Daily Express Headline "RAF blows £50m on flying lessons with zero students as school refuses to refund cash"

Interesting - didn’t know that. A bit like London weighting on some jobs, doesn’t actually make you any richer in the long term, at least not in theory.

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Or in practice. London weighting doesn’t come close to covering the additional cost of living in the dump

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Speaking as a supplier - you can have a contract that lets you pull out of later commitments as stuff happens, it’s just that I’ll charge you a lot more for it.

I have to buy machinery, lease land, employ staff - those costs don’t go away when you say ‘sorry, the plan has changed…’, so yes, by all means go for a contract that gives you the opportunity to pull out at a later point, but I’ll price it so that if you do, all my bills are still paid.


You’ll probably also have turned down other work so you have lost profit if the contract is brought to an end early.

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These sort of “outrage” articles annoy me a little.

Key stakeholders and members of the public seem to think the armed forces should run like a business and therefore turn a profit.
Whilst a wastage of £50m is no small sum, it’s probably a drop in the ocean compared to other trade training expenditure.


Very true - but this isn’t a “normal” contract put up by a commercial company to another commercial company. Worse case, we could have been involved in a NATO-led conflict against Mr PooTin - I wouldn’t have thought that trg would have continued under such circumstances. I suspect that some of the contracted instructors would have a reserve commitment = off to play.

No “force majeure” clause = a big oversight.

Not all all, but there has to be value for money spent.

Another contract ongoing - ah, cancel 2 aircraft, but still have to pay for the radars. Pull the old “spares” story out of the bag to make it seem a good result.

Except they will be a spares contract for 5 radars.

When the original announcement was made I thought it was a bit fishy that they were buying 3 new airframes and two on the second hand market.

I think, at the time, that was to get availability of airframes - all the other production slots were taken?

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3 airframes does not inspire a lot of confidence in availability once the maintenance cycle plus kicks in. Our big nosed vintage planes are sharing taskings with our colonial cousins…

Although with all training these days pretty much synthetic at least you don’t need many airborne training hours