bbc - UK considering extra Chinooks

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Mr_Bridger, Nov 10, 2009.

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  1. Fcuk me.... perhaps someone has grown a set of balls at last in Main Building... or has that letter writing genius finally got the message?

    Plans to fast-track a large order of Chinook transport helicopters for Afghanistan are being examined by the government, the BBC understands.

    A decision could be made before the Pre-Budget Report, which is expected within a month, BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said.

    The government has been severely criticised over the shortage of helicopters in Afghanistan.

    The Ministry of Defence said it was looking at future helicopter plans.

    However, it added that it would not comment on speculation.

    Two Chinooks have had to be destroyed this year, although the Treasury is expected to approve funding for their replacements soon.

    The government has come under heavy pressure in recent months over the number of heavy-lift helicopters in Helmand - an issue which has become politically highly sensitive for Gordon Brown.

    Conservative leader David Cameron has previously called the shortage "a scandal".

    Although the prime minister has long insisted British troops have enough helicopters for current operations, defence chiefs and Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth have made clear they were doing all they could to get more helicopters to British forces in Afghanistan.

    Budget restrictions

    The MoD has been looking at its future helicopter strategy, and although no final decision has been made, it is understood that one option which may find favour is purchasing up to 20 more Chinooks from Boeing over the next five to 10 years, BBC defence correspondent Caroline Wyatt said.

    A number of those would then be fast-tracked to make them available in Helmand within a year or two.

    The heavy-lift helicopters are vital to operations in Helmand.

    Currently, the UK has up to 10 Chinooks in Helmand, with several Merlin helicopters which were used in Iraq deploying there soon.

    Another eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters from an earlier botched procurement should become available for training by the end of this year, with some of those ready to be sent to Helmand from next summer.

    However, with budgets at the MoD under severe strain, it is not yet clear what might have to be cut in order to fund the potential purchase.

    It could be the Future Medium Helicopter programme, which was intended to replace the UK's ageing Sea King and Puma fleets.

    The MoD has previously confirmed it had twice in the past three years been offered a deal to purchase US-made Sikorsky helicopters for the armed forces, but decided to press ahead instead with plans involving British firms.
  2. The MoD has previously confirmed it had twice in the past three years been offered a deal to purchase US-made Sikorsky helicopters for the armed forces, but decided to press ahead instead with plans involving British firms.

    read as "pay tens of millions to keep a few thousand votes in marginal labour seats"
  3. What happened to the merlins brought back from Iraq?
  4. Mr Rammell also stated that an un-official approach from a commercial company offering Helicopters was put forward to the MOD but stated that as they were'nt adequately amoured the offer was rejected
  5. Rotting and rusting i would suggest!
  6. Last time i checked Yeovil was Lib Dem.
  7. Admittedly not heavy-lift (although nor is Merlin and arguably Chinook is not quite there) but last I checked there were a good few Sea King 4 in Afghan operating as SH. Good that the RN contribution is recognised again!
    I would blame the BBC but the MoD are just as guilty, the 'Merlins deploying to Afghan' page on MoD website makes no mention of CHF's contribution.

    (Before anyone comments that I have forgotten SK7, they were recognised by Adm Charlier as being the first RN squadron in Afghan so already covered I think... cheers Sir! Never mind the jungly contribution or indeed the RN harriers that were out there from the beginning)

  8. That will be CHAPS purchases then like the Cannucks did.

    FWIW, for the money they are spending tarting up 28 geriatric Pumas, they could buy 30 Wokkas under CHAPS.
  9. What really fcuking annoyed me was the comment from some MP saying "it's all very well and good deploying helicopters to Afghanistan but there is nowhere to put them". Well, d1ckhead, whilst you and the rest of your mob were milking the expenses I was in KAF for a short while last year prior to shifting to Helmand. I know for a fact that all the concept designs had been completed for moving JHF in it's entirety over to Bastion. I know this as I ran with it for a bit. We were waiting the funding approval. Whilst I'm not going to say precisely how much funding we had asked for I'm pretty sure all of the expenses that the MP's have had to pay back would have gone some way to paying for a new JHF! Cheers you bunch of cnuts!
  10. Working up for the deployment and sorting the infra out there to take them. Keep up trigger.
  11. not enough pilots to cover the hours!!! :)

  12. Sorry, Ainsworthless has already tried that one as a get out of jail card…

    Take some Sea King and Puma pilots, send on conversion course…

    Viola! Extra Wokka pilots
  13. not that easy!! i have an AAC friend and it wont come through quick enough! dare i say a few pilots are in the US getting to grips with dark coloured birds of prey!
  14. One of them is lying on it side in the US of A.

  15. Anyone else spot the differences between a Chinook and the rest of the helicopters mentioned?

    Not all pilots can fly all aircraft. Perhaps other fleets don't have a surplus either. Perhaps there are not enough engineers or spares.