Chinook Choppers Afghan Mission Cancelled

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Feb 24, 2009.

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  1. Perfect.

  2. If there are problems training crews, more cabs in theatre won't mean more availability. Seems fair enough.
  3. The number of cabs in total available was only ever part of the story. It's about spares, hours, crews.. all just as important.

    As ever the simple bit was picked up by the press, and the government had to be seen to respond.

    The more important bits are turning up the spare parts hose and getting more and more skilled engineers etc.

    Getting out of Iraq and concentrating all our resources in one theatre is going to help no end. The Merlins will have a BIG impact. Picking up the work that the Chinooks aren't capable of.... or allowing large scale actions of the sort we have seen in the last few weeks on a more regular basis.
  4. Not really suprised. We have almost 50 Wokkas, getting the HC3 airworthy was never going to drive available hours up a huge ammount. What's more, there's only so many seats on the Chinook conversion course and unless QHIs grow on trees, no way to get more on squadron without yanking pilots off the front line.

    Also, as much as I like the Merlin, the MoD made a mistake in marrying RAF lift needs to the Navy need for pingers, or at least in only ever procurring a single squadron's worth.
  5. I believe there are two sqn's of them. That included the extra 8 or so bought off the Danes.
  6. Reference Merlin in Afghan, will there be dramas with regards to flying from late morning onwards?? We were using them on excercise in Kenya to conduct Air Assault ops prior to deployment on Herrick 8 and their were a lot of restrictions on when they could and couldn't fly, I believe it was to do with being unable to generate enough uplift when fully laden in the heat? Good bit of kit to have out there if they are up to the job, smaller target but stil good troop carrying ability! :)
  7. As, ever, only half the story, if that:

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    "Defence Secretary John Hutton told MPs in a written answer that the cost of converting eight Merlin helicopters for operations in Afghanistan would be at least £50m and would take at least four months.

    Britain is expected to have all of its combat troops and equipment out of Iraq by the end of July, meaning that it may not be until December that helicopters used in Iraq can begin to be used by commanders in Afghanistan.

    The cash strapped MoD will face further upgrade bills and delays for the conversion of the other 18 helicopters being transferred from Iraq to Afghanistan which include six Chinooks and 12 Lynxs.

    The announcement serves as a blow to both the MoD and commanders on the ground in Afghanistan. Helicopter shortages have been well documented in Afghanistan, often forcing troops and equipment to be transported along roads prone to attacks by the Taliban. A large degree of optimism was placed on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq which would free up dozens of helicopters.

    But Hutton's revelation makes it clear that the transfer will not be immediate and that 2010 will most likely be the year when helicopter overstretch subsides."
  8. Cough 'NCO pilots anyone?' cough!

    Not a short term solution I know but looking 5/10 years down the line?....

  9. Yeah, they cobbled together 78 last year. Originally it was only 28 Sqn with 22 cabs though, with the fishheads getting 44 pingers.

    That doesn't actually solve the instructor shortage or that more and more hours are being flung at the front line, which eats into what's available for training. The cabs're only finite after all.

    I've suggested before that those AAC bods who're looking at a cab shortage once FLynx comes in, might find themselves flying crab airframes in the future. But I've no idea how straightforward or acceptable the AAC might find that. One for an AAC bod to speculate on.