RAF Blow up £50 million Hercules

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by the_boy_syrup, Sep 5, 2007.

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  1. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    From the sun


    MILITARY chiefs blew up a £50million aircraft so its high-tech gear would not fall into enemy hands, it was revealed yesterday.

    The decision to destroy the specially modified RAF Hercules was made after it crash-landed in a southern Afghan Taliban stronghold.

    The loss of the plane, used to move SAS troops and equipment, is expected to hamper special forces operations for a while in the lawless Helmand badlands.

    The hushed-up accident occurred last week in a blacked-out night landing on a rough dirt air strip.

    Missions ... SAS

    Pilots using night vision goggles were guided in by four SAS troopers on the ground.

    But the Hercules from 47 Squadron at RAF Lyneham — which is the most highly decorated unit in the air force — was badly damaged in what was described as a “very, very hard landing”. None of the crew or troops on board were injured and they were able to evacuate the aircraft.

    After some equipment on board was removed, Army engineers were sent in to plant explosives and blow up the giant transporter and the rest of its contents. A source said: “The loss of the Hercules is a big blow but it was better to blow it up rather than risk letting it fall into the hands of the Taliban.”

    The Hercules planes used by the special forces are equipped with highly classified digital encrypted satellite and high frequency communications suites to relay messages and video from SAS troops on the ground straight back to UK headquarters from anywhere in the world.

    They are also fitted with the latest defensive aids including missile-approach warning gear — and have the ability to jam anti-aircraft missiles with flares and chaff launchers, which release millions of tiny metal particles to confuse radar systems.

    Aircraft for SAS missions also have to be able to carry the Who Dares Wins regiment’s very heavily armed Land Rovers or Mad Max-style Special Utility Vehicles.

    They also transport the SAS’s raider speed boats and mini-subs.

    Until the RAF is able to convert other Hercules, the SAS will probably have to cadge rides with American special forces units.

    Last night an RAF spokesman said: “We continue to manage our aircraft in order to maintain a required level of defence capability.

    “Our first priority is to support operations.”

    couldn't they just have set up an air movments desk next to it?
    An SAC mover going you can't take two weapons on board and that knife is banned, right s'cuse ranks gents Terry Taliban 1, Terry Taliban 2
    By the time the Taliban got there kit in order to get on the plane the stuff would have been out of date and they would have pissed off home :D
  2. This probably means we now have more Spitfires in service than Mk1 Hercs!

    The Sun of course has starred once again by not checking its facts and using a picture of a Mk4 Hercules 'like those used by the SAS' - and indeed all British personnel at one time or another.
  3. Those SAS mini-subs could have been a real boon to the Taliban!
  4. One of our Bedfords broke down a few years back, on the A12 - The very same type of Bedford as used by THEM.

    We would have loved to have blown it in place, but I think Essex Police might have been a bit annoyed. :D
  5. yet again, I doubt the government will find the money to replace it, will have to come out of the existing budget..... Especially as there is an election in the air and all the major parties are talking about tax cuts.....
  6. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    A very hard landing? You mean a crash landing, don't you, c'mon, fess up, you crashed it! Get to the bar, and get some fecking beers in you dork.
  7. There goes the no-claims bonus then!

    What were the alternatives?
    We've not got anything big enough to recover a Herc unless you reduce it to scrap. All the sneaky-beaky bits and bobs were removed, so it's just a moot point really.

    Yes it's going to be a blow to immediate operations, but we've got at least one airframe in mothballs so it's just a matter of how long it takes the brass to pull there finger out and get it fitted out and over there.

    We could always lease an Il-78 off the reds.....
  8. we could alswys get "them" to steal a fewmothballed ones off the yanks im sure they wont notice :twisted:
  9. Now that would make a good film!
  10. thats it, what wrong with leasing one from the yanks, or even buying a russian platform (cheaper) then kitting it out... we can always buy it later on........
  11. They are also fitted with the latest defensive aids including missile-approach warning gear — and have the ability to jam anti-aircraft missiles with flares and chaff launchers, which release millions of tiny metal particles to confuse radar systems.

    Sounds like some one needs to read the OSA, you can't go around telling all and sundry about the unique way the SF flight is outfitted. Just hope they didn't mention the sat comm kit or the hight vision the pilotes use.
  12. Dunc, you mean as with C-17's? Lease them from the US and then buy them further down the line?

    Be easier to just buy them now, the issue is as always funding and political will to do something. Hercules are doing a lot of work right now. Losing one will have an adverse affect on Ops considering the couple we've already lost from the fleet (I would imagine).
  13. not sure the hight vision was working that well on this occasion 8)
  14. If only they had insured it with Sheila's wheels, they would have a courtesy Herc now, mind you it would be pink, just right for desert operations.

  15. Why does this give me a mental picture of Messers Dannatt and Torpy fiddling around in a slightly inexpert fashion with lumps of explosive and detonators 'somewhere in Afghanistan'?