MoD shunned chance to hire more helicopters

Should a fund be started to buy helicopters by public subscription?

  • They buy air ambulances so why not?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No dead Soldiers are cheaper, believe us

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • If the public are willing then yes please!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • God Lord no the MoD has everything under control

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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#1
MoD shunned chance to hire more helicopters

The Ministry of Defence has for a year ignored a £20 million deal to hire transport helicopters from a British firm which could have resolved the transportation shortage in Afghanistan.

The desperate lack of air transport, highlighted at the weekend by The Daily Telegraph, could have been resolved if ministers had agreed last year to an offer from Security Support Solutions Ltd to provide four Mi17 Hip helicopters and an Mi26 Halo transporter, capable of carrying 20 tons.


But the deal foundered because the MoD was reluctant to fly troops in Soviet era helicopters despite the aircraft being specifically designed for the heat and dust of Afghanistan.

Last year Lord Drayson, the defence procurement minister, told the House of Lords that the Government was "seriously considering" an offer from an independent helicopter company to provide logistical support.

Security Support Solutions had the aircraft, flown by former British and European special forces pilots, available immediately to carry troops, food and ammunition in Helmand province.

It said the helicopters would also be "Westernised" and European engineers would carry out all maintenance.

Last night another civilian helicopter company, Skytech, stepped in saying it could offer aircraft and pilots for immediate use in Afghanistan.

With the private helicopters taking the workload off the RAF, the Chinooks would be released to carry out combat operations and more would be available for medical evacuations.

"Common sense dictates that we need to accept that this is a war and then decide what resources we need to get the battle won."

Col Bob Stewart, the former British commander in Bosnia, said the lack of basic equipment "directly translates into greater casualties".

"If you cannot move people by air it means they have to travel by road which leads to a proportionate increase in the dangers faced.

"If a garrison is down to its last 200 mortar rounds it means that the risks just get greater.

"They have been asking for more helicopters forever but still have not got them despite Tony Blair twice promising they would get all they want."

Following this newspaper's report on Saturday highlighting the shortage of spare helicopter parts the aircraft manufacturers Boeing have indicated that they would be able to supply machinery if required.

One reader wrote: ''Thank you for your continued support of our Armed Forces. I would humbly suggest that in actual percentage terms of the overall UK budget it would not take a great deal to resolve some of the very urgent equipment issues for the Armed Forces. A billion pounds of genuinely brand new money, (not old money recycled by spin), spent wisely and without extensive tendering and other resource wasting tactics would greatly enhance current capability.''

Another reader wanted to know if the public could contribute to a fund buying kit

In full

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/06/18/nwar118.xml
 
#2
armchair_jihad said:
...the deal foundered because the MoD was reluctant to fly troops in Soviet era helicopters despite the aircraft being specifically designed for the heat and dust of Afghanistan.
The MoD doesn't have a problem when it comes to flying troops and equipment in Soviet-era AN-124 transport aircraft from Volga-Dnepr UK Limited
 
#3
Fraser said:
armchair_jihad said:
...the deal foundered because the MoD was reluctant to fly troops in Soviet era helicopters despite the aircraft being specifically designed for the heat and dust of Afghanistan.
The MoD doesn't have a problem when it comes to flying troops and equipment in Soviet-era AN-124 transport aircraft from Volga-Dnepr UK Limited
We fly equipment in AN124 - not troops.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
Ooooh, how would it look? Wot with Bliar falling out with the ruskies too. Imagine the headline in the scum!!
 
#5
While I agree that there should be a greater focus on the urgently required capabilities, people need to remember that financial planning is there for a reason. MoD has bugger all money and you can't just find £20 Million without blowing your budgets or knacking someone else's Project.

armchair_jihad said:
an offer from an independent helicopter company...
I'm not aware of the exact details, but companies can't just offer their wares and we buy them just like that. Otherwise we'd need even more Civil Servants (Heaven forbid) just to deal with the amount of pish which is being pushed onto the military. If the Capability gap has been identified then it will be published in the Bulletins once funding has been made available to meet it.

armchair_jihad said:
without extensive tendering and other resource wasting tactics would greatly enhance current capability.''
This kind of quote really gets on my tits. It shows a blatant lack of understanding of the laws we have to operate in. I agree that competitive tendering leads to time delays (not to mention the arguments that it is counter-productive when looking at Strategic cost benefits) but the law is the law. It's like saying "I could get a brand new car much cheaper if I just nick it".

