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COMMENTARY: Canada’s military procurement legacy somehow gets even stupider

brihard

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RCMP is also looking to replace their service pistol, the obsolescent S&W 5946. Both use 9mm. Both organizations are due for a ground up rethink on what characteristics are required for a duty sidearm (mechanical, safety, etc etc). There are a small number of pistol models popular for both police and military use. I see no compelling reason why a joint procurement couldn’t be at least considered to take advantage of economies of scale.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
I see no compelling reason why a joint procurement couldn’t be at least considered to take advantage of economies of scale.

Like just buy the US solution:

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-military-service-branches-buying-army-modular-handgun-system-2018-3

After all, it's a pistol.... not a fighter jet or something insanely expensive like that.
 

Haggis

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The CBSA is the only agency in North America currently using the Beretta PX4 Storm.  Those pistols are getting old and are no longer supported under contract by Beretta.  If they were to jump on the federal procurement bandwagon with other agencies that would make a sizable purchase for Canada likely resulting in a very good price. 

Glocks and Sig Sauers are quite popular with CBSA officers for personal use.
 

PuckChaser

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We can't even get DND procurement right, so the solution is to make it inter-agency rife with competing priorities and bureaucratic empire building? Remember, the service pistol replacement isn't a 10 year project; we released a statement of requirement I believe about 8 years ago that was so poorly worded (and designed for only a single manufacturer), it had to be pulled and the project started from scratch. It'll be somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20 years before we get a contract signed that's going to replace pistols we needed replaced 30 years prior.

It's also not an "Army" problem, unless people disown the RCAF and RCN pers who carry secondary weapons on CJOC deployments that are not Maritime/ATF-centric.
 

dapaterson

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FSTO said:
I was told yesterday by one of the civilians in our project that the reason why all Departments have to get their projects approved at TB is to slow down the spending of money. There is zero consideration toward capability and needs (this is why the status of water and housing at reserves are such a shyte show) its all about slowing down the flow of money.

In fact, all departments undergo an assessment of their ability to do things, on a scale of 1-4.  The higher your score, the better you are.  This is refreshed every few years.

Each project going forward is also assessed on a scale of 1-4 for complexity and risk.  Normally, a project score at or below your departmental score means your minister can approve it.  However, the TB ministers reserve the right to call forward files within your authority level.

The more shenanigans a department pulls, the lower their score, so the more often they will have to go forward to the TB ministers.  For a while DND's score was down to 2, meaning lots of things were being pushed up.  Add to that the fact that CAF compensation and benefits (less military judges) are set by the TB ministers and you end up with lots of files going to TB from DND.


Frequently DND files go astray when someone tries to channel a something to a preferred supplier, when there's rapid rotation in military project staff, when someone who knows nothing of the processes decides they can do things "faster", or when someone fails to do an adequate environmental scan.  If you're buying small arms, you're very likely going through the Munitions Supply Program.  Learn it and understand it, otherwise you'll waste a lot of time and effort and come back and redo the work.

Lots of external factors that cause problems as well, but Pogo Possum best described the fundamental problem with buying stuff for the CAF.
 

CBH99

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I know I'm probably just venting here more than anything, so I have a feeling this post will be rhetorical...

But why not arm all federal agencies with the same sidearm?  RCMP & CBSA I imagine could use the same sidearm, why not CAF also?


Streamline supplies, parts, contracts, ammo, etc etc.  Keep it simple.  (Or if the CAF really needs to go down it's own road on this one, which I'm sure there are plenty of valid arguments for, why not keep the pistol uniform across the CAF and go with the Navy's Sig?)
 

dapaterson

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The theory of all of government doing the same is very sound for all the reasons you mentioned.

The practice of departments trying to work together is something akin to a three stooges movie, where all three want their own way (even if it is the same), all three want to be in charge, all three want the other two to pay...

Having been peripherally involved in at least four interdepartmental initiatives with a fair number of zeroes at the end of them, the unfortunately reality is that sometimes, the juice isn't worth the squeeze...


Or, to put it another way: Putting all the CAF in the same uniform has the same logic of savings and simplicity.  How did that work out?
 

dimsum

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dapaterson said:
The theory of all of government doing the same is very sound for all the reasons you mentioned.

The practice of departments trying to work together is something akin to a three stooges movie, where all three want their own way (even if it is the same), all three want to be in charge, all three want the other two to pay...

Having been peripherally involved in at least four interdepartmental initiatives with a fair number of zeroes at the end of them, the unfortunately reality is that sometimes, the juice isn't worth the squeeze...


Or, to put it another way: Putting all the CAF in the same uniform has the same logic of savings and simplicity.  How did that work out?

I don't know if the example of Unification is completely in line with what you said before that though.  I wasn't there (obviously) but I thought a lot of the backlash was due to service traditions (especially the Navy). 

I think the pistol thing is more like the boots issue - the 3 services know they need boots, but have various contracts based on the service.  Why, for instance, couldn't the RCAF get the Navy boots?  They are safety toed (forget for a second that not all RCAF folks need that feature...) and from most reports they are comfortable and functional unlike the CEMS ones that the RCAF ended up with. 

But I digress.
 

dapaterson

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Merely pointing out that "it's cheaper if everyone is the same" rarely works out well.

Likely a similar story for boots.  If I adopt your boot, I don't get "leading change" on my PER.  I have often observed that we need to rewrite that as "leading effective change"...
 

Colin Parkinson

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Buy 1,000 G17`s as part of field testing, issue them to the most operational unit. Send a few gun mechs to get the armourer course, they train the others. The Manual of arms can be lifted from the Brits. Cost is likely to be under $500,000. Next year repeat the 1,000 buy and repeat every year.

The other option is say: `We want a polymer pistol that has been accepted by a NATO army within the last 10 years. Make will be decided on price and availability to supply 5,000 a year for the next 4 years, with the contract split in 4 payments upon delivery of each batch. That narrows the field to about 3 guns and likley it will be the G17, as they can beat everyone on price.
 

armyvern

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Eye In The Sky said:
Gender Employment Advisors?

GENADs - Gender Advisors. NATO.

I am one.  And, it has nothing to do with "employment" advising or "women" advising. Rather, it's about the 75% of the world who are not fighting age.
 

dapaterson

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Is the strategic imperative to get the CAF pistols, or to sustain a Canadian small arms industry?  A valid question, that has implications for timelines and cost.  If we want CAF pistols that sustain Cdn industry, the equation gets more complex - not all vendors will license their IP.

And once we start talking about large dollar figures (including ammo, tooling and spares) there's a possibility that regardless of the low complexity, the TB ministers might want to
steer contracts to favoured suppliers assert their authority over procurements.

 

brihard

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Colin P said:
Whatever we do don`t hold a competition, just base the buy off of what either the US or the UK did.

They absolutey have to. There’s nothing exigent here that justifies not, and there are several good options on the market. Whatever they end up doing, a competition will have to be a part of it.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Brihard said:
They absolutey have to. There’s nothing exigent here that justifies not, and there are several good options on the market. Whatever they end up doing, a competition will have to be a part of it.

Depends quite a bit on how they word the requirements and how much balls they have to go through with it. The good news is even 25,000 is a smallish buy in the scheme of things, and less likley to be challenged. To give you an idea, the French police contract was for 500,000 Sig 2022.
 

Cloud Cover

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Cloud Cover said:
Are there any current procurement stories that are good news. What has worked out on time, in quantity and quality.
Bump. It can’t be all bad news and sarcasm. Defence expenditures 2008-2018 are greater than 250billion [2018 dollars].
What about the Chinook? outlier?
 

dimsum

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Cloud Cover said:
Bump. It can’t be all bad news and sarcasm. Defence expenditures 2008-2018 are greater than 250billion [2018 dollars].
What about the Chinook? outlier?

C-17?  C-130J?  M777?
 

QM

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There are hundreds of projects in the pipeline across all the Level 1's. New equipment is constantly being delivered. I'm not pimping for our procurement system but although it is painfully slow and insanely intricate, it does constantly deliver new equipment. All we ever read about is the negative aspects of procurement, told through the story of a half dozen major projects.  Personally I pin that to an ill-informed media and even a media that is strongly anti-military. The storyline about failed procurement is merely one of a half-dozen or so storylines that each represent micro attacks against DND and the CAF. Is YOUR day to day experience as awful as the media makes it out to be?

Anyhow, they tell us about the big ticket items that go wrong, but we never read about the big ticket items that go right, or the medium and small programs that go extremely well (extremely well within the context of a ponderous, byzantine government procurement system). The link below provides only a small snapshot of some of the current initiatives that you've probably never heard of. If you want to know more, find someone in DLR or DAR or DMR or CJOC Force Development and just ask them for a list of what projects are in the hopper. Or, find your way on DWAN to the Capability Investment Database (CID - it is somewhere in the VCDS' pages), and you will be able to read in horrifying detail, the hundreds of current projects - the official ones that have registration numbers and everything - for equipment as well as infrastructure.

But this site will probably be interesting enough reading for you. The link here is public; it is where DND directs industry to turn when it wants a quick summary of what we are buying, projects that should spend money in the next 5 years or so, give or take (lol).

http://dgpaapp.forces.gc.ca/en/defence-capabilities-blueprint/index.asp

 
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