End of RAF search and Rescue.......

Discussion in 'MoD News' started by ScaleyDave, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. [h=1]Bristow Group 'to take over UK search and rescue'[/h] [​IMG] Bristow has been awarded a fill-in contract to operate rescue

    A US-based company is to take over Britain's helicopter search and rescue operations, the BBC understands.
    A statement due before the London stock exchange opens on Tuesday is expected to confirm the Bristow Group has won the contract from 2015 to 2026.
    It is understood the firm is planning to replace ageing RAF and Royal Navy Sea King helicopters with modern Sikorsky S-92s and AgustaWestland 189s.
    The contract will bring to an end 70 years of UK military search and rescue.
    After 2017, military involvement in search and rescue will cease and a new civilian contract will come into force.
    Bristow has already been preparing crews for coastguard duties at Sumburgh in Shetland and Stornoway in the Western Isles.
    The UK's military and coastguard search and rescue helicopter service is also based at Culdrose, Wattisham, Valley, Boulmer, Portland, Lee-on-Solent, Chivenor, Leconfield, Lossiemouth and Prestwick.
    A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: "The department has been going through the procurement process and we're due to make an announcement soon."
    The department began the procurement process in November 2011 for providing search and rescue (SAR) helicopter services on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
    It wanted all-weather SAR helicopter service able to operate throughout the UK, including mountainous terrain and at sea.
    According to Bristow's website, its helicopters and pilots have already rescued more than 7,000 people in the UK. It also operates in the Netherlands, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Russia, Brazil and Canada.

    BBC News - Bristow Group 'to take over UK search and rescue'
  2. So where will military SAR pilots get their experience now? Ah, training exercises. How comforting for us all.
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  3. This was first muted a couple of years ago now ~ wondered what had happened to it
  4. As a civvie, this doesn't fill me with much confidence, at least with the RAF SAR operation you felt "safe" knowing it wasn't just money-grabbing company you were relying on to get you out of shit (yes yes i know the government are a bunch of money-grabbing ***** but we don't get a say in that matter), least with RAF SAR, the subconscience safety was there i.e "these are trained professionals that do this for a living" not "these are minimum wage 'rent-a-cops' (or in the case of the new SAR operation: 'rent-a-rescuer'
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  5. Helicopter search and rescue privatisation: Government to hand service to American company Bristow Group - Mirror Online

    And from history:
    £2bn search-and-rescue sell-off plan under threat after UK-led contender withdraws its bid | Mail Online 28 October 2008
  6. I can't see it being long before Bristow is offered a contract to be UK's Merchant Aviation and take over the helicopter transport roles of RN, RAF and Army.
  7. Agree'd, this is an open door opportunity which I suspect given the lengthy contract the Government will monitor accordingly.
  8. FFS, if this has to happen, why does the government at least give the contract to a British company, so then at least it will be Brits running the show and it would be good for British business. I did wonder why I kept seeing so called "coastguard" helicopters etc with US coast guard colours, thought it was just the coast guard being pathetic and copying.
  9. How many staff are the RAF going to miss?

    Another cost cutting exercise which will impact on capability.
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  10. Why are politicians so short ****ing sighted!
  11. Because they can't. The contract would not be covered by the exclusions allowed in European competition law.

    Bristow Helicopters is a British company, formed in Aberdeen in 1953. It was bought out by a US business, Offshore Logistics, about 10 years ago, who but it is the biggest single operator of civilian helicopters in the UK. The buy out was a reverse takeover, which means the resulting company, The Bristow Group was floated (on the NYSE). The Brit bit of the company is a wholly owned limited subsidiary registered in the UK and it reports and pays tax in the UK. Complex, but that is the way of the modern corporate world.

    The coastguard helicopters you have been seeing have been around for years; India Juliet was a Lee-on-Solent from 1988 to 2007, operated under contract by Bristow. It has always been painted white with a red stripe, because that is the internationally recognised coastguard livery, used by many countries.

    For those who have questioned whether Bristow will be as good as the RAF, note that they run SAR services for a number of major countries, including Russia and Australia. They have been running the HM Coastguard service here for a long time and they train the RAF SAR pilots.
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  12. ^ ^ ^ Bristows would also fly in the Falklands when the RAF pilots would not- some of their pilots had been down there for years and would fly in almost any weather. Just curious as to how wartime SAR will work now or are they plannning for Jolly Green Giants full of jolly green giants descending from the sky courtesy of 'the Cousins'??
  13. and this was a mate who told you? right? who happened to be in direct contact with the RAF crews, who informed him of this? you utter chopper*.

    I did several tours down south back in the day and saw many RAF helos flying in atrocious weather there.

    * see what I did there:)
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  14. Now behave, you two. I've had one or two heli-taxi rides down there and I've always ended up in the Bristow helicopter. And each time the crew has been ex-RAF. Now, I don't know if Bristows pick up more flights because they've got a contract to run them but it's a nigh-on certainty that the Bristow pilots have more experience than their still-serving RAF counterparts.