Afghanistan helicopters delayed by lack of crew and parking

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Aug 11, 2009.

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  1. Re: Afghan fighting - the latest reports.
    Posted: 2020 26/01/06

    From Times Online
    August 11, 2009
    Afghanistan helicopters delayed by lack of crew and 'parking'

    The demand for more support helicopters in Afghanistan cannot be met fully because there are not enough crews to fly them, RAF commanders have acknowledged.

    Merlin helicopters, returned from duty in Iraq and currently being modified for Afghanistan at RAF Benson in Oxfordshire, will start to be deployed to Helmand province in December, but the commanders said that five trained crews were required for each one to ensure safety.

    None of the helicopters are being fitted with extra armour-plating to protect the crews and troop passengers from Taleban groundfire.

    However, Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, insisted that the Merlin was the “best protected” helicopter and that it had flown in Iraq successfully while facing the same threats from small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Speaking at RAF Benson, he said that the Merlins were capable of carrying out all types of mission in Helmand, including combat.

    Group Captain Jonathan Burr, station commander at RAF Benson, where the Merlin crews are training, said that there was no pressure from the pilots for extra armour-plating to be fitted to the helicopters. He pointed out that soldiers flying in the Merlin in Helmand would be wearing body armour and helmets.
  2. All are invited to read The Times on-line comments regarding this article!
  3. good see old bob is personally familiar with both theatres of war :roll:
  4. Do helicopters have armour. I distinctly remember armoured seats and armoured breastplates for the aircrew - but wrapping the cab in steel - I certainly don't remember anything like that. I wonder how the helicopter copes with all that weight - makes think that it might not be able to do its job, doesn't it.

    Perhaps Flash or MM can bring some light into this.
  5. It doesn't - hence why it isn't being fitted with any :roll:

  6. Tarah!!! Give the man a cigar.

    A question each ARRSEr ought to ask himself - why did the Times go on a story which is based on such bollox? It could have been written by Mick Smith
  7. Some do, but i won't say what or where.
  8. Bollox - I forgot a bit. But you are right, we shouldn't say where. Let's just say that they aren't Hinds.
  9. Whet:

    Armour is not always of the steel variety.

    (Of course, you may not understand what I have just written.)
  10. I know - hence the bit I forgot about. And it still weighs enough - just look where else it is put.
  11. The one thing the RAF is bound to be hopeless at is actually producing bodies to do the one thing they get paid for -flying aircraft.
  12. Duffdike, a word of advice mate. Stick to what you know about.
  13. As someone who is rather close to this situation at the moment I am happy to confirm that this article is complete bolleaux relying on selective quotes and misinformation. Merlin will deploy and it will be as early as possible, possibly to the detriment of men and materiel. Out of interest do any ARRSErs know of another force element (other than SF) recently recovered from TELIC and redeploying by the end of the year?
  14. How does that work then? Did they need five trained crews in Iraq. If not, why not. If they did, what's happened to them? Do other Nations have the same back up?
  15. Lack of Parking.
    Oh My Buddha, just when you think you have heard every wimpish excuse for not having a/c in province someone, no doubt looking to their next 'Confidential' thinks up a cracker.