IT equipment and weaponry aren't mutually exclusive
When some of the people in this office are p***ing me off, I can imagine plenty of ways I could use a keyboard / laptop / whatever as an effective weapon to beat someone to death.
The Ministry of Defence has admitted that it spends more on computer services than it does on weapons and ammunition for the Armed Forces. The startling admission came in a statistical publication issued by the department, breaking down how much of the £35bn defence budget is spent with British industry. Spending on weapons …
The 12 pound warhead on the brimstone missile hits what it's aimed at and destroys or kills just that.
A 2000 pound guided bomb landing close enough for a ton of high explosives to blow the target to bits tends to send those bits flying at high speed, which has a high risk of killing a lot of people in the immediate area.
Hence why the Americans are a fan of the guided missile.
And so it comes to pass ..... armchair warriors at last. Although whether they'll ever prove effective against any streams is something which time and intelligence will tell, for they are very late to the Great Game and in most every case may be ordered to try and defend the indefensible and attack the unmentionable.
And adversaries/competition/enemies will surely engage to exploit the abiding catastrophic vulnerability which is PEBKAC.
* Global Hearts and Minds Landscapes/Virtual Team Terrain .... where both Ignorance and Arrogance are Punished Remorselessly and Resourcefully.
Yeah but your primary business isnt milk distribution.
If a garage spends more on I.T than they do on tyres , oil ,exhausts , brakes shoes - somethings wrong.
I guess you gotta weigh up if the forces need £1.45bn per year on "computer services" . Sounds a bit steep to me , but .. everything does , i'm a tightarse , also we don't know if it includes computing power for designing new fighter planes , hacking foreign governments , processing millions of face pics looking for ner-do-wells .....
or if thats just for emailing each other porn and fail-of-the-week clips.
Just one thing to keep in mind. Unless you're doing a full on replacement of a weapon system, you dont need to be buying replacements constantly. Repairs and upgrades probably, but those expenses would be under a different cost category. So the fact that purchasing weapons and bullets isnt rated that highly doesnt suprise me. Bullets are pretty cheap, and you dont need significant numbers of new rifles each year. About the only significant expenditure in this line I can think of would be the aforementioned Brimstones. There's not that many other consumables I can think of for the UK MOD. Well maybe those Watchkeeper drones that keep crashing, but I dont think they were meant to be consumables...
The MoD employs between 100-200k people. You'd expect them to have a lot of IT to do that. And that's just the general stuff to do payroll, accounts, HR, email, spreadsheets and the like. Espeically as this bollocks number is for IT services - so includes the salaries and leccy to run the servers, as well as the replacements. Presumably we also have to include some computing for more nefarious uses - and expensive communications stuff.
Meanwhile they only spend £1.2bn on weapons. And yet spend more than that on "shipbuilding". Excuse me, but doesn't spending £6bn on 2 aircraft carriers count as new weapons?
Also they spend more on aircraft than IT or weapons. But what is a fighter plane?
So we could say the MoD spend more on computing than ammo. But then we're not in a major war, only using limited airstrikes on ISIS.
Were I feeling malicious I might describe the piece as a bit clickbaity, telling us little that's meaningful.
>Excuse me, but doesn't spending £6bn on 2 aircraft carriers count as new weapons? Also they spend more on aircraft than IT or weapons. But what is a fighter plane?<
I imagine that aircraft carriers, and fighter planes, would be more accurately thought of as weapon delivery systems rather than weapons in their own right.
Doesn't this just tell you that bullets are cheap?
Bullets are cheap. You do not fight a war with just bullets you know.
Artillery rounds are in the hundreds of pounds per shot range, maybe 1000s for large calibre or armour piercing rounds. An unguided missile is usually in the several grand zone. Guided missiles start at 10s of K and go into the millions for a cruise missile.
I am not sure if this number includes missiles. If it does, the British Army should not have enough money to run basic readiness exercises for anything but infantry.
In my experience, nothing purchased by a military is cheap. Nothing.
Many decades past I was a fly on the wall tuned in to a conversation between managers at a large American defense contractor about whether they could produce one aircraft toilet seat for $1000. They agreed. They probably couldn't
The Reg asked the MoD for a fuller breakdown of the top-line figure but was told it will "not release contract detail for commercially sensitive reasons". We know, unsurprisingly, Microsoft features in there.
A breakdown would give people a better understanding of MOD spending, obviously they don't want that.
I can believe this, knowing something of the areas which are heavy MOD costs. Namely the large enterprise that supplies the MOD lan, the large enterprise that supplies the MOD->World secure gateway, the large enterprise that provides backbone and dedicated circuits etc.
Security and dedicated connections/equipment costs. And given its attack surface and the amount of people that would like to compromise it, a very rapidly moving iterative target, all of which has to be built and subject to extended scrutiny.
They can arrange the installation of a brand new box onto the military aircraft in a month flat. But if anyone ever needed to update the software on that box, it might take years. YEARS!
It would be better, faster, cheaper to remove the original box from the airplane, take it out behind the wood shed (and then load the new software, change the PN decal, and paint it a different colour to confuse them), and then reinstall the "brand new" box (move along, nothing to see here) back into the same spot on the airplane. Might take five weeks.
Because software is such an impediment, it would actually be better to design military avionics relying on miniaturized mechanisms (gears, levers, Johnson rods) to perform and control all the complicated functions. Just to avoid The Nightmare That Is Software.
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