FRES – British to Its Boostraps – Part 3

General Dynamics Scout SV

It might be mischief-making but I can’t resist keeping track of the General Dynamics FRES SV programme and the statement from the head of GDUK that FRES SV is ‘British to its Bootstraps’

Building from previous posts.

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

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 being 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.

Other partners that including such obviously British organisations as Curtis Wright, Rheinmetall and Moog as partners, headquartered in Parsippany New Jersey, Düsseldorf and East Aurora, New York.

An announcement today added further to the Britishness of FRES

Kortrijk, Belgium, 12 September 2011. Visualization pioneer Barco is proud to announce that General Dynamics UK, the prime contractor for the British Army’s Scout Specialist Vehicle (Scout SV), has selected Barco’s 13” rugged extreme displays for the program, following a competitive bid.

Barco, another famous British Company headquartered in Belgium!

More from GD

Securing or creating over 10,600 jobs for British workers

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.

So if FRES SV is going to secure or create over 10,000 jobs and GD UK only employ 1,600 people in the UK across all business divisions that must mean one of two things, a big supply chain in the UK and/or big increase in GD UK employees.

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.

A recent Parliamentary Answer might shed some light on those claims.

Ben Wallace, the MP for Wyre and Preston, ex Scots Guards Officer and former director of QinetiQ asked.

Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what obligations his Department has placed on General Dynamics to manufacture and assemble the Scout Specialist Vehicle in the UK.

Given the bold statements above, the answer is a bit of a shocker.

Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

The Ministry of Defence has placed no contractual obligations on General Dynamics UK (GDUK) to manufacture the Scout Specialist Vehicles (Scout SV) platforms in the UK. GDUK has, however, indicated that a significant proportion of the activity may be conducted in the UK.

In addition, the contract allows for the transfer of the assembly integration and test work on the platforms from off-shore facilities, to the Defence Support Group in the UK. A value for money decision on whether to transfer this work will be taken later in the programme, closer to production. An enabling arrangement for industrial participation has also been put in place with General Dynamics, that will see work being carried out in the UK, or assistance being provided to UK exporters to Spain (assembly of ASCOD, the base vehicle for Scout SV is currently conducted in Spain)

Further from the original statement

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.

General Dynamics helpfully list a number of current tenders for the supply of subsystems, neatly divided between GDUK and GDELS

General Dynamics UK SV sub-system tenders

  • Audio Surveillance Equipment
  • CBRN Threat Detection
  • Commander’s Direct Vision
  • Control Panels
  • Crew Station Keyboard
  • Crew Station Processors
  • Data Encryption Technique
  • Driver’s Controls
  • Driver’s Direct Vision
  • Gunner’s Direct Vision
  • HUMS Recording/Processing (VMU)
  • Inertial Navigation System
  • LASER Warning System
  • Pax Direct Vision
  • Pax Display
  • Pax Vision Sensor
  • Platform Interlocks
  • Power Interfaces
  • Power Rail & Data (CIDS)
  • Public Address System
  • Route Marking System
  • Smoke Grenade Launchers
  • Twin Handset User
  • Vehicle Interface Panel(s)

General Dynamics European Land Systems sub-system tenders

  • Armour profiles for grilles
  • Auxiliary Power Unit
  • Batteries
  • Battery Monitoring System
  • CBRN Filtering
  • Cooling
  • Crane
  • Drive controls
  • Driver’s Instrument Panel
  • Earth Anchor
  • Environmental Conditioning System
  • Exhaust
  • External Power Conditioning Unit
  • Fire expl. D&S Syst
  • Fuel system
  • Hyd. Bump stops
  • Hydraulics
  • Instrument panel
  • Lighting
  • Painting
  • Periscopes
  • PJAC
  • Rotary dampers
  • Running Gear
  • Seats
  • Spall liners
  • Straight Obstacel Blade
  • Surface Mine Clearance Device
  • Suspension Arms
  • Thermal and acoustic insulations
  • Torsion bars and tubes
  • Winch

It would be nice to believe the claim but is the SV Scout British to it’s Bootstraps ???

Some other FRES news this week

http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/landwarfareintl/uk-confident-scout-sv-project/

And if you want some nice Hi-res graphics

http://www.generaldynamics.uk.com/scoutsv/media.html

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