Govt trumpets upgrade for Afghanistan chinooks

The government announced Thursday a 408-million-pound upgrade for its Chinook helicopters in Afghanistan, following criticism of a shortage of air power there.

The upgrade will allow the choppers to fly longer and to spend longer on the frontline …More
Enlarge photo .The 38 aircraft will be fitted with more powerful Honeywell engines and more advanced digitised cockpits, to enable them to work more effectively in high altitudes and extreme temperatures in Afghanistan, officials said.

Is this just standard upgrading of equipment. I see that no new airframes are being sent out?!
Mmmm. Really ought to have been announced by the environment minister, since the news is recycled...

The upgrade being boasted about by Davies (by the by, has a safe seat been found for him yet, or does he really think that he's going to be voted back in by the good citizens of Stamford?) is to bring the remaining HC2/HC2A/HC3(R) airframes to a common - presumably HC4 - standard. A small number of airframes have already been fitted with the new engines.

It'll take until 2016 for all the aircraft to be upgraded to this common standard. It'll do nothing to bring about a swift increase in airframes in theatre - when the upgrade is completed, it'll mean that all the airframes are at the same theatre entry standard, so rather than flogging a small number of airframes which meet TES, it'll be possible to rotate aircraft in and out of theatre (assuming we're still there) much more easily.

The announcement that funding for the entire fleet of aircraft to be brought up to standard was made last month (it was in Janes' Defence Weekly over 6 weeks ago), and this is clearly the standard 'announce news again' effort the current administration is so keen upon. If Davies had announced that the govt were buying more airframes (even if only two to replace those lost recently), then 'trumpeting' the news might be appropriate.

They haven't 'opened their eyes', RobR - they're just trying to pull the wool over everyone else's...
This upgrade has been an open secret for at least 6 months.

I notice the One Eyed Porridge Wog has not ordered two replacement Wokkas to make good the two we lost last month.
In fairness *grits teeth* the two lost airframes have already been replaced in theatre.

The problem is as soon as one is availible it is being sent out and we seem to lose one the same week/day.

There are no big announcements. I don't know whether this is due to us trying to keep a lid on the exact numbers in theatre "I can't say how many we have as it is secret!" or there is no massive PR victory as the numbers are staying the same due to attrition.

God that hurt.
Any idea how big the trumpets will be ?

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