Right, I've got a tender to get out but I'm off for a teabreak instead.
 
#6
The offered a/c were factory newly refurbished, zero-hours on all assemblies. Maintenance provided by western company; crews all ex-mil westerners, many with recent Afghan experience. It was a professional charter service, and the offer was a bargain compared to cost of military heliops. MoD just didn't want to cough up any cash for it....
 
#7
And on the subject of pilots - the article says they were SF. Do SF now fly their own cabs or does the Telegraph mean AAC/RAF bods who did the flying for them. Having done a little of that sort of thing in NI can I call myself SF Loadmaster (local/acting . . . . unpaid!!)

Or do those who do the cabby work for SF now have SF training?
 
#9
Actually the Afghans managed to shoot down quite a few of these thanks to Uncle Sam giving them stingers. It's only a matter of time before they get new SAM's. I saw a hind do a back summersault after getting hit ona documentary about the Afghan war under the Soviets. Needless to say no one got out of that baby.

This government is full of s&*t. They don't give a toss about our lives as long as they look good. Bliar and GB can promise all they want. They will not deliver anything. CVry wolf someone?
 
#10
The Ministry of Defence has for a year ignored a £20 million deal to hire transport helicopters from a British firm which could have resolved the transportation shortage in Afghanistan.

The desperate lack of air transport, highlighted at the weekend by The Daily Telegraph, could have been resolved if ministers had agreed last year to an offer from Security Support Solutions Ltd.....


Isn't SSS somehow connected to the career self-publicist and expert on things he knows little about Tim Collins?

At least Lewis Page is only trying to sell his toilet paper worthy book.
 
#11
rampant54 said:
Actually the Afghans managed to shoot down quite a few of these thanks to Uncle Sam giving them stingers. It's only a matter of time before they get new SAM's. I saw a hind do a back summersault after getting hit ona documentary about the Afghan war under the Soviets. Needless to say no one got out of that baby.
Still looks nails though! I believe a few of our allies have lost copters this time around including a cobra? Still none of that carbon fibre turns to dust rubbish when its shot down, just 11.5 ton of metal, thats gonna leave a big whole in the ground!
 
#12
What's wrong with buying a few extras from our friends in Yeovilton? Thought Future LYNX was being procured? Anything wrong with Bell 212 (like the Brunei, Belize and Cyprus fleets)? Civilian Owned Military Registered (COMR) is not a new concept....... Why not rent some nice big blackhawks from the US National Guard?

Why not? Well, because it's less hassle to spend money bailing out the NHS, the DWP, and paying for the unwashed masses to enjoy their "Idleness" than stumping up a bit of cash for soldiers to get what they deserve.
 
#14
Spanner said:
What's wrong with buying a few extras from our friends in Yeovilton?
Wastelands are no friend of the British forces. They are in it for themselves first and foremost and we in the military have no choice but to purchase the dross they sell for the good of the economy (and votes for MPs).
 
#15
Just inform MOD the helicopters are needed for transport Prince Andrew round the various golf courses , the whirly birds will be available by the weekend
 
#17
While I believe that it may be good for the public to fund extra helos, (which the government should do BTW) the simple fact is, any extra monies the MOD get direct from the public, would be taken away by the treasury, penny for penny, in additional cuts.

Ski.
 
#18
The troops need Heli support Now, Yesterday in fact.
If a commercial operator could provided the nessasary service now, by end of month at latest, then go for it.
Big helis to do the 'Safe' donkey work and smaller cabs capable of lifting at altitude and heat ( Hot & High ), then lets have them.
Payment for service provided, no serive no payment but penalties.
john
Might even get some of the former AAC ex posters out of retirement.
 
#19
4(T) said:
The offered a/c were factory newly refurbished, zero-hours on all assemblies. Maintenance provided by western company; crews all ex-mil westerners, many with recent Afghan experience. It was a professional charter service, and the offer was a bargain compared to cost of military heliops. MoD just didn't want to cough up any cash for it....
And how much of the MoD resistance is some sort of legacy attitude of cold (never were) warriors towards anything Russian?

As to the 20 mill price tag, as this Government has spent over 2 billion pounds on management consultants (the Govts own published figures before you ask Sven), a portion of that at the MoD, we can all guess what an injured British Soldier is worth.
 

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