British to its Bootstraps

General Dynamics Scout SV

I know we have laboured this point somewhat but the press release from General Dynamics caught my eye today and I thought it worth further discussion.

To start this post it must be said that we haven’t seen the Requirements Document or submissions from either candidate so everything we, or anyone else for that matter, say is simply uninformed speculation.

What we can do though, is ask a few questions.

Commenting on the deal, Dr Sandy Sandy Wilson, President and Managing Director of General Dynamics UK said.

The ASCOD SV programme is British to its bootstraps

Is this so?

ASCOD SV is the latest generation of a proven European design

Proven, by being in service with Spain and Austria with a few of the Spanish ones being deployed in Kosovo for a while, proven can have many meanings. The ASCOD2 is sold via General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) that comprises 4 companies; Steyr-Daimler-Puch Spezialfahrzeug GmbH (Steyr-SSF) in Austria; MOWAG in Switzerland; Santa Bárbara Sistemas in Spain, and General Dynamics European Land Systems – Germany. The ASCOD2 is being manufactured in the Spanish facility. Although the Scout is said to be able to grow to a weight of 42 tonnes the specification sheet on the Steyr website states a maximum combat weight of 31 tonnes although one must assume the other variants already in production are in excess of this.

thanks to a modern, proven drivetrain

That would be the Renk 256B then, manufactured in the very British town of Augsberg

without the need to upgrade its engine

The MTU 8V 199 TE20, MTU is the world-famous British manufacturer of diesel engines located in Friedrichshafen, part of the Tognum group.

Its turret is designed by Lockheed Martin UK INSYS

Lockheed Martin, another famous British company headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. The turret in question will use the 40mm CTA canon from CTA International, a joint venture between BAe and Nexter in France. The turret design itself may even be based on the LM Warrior Fightability and Lethality Improvement Programme that included such obviously British organisations as Curtis Wright, Rheinmetall, and Moog as partners.

Securing or creating over 10,600 jobs for British workers.

Unless of course, you work for BAe or its supply chain, these comments always seem to be overinflated and have tenuous links with reality, never detailing the NET increase or decrease when taking into account the impact on other organisations.

GD UK

employs over 1,600 people at 10 UK and international facilities

will transfer full rate production of the entire ASCOD SV programme to DSG in Donnington, ensuring 80% of ASCOD SV production happens in the UK.

What does full-rate production mean, is it an assembly of components manufactured abroad, does this mean the first 20% will be manufactured elsewhere and if the figures are as a percentage, is this based on the Recce Block 1 or some future notional figure for the entire (yet to be ordered) programme.

Its Intellectual Property will be based in the UK

Is the word ‘based’ temporary or does it imply ownership by GD UK or the MoD, the Utility Variant competition came to a crashing halt when the MoD and GD could not come to an agreement on intellectual property so this is a vitally important issue?

By value, 80% of the vehicle manufacture will be completed in the UK, with 70% of the supply chain companies UK-based

What does completed actually mean? A company can be UK Based but that does not mean the supply chain will be creating components for the vehicle in the UK. GD UK is based in the UK but is still part of the global organisation that is General Dynamics.

General Dynamics United Kingdom Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD)

Does this mean that any profits accrued to GD will be taken in the US?

Established in the United Kingdom for over 40 years

Only through acquisition

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, employs approximately 91,700 people worldwide.

This is a very finely crafted press statement, created no doubt, by marketing professionals, but does it raise more questions than it gives answers?

Is it the SV Scout British to its Bootstraps ???

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