MoD to Lease Helicopters to Sp Afghanistan

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Crusty(LE), Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. Just heard on BFBS that the MoD is to consider leasing helicopters from other nations to meet the shortfall in lift requirements on Herrick. Can't find a news feed.... I think the presenter said 'including ex soviet block countries'?

    Does than mean we are going to get a fleet of HALO Mi-26? or Mi-8 HIP decked out in RAF colours and roundalls?
  2. Never be crewed by RAF: seats too hard, airframe wrong colour, mini bar not stocked.....
  3. We have already used them from one contractor, we are still using them under a NATO Contract, this is presumably an extension of the contract either nationally or via NATO. I don't imagine that they will be badged up - just used like Jingly trucks to deliver routine freight, thereby freeing RAF helicopter hours to do the job of air manoeuvre.

    Edited to add: Once_a-Grey, that is unfair - make that jibe as much as you like about the rest of the RAF, the SH boys are not the same!
  4. I suppose its cheaper than buying more from Westland :roll:
  5. does the fuel tank have to be full when you hand it back or they will bill your credit card ?

    if you ask for a Puma and theyve got none in do you get upgraded to a Cobra for the same price ?
  6. How long ago were we screaming about this on Arrse? I know there is a thread somewhere.
  7. Timing perhaps not disconnected from this perhaps:

    Canada to lease Russian helicopters for Afghan mission

    OTTAWA — Canada will lease up to eight Russian-built helicopters to ferry supplies around the battlefield in Afghanistan until it gets new U.S. choppers, says Defence Minister Peter MacKay.

    It is a stopgap measure meant to get Canadian army supply convoys off the bomb-laced roads of Kandahar, where explosives have been taking an increasingly deadly toll.

    Securing helicopter transport was a principal condition of the Manley commission report last winter and a key caveat of Parliament's extension of the combat mission until 2011. The Conservative government was given until February 2009 to come up with the helicopters and a flight of unmanned surveillance planes.

    A $375 million deal to acquire six CH-47-D Chinook's from the U.S. Army has been worked out, but those heavy-lift aircraft will not arrive until late this year - or early next.

    In the meantime, MacKay said the Defence Department has worked out a lease involving "six to eight" Russian-made Mi-8 choppers.

    The former Soviet-era helicopters "have similar capacity to a Chinook," MacKay told reporters Wednesday heading into the Conservative caucus summer retreat in Levis, Que.

    "So they're heavy-lift...They'll be used to transport materials along the same routes, performing much the same purpose (as) the Chinooks would."

    The Mi-8s are in fact considered a medium-lift helicopter and date back in their original design to the 1960s. They were a familiar sight in the skies of Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.

    MacKay would not say what former Soviet Bloc country - or private company - would provide the aircraft, nor was the cost of the lease made public. An official in the minister's office said a detailed formal announcement will be made next week.

    The NATO mission in Afghanistan has suffered from a chronic shortage of troop and supply helicopter support.

    The military alliance was put in the embarrassing position late last year of approving the lease of private helicopters and fixed-wing planes for supply missions at remote desert and mountain-top bases. Member countries were unwilling to risk their own aircraft and crews on perilous missions.

    The Canadian army is one of the only major troop-contributing countries in Afghanistan without its own dedicated helicopter support and the Conservatives have struggled for over two years to acquire U.S.-made CH-47s.

    If the leased Mi-8 helicopters come from another NATO country, such as Hungary or Slovakia, they would be able to carry both troops and equipment.

    But MacKay's careful choice of words and reference to "materials" suggests the rentals will likely belong to a private company, said a defence analyst.

    "They're not certified to transport our personnel, expect of course in an emergency, so they would be leased to transport equipment only," said Alain Pellerin, executive director of the Conference of Defence Associations.

    Last winter, Poland offered Canada access to two of its Mi-17 battlefield transport helicopters, part of its increased commitment to the Afghan mission.

    They were expected to arrive this summer, but military officials have privately expressed concern about availability.

    Polish special forces soldiers operating in Kandahar would have first call on the choppers, not Canadians.
  8. Sarcasm aside. Even if we went that route, pilots don't grow on trees and you wouldn't see the first cabs for 18 months.

    Not much use to the fellas out there now. This seems a reasonably good short term fix....

    (for a problem the MoD, Treasury and senior knobbers at LAND created.)
  9. About the time tony blair assured us that the troops would get everything they asked for. (then ordered those in charge not to ask for any more helicopters ... alledgedly)
  10. Someone was just being interviewed on the radio about it (didn't get his name) and he suggested that these will be mainly for troop carrying purposes and will be RAF/Navy crewed.

    Going by the trouble they have gotten into over Nimrod and the fact that these could carry up to say 30 troops they won't be able to get away with just any old piece of crap. They will no doubt have to meet all the normal UK MOD standards including any DAS equipment for fear of any consequences if we were to lose one with substandard or out of date equipment.

    I guess that might mean leasing equipment straight from manufacturers or from other countries who are not participants in theatre.
  11. If that is the case - usual caveats about the media's experts generally being rather less well-informed than Arrse users - It might be that the bod was suggesting that the offer from Eurocopter to provide Cougars on lease is being taken up? This was given consideration prior to the acquisition of the Danish Merlins, after all.
  12. Not sure which piece of work this is - there is plenty of work being done on general capacity building in A-stan through NATO getting helos refurbished into a common pool. There is also work being done on general cargo space leasing too.
    I think we need to be careful here to identify which projects if any the report is referring to before drawing conclusions - its possible that the media has taken a few different snippets and put them together for one project.
  13. so who was the tosser who ordered the ones that are in a hanger being mothballed? he will probably get a huge pay off and massive pension!
    good to see we will have those aircraft carriers though, will they lease the planes and heli's to fill it?
  14. Who will maintain them, do we buy the tooling, jigs, publications, etc?

    How long will the lease be for?

    Is there any limitations on use?

    Who will do the pilot and/or maintainer training?

    Who will be looking after the work within the MoD, what are the prices, etc, etc?

    Will they need modified to comply with EU regulations, if so do we pick up the bill then remove mods before handing back?

    These questions need to be asked, leasing helicopters might seem like a good short term deal but when it comes to helicopters it's never a short term timescale. I've worked on rotary wing and it's always been a nightmare getting this type of thing to work, bringing in new helicopters is also troublesome.
  15. How about using small fixed wing transports to take some of the load off the helicopters?

    I have already mentioned my liking for the C27J on another thread and even something equivalent to the old Beaver would have its uses.

    Granted, these would only be really useful for moving between bases, but we are often using helicopters for that.