn’t that save us a few pennies ?

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