Hercs on Channel 4 News

#1
Leading story on channel 4 news right now.

Despite the MOD saying that the fleet of hercs would be fitted with the new fire fighting equipment after the herc was downed in Iraq and another caught fire, only one has been upgraded.

Typing really fast so sorry if this makes no sense!
 
#2
What doesn't make sense is why this hasn't been done. Essentially the aircraft cannot be refitted because operation tempo would be degraded if they were withdrawn for refit. It is a disgrace but are you surprised? Unfortunately I'm not,
 
#4
I would't be suprised that,because of manpower shortages (on ops,PVRing ect) on the Airframe technician side of things,that the 'upgrades' will be done when the Herky goes in for first line maintainance.
That's the way most mods are done to things in the RAF,Unless it's a critical modification.
 
#5
spike7451 said:
I would't be suprised that,because of manpower shortages (on ops,PVRing ect) on the Airframe technician side of things,that the 'upgrades' will be done when the Herky goes in for first line maintainance.
That's the way most mods are done to things in the RAF,Unless it's a critical modification.
A private company in Cambridge has the contract to do it, the Ch4 News article showed 4 or 5 Hercy birds in their hangers for refitting
 
#6
The MODs statement was complete politico waffle as well.

Don't answer the question you were asked, answer the question you would like to be asked.

They'r blaming operational commitments for the delay.

Haven't got the report up on C4 news yet though.
 
#8
Sven said:
spike7451 said:
I would't be suprised that,because of manpower shortages (on ops,PVRing ect) on the Airframe technician side of things,that the 'upgrades' will be done when the Herky goes in for first line maintainance.
That's the way most mods are done to things in the RAF,Unless it's a critical modification.
A private company in Cambridge has the contract to do it, the Ch4 News article showed 4 or 5 Hercy birds in their hangers for refitting
Ah,There's your answer then.Probably knock off at 5pm & no weekends.Unlike the RAF M.U's who work shifts.
 
#9
The foam issue was known about for decades. Despite this, foam was not fitted. Despite the loss of two aircraft (one with all crew) only one airframe has since been fitted and this is sat safely in the UK.

Withdrawing the aircraft from service in Afghanistan will affect operational tempo. Tough. The fleet should be grounded or restricted to ops in a benign environment (hmm...where?!?) until the fitting is complete. Allies can gap-fill - it's not soldiers after all that are being asked for, and US ariframes have the required fit.

Responsible ministers and civil servants should be in the dock for criminal negligence. :evil:
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#10
Sven said:
spike7451 said:
I would't be suprised that,because of manpower shortages (on ops,PVRing ect) on the Airframe technician side of things,that the 'upgrades' will be done when the Herky goes in for first line maintainance.
That's the way most mods are done to things in the RAF,Unless it's a critical modification.
A private company in Cambridge has the contract to do it, the Ch4 News article showed 4 or 5 Hercy birds in their hangers for refitting
That would be Marshalls. They've had UK Design Auth for Fat Albert for years. They did the stretched Herc. Always something interesting on the tarmac when I go past.
 
#12
Have a word folks, the fire supressant system doesn't stop the fall of 800 ft after being hit by small arms fire or worse. We whine about not getting enough kit into theatre, or even getting R&R, and you want the aircraft withdrawn because it might catch fire!

It would be nice if it was fitted, the same as going out on patrol in a CII or not leaving our fair shores!

Yes it's a pain in the arse, and it should be fitted, but only as and when the frames go in for second/thrid line servicing.
 
#13
Hercules pilots have told Channel 4 News they don't have the protection they need - and a retired Air Marshal has accused the Ministry of Defence of negligence.
Hate to say it, but this one has just a hint of Biggles posturing about it. How many lives have we lost to fire in Hercs in theatre so far? errrr, zero...

As aes69 points out, risk/benefit calculations are what being in the military are all about. Fire suppressant foam would undoubtedly make Hercs safer, to a degree - but I'd rather see the money spent on a fit for purpose APC, or a working radio, or hiring some more helos...

I well remember ground crew in the Falklands (who might be outdoors 1 hour in 24) being first in line for goretex waterproofs, while infantry patrolling in the cuds had the old style 'water-absorbent' waterproofs - because, don't you see, old boy, it's a flight safety issue - poor chaps must be able to concentrate fully on their job...

When the Army start agitating, I'll believe we need it... Until then, if the RAF want safer hercs, they can sell one of their future Typhoons - that'll pay for the entire fleet to be improved beyond their wildest dreams.... They can even have ashtrays in the cockpit...
 
#14
fozzy said:
Sven said:
spike7451 said:
I would't be suprised that,because of manpower shortages (on ops,PVRing ect) on the Airframe technician side of things,that the 'upgrades' will be done when the Herky goes in for first line maintainance.
That's the way most mods are done to things in the RAF,Unless it's a critical modification.
A private company in Cambridge has the contract to do it, the Ch4 News article showed 4 or 5 Hercy birds in their hangers for refitting
That would be Marshalls. They've had UK Design Auth for Fat Albert for years. They did the stretched Herc. Always something interesting on the tarmac when I go past.
Don't suppose You can pop in and te3ll em to move their arses on this one
 
#16
Nibbler said:
Hate to say it, but this one has just a hint of Biggles posturing about it. How many lives have we lost to fire in Hercs in theatre so far? errrr, zero...
So, by this logic, because some people have died despite body armour, should it be withdrawn? This is not about 'Biggles posturing' any more than the furore about Snatch vehicles is pongo posturing. C130s carry troops and aeromed patienst as well as kit.

