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The design and the military capacity of the plane were projected to place Britain on the international map of technology. However, even as the technical team got busy…
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SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY-CASE STUDIES IN POLICY DECISION
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Introduction The TSR-2 project was to be one of the greatest ever military mileages attained by Britain for a very long time. The design and the military capacity of the plane were projected to place Britain on the international map of technology. However, even as the technical team got busy with studies and tests analyses, it was obvious that the politicians would not let such a huge undertaking proceed without ensuring that they make a point out of it. Some politicians used the venture to create bottlenecks just to be noticed, while some wanted to dig out every detail of the venture and identify areas that might interest them. However, an analysis of the economic and implications to the industry indicate that the project was a worthy venture. In addition, international pressure, technological and issues pertaining to foreign policy indicated that the project was worthwhile.
Economic/Industry
In looking at the procedures followed in estimating the cost of producing the TSR-2 planes there is the realization that budgeting was a major problem. The budgeting process might have been a bad note to begin a project of this caliber, but one still needs to understand that the project was fairly new and the details were still hazy. The BAC Company gave the government a fairly good deal of £ 625 million but the government’s final offer stood at £ 620 million. The general realization is that there were many problems that had already been associated with the project other than the cost that influenced its final cancellation.
The over-politicization and concentration on the problems overshadowed the long term economic benefits of the project. For instance, the fact that the Australians opted for the America F111 did not imply that they were not ready to buy the TSR-2. TSR-2 was superior technologically and maybe the Australians wanted a better deal with better terms. For instance, the Australians could have been allowed to test the TSR-2 using their own pilots in British Soil.
The TSR-2 project also happened at a time when the government had placed strict regulations governing military expenditure. In addition, the bureaucracy created by the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Supplies presented numerous challenges for the project at different stages; these factors only magnified the already evident skeptism surrounding the project. The government was looking at the amount of revenue that would be immediately saved and perhaps channeled in other areas instead of concentrating on the long term benefits of the project. However, the number of jobs that would be lost in cancellation of the project would have a long terms negative impact on Britain’s economy.
The major problem with the TSR-2 project might have been the huge budget, but poor planning, forecasting and budgetary procedures worked against the project. The perception that the whole process created was that the project was too costly and better alternatives could be negotiated.
Foreign Policy
Britain had for a long time lagged behind in technology in comparison with the many past great inventions that the country boasted of. The TSR-2 could have changed the overall perception of Britain’s technological might especially in the military arena. In the background there was a silent competition among nations in terms of technological advancements that subtly determined the veto power of these nations in international issues. The project had already been publicized and the developed nations were keenly looking at the move Britain would take with the project. In addition, the technologies used to build the TSR-2 probably had leaked to other nations who would be ready to carry on with the project in the instance that Britain called it quits.
International Pressure
Britain has always been at the forefront of innovation in the aviation industry and buying planes from the US portrayed a negative image of Britain’s innovativeness. Furthermore, it weakened Britain’s power internationally. The US built the F 111 as a direct response to the TSR-2 and Britain accepted defeat in innovation and aviation technology by abandoning the TSR-2 project and opting for the F111 which was more expensive in the long run.
Technology
After the 2nd World War, the world entered into a new era where nations preferred to challenge each other technologically rather than in hostile battle grounds. A nation could just come up with technologically enhanced military equipment and elicit respect from other nations. In addition, Britain had already invested vast resources on the project and a lot of discoveries had been made that it would be wastage and embarrassing to just abandon the project.
Recommendations
Abandoning the whole project was definitely a very unwise idea considering that a lot of resources had already been spent. Furthermore, there were numerous discoveries and benefits that perhaps were overshadowed by budgetary concerns. The whole project could have been taken back to the drawing board and proper planning and forecasting implemented at the initial stages. Such a move would have enabled the government to make informed decisions concerned the cost and budget. The government could also have looked for cheaper alternatives at each and every stage. Creating solutions for suspected challenges before they occur could also have been a better approach to adequately prepare the project. In essence, the TSR-2 project was worthwhile despite the high costs when other factors such as economic implications, foreign policy and international pressure are placed into perspective.
Reference List
Jones, F. B. (1998). Phoenix or Folly. Petersborough: GMS Enterprises. Read More
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