DutchForce21 the modular and affordable approach

I now will post a series of blogs about the modular approach of  DutchForce21 concept. I take some examples of how things could be done. And sad but true, how we see Dutch government (+ industry and military) CHOOSE and DECIDE to do. Not in the interest of the common goal and the excistence of the Dutch Armed Forces. This is: Securing the interests of the Dutch people: The starting point should be that the less resources armed forces will use to fight/secure those same resources, the more the people benefit those resources. And that’s what the armed forces are for…to secure the peoples interests and safeguarding their lives and future.  

“The less resources armed forces will use to fight/secure those same resources, the more the people benefit those resources”.

Military concept
Based on my own research and military contacts I wrote a concept which I think would be best for the Dutch Armed forces. But this concept could be a proposition for all countries great and small. It would be the basis for a real available and exploitable expeditionary fighting force, which in my personal opinion is needed for future operations and conflicts, at great distance from Europe. The most important features of the concept are:

  • Breaking the cost curve; both in acquisition and Operation & Sustainment (O&S)
  • Durable development;  Energy efficiency e.g.; The starting point is that the less resources armed forces will use to fight/secure those same resources the more the people benefit those resources. And that’s what the armed forces are for…to secure the peoples interests and safeguarding their lives and future.
  • Quantity and quality; creating enough units with adequate numbers of (weapon) systems, military personnel and operational deployable munitions, spares and lubricants in sufficient numbers.

Modular Approach
For a long time now I’m convinced of the modular approach. In a time that it’s possible to build increasingly smaller (sub) systems which fit into larger systems. And could be exchanged when necessary. In a time where we can use apps on all brands of mobile phone’s and share and improve the software ourselves (If you have some understanding of this… which I don’t have) it surely must be possible to use this principle to safe both money, time and materials.

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Interesting example of modular systems, STANFLEX from Danish navy. A containerized system with several options like the ESSM container.

The DutchForce21 concept of building a new defence organisation is fully based on these principles. In my opinion it only has advantages. The only problem is that this kind of concept has negative impact for industrial parties. Their problem is that they won’t stay sole source suppliers. Let me explain this: When the Netherlands government buys the JSF. They will stick to this aircraft for over 30 – 40 years (they hope it will stay suitable and sustainable during this period)

The problem is that the full support for this aircraft is in the hands of the US industry, and they decide which industry will be making replacement parts. If it’s already possible to develop Capability upgrades – The aircraft stealth characteristics won’t accept adding things on the outside, and on the inside.. well its full of shit, and the JSF already has no weight margins left for future upgrades – Even the software is a big problem, with both flight sensitive software and operational software mixed. While the Saab software has separated this. So its actually possible to put new apps in the cockpit without (negative) influence on flight performance.. which also means its more easy to upgrade and will cost less, because they won’t be needed to test the full flight characteristics. Why wont the Dutch DMO convirm this? Why do they stick to their “superior Buy American belief?

With this next blog I will take some thought on the philosophy of Saab and the implications for all branches of armed forces. I will take a look at the presentation of Lennart Sindahl deputy CEO of Saab which he gave during the Farnborough air show. Besides pointing out that the Gripen E is where it supposed to be – on track, within budget – he also shows us something about the future conceptual framework of military operations viewed by Saab and thus the Swedish Armed forces. The DutchForce21 operational concept is based on thoughts of Admiral Greenert, Chief of Naval operations. Greenert descibes his concept as Payloads over platforms.  He writes:

We need to move from ‘luxury-car’ platforms—with their built-in capabilities—toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.

Following articles will address information from these slides and the way the DutchForce21 concept would fit in. stay tuned.

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