As aes69 points out, risk/benefit calculations are what being in the military are all about. Fire suppressant foam would undoubtedly make Hercs safer, to a degree - but I'd rather see the money spent on a fit for purpose APC, or a working radio, or hiring some more helos...
New Labour's policies have obviously influenced you. It shouldn't be a case of 'either or' in these cases; the safety of our military should not be negotiable. the Treasury ought to cough up for all that is needed for ops.

I well remember ground crew in the Falklands (who might be outdoors 1 hour in 24) being first in line for goretex waterproofs, while infantry patrolling in the cuds had the old style 'water-absorbent' waterproofs - because, don't you see, old boy, it's a flight safety issue - poor chaps must be able to concentrate fully on their job...
Zzzzzzzz

When the Army start agitating, I'll believe we need it...
Very sensible. I'll bet you have a DPM duvet cover.
 
#17
New Labour's policies have obviously influenced you. It shouldn't be a case of 'either or' in these cases; the safety of our military should not be negotiable. the Treasury ought to cough up for all that is needed for ops.
Oh dear - touched a nerve, have I? New Labour's policies have only influenced my blood pressure... Setting aside digging at Biggles - and who could resist that? - you are living in a fantasy world if you think that 'the Treasury ought to cough up for all that is needed for ops' is a meaningful statement. Of course they ought - but they never will in the real world: just a superficial pass across current ops would generate a wish list that would probably cost more than the current defence budget.

The serious point, as aes pointed out, and that I do agree with, is that all military kit/ops are about risks/opportunities and possibilities. I restate the point: to my knowledge, we have lost no-one to fire in Hercs in Afghanistan. Conversely, we have lost a number of people in vehicles that appear inadequately armoured, and appear to have serious tactical comms issues.

Therefore, my foolish soldier's view is that additional anti-fire precautions in Hercs are secondary to at least those issues. Kit priorities are not about who shouts loudest, or who gets good coverage in the press. Similarly, they are described as 'priorities' precisely because there is no unlimited pot of gold. The Treasury should provide perfect schooling, perfect hospitals, and a perfect military - oh, and a revamped transport system that can cope with current and future demand - oh, and they should solve poverty in Africa - but I ain't holding my breath. In the interim, we'll have to make do with what we've got, and focus on what is the most urgent need, not the most sexy. Or is that an unreasonable viewpoint?
 
#18
Nibbler said:
[SNIP]
I restate the point: to my knowledge, we have lost no-one to fire in Hercs in Afghanistan.
[SNIP]
May I suggest you Google for the Board of Inquiry report on the Herc that went down in Iraq (or go over to PPRUNE and read the threads there). That stated, quite categorically, that the fuel tank would not have exploded when hit by ground fire, killing everyone on board, if foam had been fitted.

The USAF learnt this lesson in Vietnam, hence they fit foam in the factory. Our penny pinching criminally stupid DPA never bothered. I would suggest that fitting it now is preferable to having a C-130 stuffed full of troops go down in Afghanistan.
 
#19
Nibbler,

Get up from whatever you are doing, walk down your loacal high street and buy yourself an expresso, stick nose near the lip of the vessel it is in and ihale deeply.

By your argument we should only ever target a recognised capability gap once we have lost soldiers' lifes. Not a very clever policy for valuing our troops or as a recruitment/retention policy.

The flame retardan issue has been a long recognised capability gap in the UK C130 fleet. No doubt during the tendering and spec writig for the C130J contract as well as FLA the need was written into the spec but then costed out by exactly the sort of argument you are offering.

If you look at the CBA for the loss of an aircraft carrying a cargo (pax or frt) in an op theatre (anywhere hot and sandy) and the IO/PR victory for insurgents if they do manage to bring one down through a combination of SAA and a resultant fire then you will realise that this is a major issue.

Look at the current system for aircraft arriving into IRAQ/BAS and the impacts for R&R flights caused by the localised threat and the lack of aircraft equipped to deal with the threat. The same argument could easily be made for the C130 fleet, would you rather see folks bussed/trucked to Ali Al Saleem to start their R&R when the risk of a fire on a C130 is deemed by someone to be too great to allow carriage of pax in theatre without this saftey system?
 
#20
aes69 said:
Have a word folks, the fire supressant system doesn't stop the fall of 800 ft after being hit by small arms fire or worse. We whine about not getting enough kit into theatre, or even getting R&R, and you want the aircraft withdrawn because it might catch fire!

It would be nice if it was fitted, the same as going out on patrol in a CII or not leaving our fair shores!

Yes it's a pain in the arse, and it should be fitted, but only as and when the frames go in for second/thrid line servicing.
Agreed - man up. There are plenty of failings in our aircraft fleets, lack of DAS in SH, LBH etc. I actually welcome the fact that one has been done as it demonstrates that the principle has been approved and contracts signed. It will be a slow process but at least it is happening; proof that the lobbying of a lot of concerned people.

To suggest we should be grounding the fleet and block upgrading is cloud cuckoo stuff. Ridiculous.
 

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