Combat ban for Afghanistan helicopters

#1
Combat ban' for Afghanistan helicopters
Helicopters earmarked by the Ministry of Defence to help British troops in Afghanistan will not be able to fly on combat operations because they are not armour-plated, senior RAF sources have disclosed.

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Published: 10:45PM BST 03 Aug 2009

A Royal Naval Merlin helicopter lands aboard the HMS Illustrious Photo: GETTY
A failure to equip the six Merlin helicopters – which will go to Helmand in December – with proper protection from bullets and rocket-propelled grenades will endanger the lives of passengers and crew, pilots have told The Daily Telegraph.
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...7/Combat-ban-for-Afghanistan-helicopters.html
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Don't they through loads of odd shaped objects out of their chuff at high velocity?

Oops, no thats hermers, aint it :D I meant Chaff.
 
#5
Really? The Taliban are trying to down a helicopter full of troops? The cads! Who'd have thought? Glad the Telegraph told us otherwise we might never have realised......
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
After that Herc went down and with all the fallout about poor equipment, lack of fire - retardant foam/filling of the wings, and with us generally being a miserley/cheapo/poorly funded Force on the whole, I can't begin to imagine what the press would do with a downed chinook story...

I'm just amazed (and relieved) that it hasn't happened yet. But surely with the amount of near misses and close calls, isn't it only a matter of time before a heli full of blokes crashes or gets shot down?
 
#8
Why have they got a picture of a naval Merlin (for hunting subs, detecting surface vessels and various other naval stuff) to go with a story about RAF Merlins?
 
#10
Command_doh said:
After that Herc went down and with all the fallout about poor equipment, lack of fire - retardant foam/filling of the wings, and with us generally being a miserley/cheapo/poorly funded Force on the whole, I can't begin to imagine what the press would do with a downed chinook story...

I'm just amazed (and relieved) that it hasn't happened yet. But surely with the amount of near misses and close calls, isn't it only a matter of time before a heli full of blokes crashes or gets shot down?
It happened to the yanks with a British fatality, it could have been worse if it was full though.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-459216/British-soldier-killed-chinook-crash-named.html
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Hmmm, all those missing Stingers, eh? Getting a bit rusty (when they are not being modified for bombs - as in the USS Cole attack) I heard. Unless the Saudi's and ISI are paying for the newer kit - and surely our choppers would be dropping like flies if they were - I was under the impression they were more likely to be packing old school Kaytusha's.
 
#13
The MoD might now delay the Merlins deployment in order to have them fitted with the armour, or it could deploy them as "a calculated risk".
When are the people in charge going to get things right and start giving our troops the vital helicopters,Equipment and man power they need.Not the helicopters which now have to be modified so that the troops can use them . This is a total disgrace
 
#14
What armour do these fancy Merlins have compared to the Cdo SeaKing MK4's that have been running about for a while in the stan? Because i didnt think the MK4's had any either. Oh and the lynx's that were here as well.
 
#16
Are we on a war footing when trying to get these helicopters out to Afghanistan? Does the factory work three shifts a day and seven days a week? Is it the case that we do not have enough skilled workers to properly back up armed forces at war? What would happen if we started losing airframes in a serious way? It seems to me, with my limited knowledge. that we do not have the back up to fight any form of enduring campaign were assets are being lost at any more than a trickle.
 
#17
Does anyone know if these are the same six Merlins destined for the Danish Armed Forces, who kindly gave up their place in the queue after Tony Blair famously said "I'll get the British Forces anything they want?"

I was on a course with a Merlin Pilot at that time, late 2006, who said that it would take a lot of work to bring these aircraft up to sufficient specification to serve in Afghanistan. I didn't think it would take nearly three years, though.

Audit of Blair's Promise.
 
#18
seabrook3 said:
The MoD might now delay the Merlins deployment in order to have them fitted with the armour, or it could deploy them as "a calculated risk".................. . This is a total disgrace
I wonder if the decision to 'deploy them as a calculated risk' will be taken by the same 'guys and gals' who will be flying the 'calculated risk'?

Oh! I thought not.
 
#19
We had Armoured helecopters in Northern Ireland, the Sioux, we sat on our flack jackets,
As long as they have tail rotors, there is no such thing as an armoured helecopter as in Blackhawk down, they had tail rotor failure caused by a RPG strike, armour was irrelevent
 
#20
Skynet said:
Are we on a war footing when trying to get these helicopters out to Afghanistan? Does the factory work three shifts a day and seven days a week? Is it the case that we do not have enough skilled workers to properly back up armed forces at war? What would happen if we started losing airframes in a serious way? It seems to me, with my limited knowledge. that we do not have the back up to fight any form of enduring campaign were assets are being lost at any more than a trickle.
For the six Danish conversions Augusta Westland dropped the Sea King HUMS contract to drag all the contractors they cold into the factory. We worked seven days a week double days and a night shift, all were completed on time. The eight molly coddled chinooks, which are not in climate conditioned anything, are being worked with four on four off day and night shifts. There is a shortage of skilled workers especially when one can earn in excess of £1k per week pocket money in europe, but you will have to ask the tossers who decided to close St Athan's about that. :x