Friday, 28 December 2012

Astute " teething troubles"

The Guardian recently revealed problems with the  Astute nuclear submarine, which is coming to the end of three years of sea trials.

In the subsequent article in the Guardian Rear Admiral Lister is quoted as saying

"it would be wrong for the military to claim the difficulties were just "stuff and nonsense and teething troubles",but he also  said it would also be wrong for critics to write off what is the navy's most technically advanced boat."

I think the truth lies between these two positions

Rear Admiral Lister is also quoted as saying that  "he had identified three sorts of problems with the Astute:

  • flaws in design that only became apparent when testing started;
  • equipment that broke down too easily;
  • and some problems relating to poor construction at the shipyard.""

What the Guardian article does not explain are the root causes that lead to these problems. It would be most interesting to know to what extent continuous organisational change together with  budget cuts within the MOD played a part; on this both the Guardian and the MOD are silent.

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