Thursday, September 21, 2006

How we build RAF aircrafts

I've just read this little press release from the Ministry of Defence and my mind is boggling a little at why there is such fanfare at such an absurd way of doing things.

Basically, we're spending £2Bn on transport aircraft for the RAF (wonder if they will have explosion suppressents in the engine) which will be, according to the statement, delivered "early next decade". I'm not sure if that means 2011 or 2017 mind you. My guess is that if they're not ready by 2011 it will have meant 2017.

However, what I found more confusing is that apparently the components for the planes wings "are arriving in Bristol from a network of suppliers spanning seven European countries, Malaysia, South Africa and the United States".

We will then put them together into wings and then they'll be sent to Seville, in Spain so they can be attached to the rest of the plane - which will presumably be flown back to the UK?

Is it any wonder it's costing so much bloody money? The question is, why would anyone build something like this in such an inefficient way? I wonder if Lord Drayson has shares in a shipping business?


Anonymous said...

Wing-bits from Malaysia - whose retired-but-not-gone Prime Minister claims that there's no such thing as a moderate muslim.


CityUnslicker said...

This is what happens when the EU gets involved. Staggeringly inefficient in process; but politically rewarding pork-barrels for a number of governments

snowflake5 said...

LOL - I'm guessing that you've never been involved in running any manufacturing process.

Here's the flaw in your reasoning - you are assuming that the cost of transporting the parts from Malaysia, South Africa etc is more expensive than manufacturing the parts here and assembling them here. Wrong by a factor of a few thousand.

Labour costs exceed transportation costs by a mile. And some manufacturers abroad in the US and Europe have also developed such a scale that their costs are lowered. It's better the parts are made where they have a comparative advantage, (and can take multiple orders from manufacturers around the world), and transported here, than if we build a huge expensive parts manufacturer here to supply just this one project. Where there are efficient parts manufacturers in Britain, they are used - but the inefficient ones have gone bust long ago from international competition, and it's plain daft to revive them just because you can't get your head round transporting parts from abroad!

All major manufacturers operate on this basis, from Ford, and Nissan to Boeing and NASA - their parts suppliers come from all over the world. Anything else would be too damn expensive - you'd really be complaining about costs if you implemented your inefficient 1950's version of manufacturing!

dizzy said...

You're so cute. I love the way you say people have said things and then draw conclusions that they think things too. It make me chuckle every time you post. I've seen it so many times over the years on Usenet yet I never get tired of seeing you do it.

There is nothing more amusing than someone replying to a flippant observation by saying "I'm guessing that you....?" They then assume the answer to their question is accurtate, ramble off on a tirade, and then close by saying something along the lines of "it would be worse if we'd done what you said" even though the person never said the thing they'd been accused of.

God I love the Internet. And I love it when people discuss politics on it even more. It just gives the chance for knowledgable people to make tit's of themselves with poor argumentation.

Please don't ever leave this blog snowflakes. The entertainment value is too high a price to lose.

Now, on the matter in hand, the problem really isn't buying parts from around the world, and the idea that anyone was suggesting otherwise is in your head after all not in their words.

The observation I was making was related to buying lots of parts in one place, transporting them to another for assmebly, and then transporting that assembles part eslewehre to be attached to something else. That doesn't happen with cars.

Sure, parts for Ford cars come from around the world to Dagenham. But they put them together to completion in Dagenham. They do not put half the car together and then send it to another country in Europe to be finished before transporting it back again.

I realise that you feel like you have to be high and mighty on matters that are mildly economic, but besides the fact you ranted on about irrelevances, even part of your irrelevance was patently wrong.

That's ok though, being wrong is normal and only people like me are always right. You might get there one day..... if you're lucky.