Chinooks for the Stan

#1
At last is all I can say - I presume these are the ones that have been rotting in a hangar because of a screwed procurement decision in the first place - so its money we shouldn't have to spend but hey its progress.

Eight Chinooks to Boost Operations in Afghanistan
UK Ministry of Defence | Dec 20, 2007

A £62 million contract with Boeing to convert eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters to a support helicopter role was announced by the MoD today. Des Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

"Helicopters play a vital role in supporting our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. That is why we are taking measures to make more helicopters available to operations as quickly as possible."

These helicopters will deliver a significant boost to the UK's operational heavy lift helicopter fleet. Chinooks are a key battle winning capability. The first helicopters are expected to be operational in 2009.

The eight converted Chinooks will join the existing fleet of 40 RAF Chinook helicopters and will be based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

Link here for full story

http://www.defencetalk.com/news/pub..._Boost_Operations_in_Afghanistan110014620.php
 
#2
well first of all yes it is good news, and about bloody time, but 2009??? why that long? surely the americans have some out in the desert in nevarda that we can lease??? I would say we need more than 40, perhaps looking at the long term we could buy more and if they are not needed either offer them to civilan work or put them into Desert storage ourselves.

but as you say combatintman at last.

Duncan
 
#3
Classic piece of spin really - by saying that they are being 'converted for use as SH', the MOD is trying to imply that they are currently being used in some other role!
 
#5
My God it has taken them an age to announce this. I thought this was dealt with in the summer, or did MoD have to go around every helicopter maker to ensure Boeing (the makers) were the best deal.
If God had used defence procurement to make the world it would have taken a little longer than 7 days.
 
#6
The more helos the better, but it shouldn't detract from the debacle surrounding the purchase of these airframes in the first place! If it hadn't been fcuked up we would have had these aircraft available to the frontline for the past 8 years.
 
#7
wooger said:
My God it has taken them an age to announce this. I thought this was dealt with in the summer, or did MoD have to go around every helicopter maker to ensure Boeing (the makers) were the best deal.
If God had used defence procurement to make the world it would have taken a little longer than 7 days.
That's because you don't have to get soldiers dying in combat or air crashes approved in advance by a government committee, and that sort of thing never limits a junior minister's career opportunities :evil:
 
#8
I wonder how many more helecopters would be available if the money used to rebuild thease airframes was invested in spares for the rest of the fleet?
If the Govt is so comitted to providing more lift where is the orders for the new generation of CH47F like the yanks are currently ordering? We had 8 airframes that could have immediatly gone into the programme
 
#9
Nurse2, don't be ridiculous. As soon as the airframes are complete with this upgrade the Gov will announce 8 new CH47, which will infact be these airframes that will go in for conversion to CH47F, which will take another 8 years. So I reckon that we will actually get to fly in these in about 2018 or so!
 
#10
And of course we can have as many airframes as we like, but with virtually all crews at least on their second tour we may run out of people to fly them!!!
 
#11
Are these the same Chinooks that were purchased for use specifically in an SF role back in the 90's, but then were found to be incapable of flying in fog or something similar?

Does anyone know if the crabs will be standing up a new Squadron for these aircraft or if they will simply be spread around the exisiting ones?
 
#13
#14
2009 until the first one is delivered?

That takes the pi$$. Why does it take so long to build something that is already manufactured so they don't have to go throught the trials and development phase?
 
#15
As these Chonook HC.3s(serial numbers ZH897 to ZH904) will be very significantly different from the existing Chinook HC.2/HC.2A fleet,is is probable these will be operated by either 7 Sqn(the idea when the HC.3s were going to enter service years ago),or that a new helicopter unit will be stood up.

When the RAF recieved it's Chinook HC.2As(serial numbers ZH891 to ZH896) earlier this decade(these are apperently not like the Chinook HC.2),these were initially at least concentrated with 18 Sqn.

There were reports in Air Forces Monthly recently that the RAF may be recieving the new Chinooks being built in the States(CH-47F or MH-47G),with about 10 new helicopters being mooted.Only trouble here is the Spams are not prepared to release all the new technology(on MH-47Gs) to foreign countries(even their closest allies) at this time.

Time will tell.
 
#16
The HC3s are being modifed so that they are, to all intents and purposes, HC2s. The original plan was that they'd be used to support SF Ops, and they were therefore meant to be similar to the MH-47E.

Some bright spark in the MoD (there are rumours that it was TCH himself) decided that instead of simply asking Boeing to supply MH-47Es, we should, instead, invest in some sort of hybrid version which had a mixture of digital and analogue flight deck kit, since this would be cheaper than buying MH-47Es off the shelf. You can see where this is going, can't you?

This complicated the release to service, since the safety of the HC3 was dependent upon the software; the software needed to be proven to meet required standards and....

... to cut a long story short we ended up with eight helicopters with flight instrumentation that couldn't be proven to meet the required standards, and which were restricted to VFR only so that the pilot wasn't dependent upon the instruments which might, or might not, no-one could really tell, be working properly. As Lewis Page notes (getting it right for once), the main problem wasn't that the HC3s were unsafe, just that it was impossible to prove that they weren't.

So we have to modify them - at huge expense (it works out at over £10m per airframe) so that they are compatible wth the HC2s, which can fly in slightly iffy weather.

The Investment Approvals Board authorised expenditure to fix the HC3s in July 2005; this was a full three years after discussion as to whether it would be better to transfer the airframes to the US Army (which wanted as many Chinooks as it could get) in return for getting MH-47Gs at a later date. This didn't happen, supposedly either because the MoD mishandled the discussions and convinced the Americans they'd be better off waiting for new-build MH-47Gs, or because the projected time needed to bring the HC3s to American standards was little quicker than waiting for new airframes from the Boeing producition line).

So - we could have transferred the aircraft to the US about 5 years ago, and have had eight nice new MH-47Gs entering service. But that went wrong.

The IAB authorised expendture to fix the HC3 in 2005, yet it's taken over 2 years to get a contract signed for this; a contract that will involve spending £90 million to get the HC3s into service in 2009 (and the back end of 2009 at that, meaning most likely 2010).
 
#19
Archimedes said:
Some bright spark in the MoD (there are rumours that it was TCH himself) decided that instead of simply asking Boeing to supply MH-47Es, we should, instead, invest in some sort of hybrid version which had a mixture of digital and analogue flight deck kit, since this would be cheaper than buying MH-47Es off the shelf. You can see where this is going, can't you?
more likely some high ranking RAF orificer who doesn't think digital is the way to go, just like the tornado having mechanical linkages to the tailerons when the quadruple AFCS was quite adequate
 
#20
The ones we bought but couldn't use were due to some UK legislation meaning we couldn't fly them over here, as for buying or leasing US ones, well they were desperate to buy the ones we couldn't use because they are also desperate for Chinooks. Helicopters are pretty much what we all need due to the conflicts we're in just now.

Its also good to see that the government are trying to merge/sell off DARA, so at a time when we're desperate for helicopters and support we're effectively reducing our ability to fix and modify them.
 

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads