Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
We were still banging around with Avro Shackletons until the mid 80's
Up until the 1957 Defence White Paper there were numerous manafacturers and they would either have to supply an almost fully functional prototype to meet a requirement or in some cases they would try and predict what was wanted and build a system on spec so that would be available off the shelf. Either way, it involved a high cost risk for the manufacturer but often produced decent bits of kit. Of course, once we started to merge companies together and then select designs off the drawing board, that's when we started to see costs rise, huge delays in production due to every Admiral and his dog wanting to leave their mark on a project to boast to their mates down the yacht club "I designed that bit" and so on.Weapons systems were supplied by the lowest bidder with the eventual cost being at least 300% above the bid with only 50% of the specification achieved, the of course the post design contract was given to the same company to sort it out, all other companies say the design is flawed and suggest start again.