Refurb of 'new' Chinooks-BBC 2 TV

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by muhandis89, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. A puff piece for QinetiQ (just after they announced 400 redundancies).It appears that the original SF Chinooks have been-more or less-completely rebuilt at huge cost.After these machines stood for some years,I cannot imagine why they were not 'part exchanged' with Boeing for the specification needed.Surely that would have been cheaper?
  2. 500 million at the last estimate to get 8 chinooks to the field, QinitiQ cost's have nearly doubled to 100 mil for the refurb which brings them to a lower spec than what the original purchase was. The things don't even have digital cockpits.

    The cost of a bog standard Chinook is around £21 mil so we could have had a lot more than 8.
  3. I missed the first bit of the programe I thought they were old airframes going through indepth repair not the SF ones becuase the bloke kept say getting them back in the air
  4. It is available to watch again on the BBC i Player. They do expressly state that the build relates to the eight airframes previously purchased from the Americans which had been grounded for some time in mothballs. I suppose that the decision to strip and rebuild them to lower spec rather than simply to exchange for a higher spec was a political one which would have provided work for the constituency rather than the Boeing factory.
  5. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Still a shoddy deal wasnt it! More money wasted!
  6. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Pgmme didn't exactly dwell on the utter incompetence of the initial purchasing decision.
  7. Or if they have got all the bugs out of the flight control system yet, so they don't have the "magnetic attraction to big sharp pointy mountain" bug still in the software.

  8. Procurment issues aside, i did like this program, does show that the guys in the factories are working their balls off to get the job done when given the chance. As per usual it is out illustrious overlords that make the cock ups.

    The whole series has been cracking.
  9. A similar thing happened with the 6 HC2a purchased in 1995 but these were retro-fitted before delivery.
    It was an interesting program nonetheless but I'm pretty sure this decision should have been made over a decade ago and handled in-service when engineering resources were more readily available than today.

    Yawn @ TAM^^
  10. good to see hi tec solutions at work "where the bag tank is supported inside, it is actually with paracord strings."
  11. Tornado fuel tanks are also held in place with paracord.
  12. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Nothing new I suppose, still it has to be a step up from black nasty!
    I imagine that they charge like a wounded rhino for the "fuel Cord!"
  13. 60,000 (Sixty Thousand) manhours per airframe to make them airworthy! That's some cock-up. I worked in Shabbywood in the late 90s and it was common knowledge the root cause was advised to the man in charge even before the contract was let. IIRC he got an honour before retiring.
  14. The entire thing is a scandal. The original 8 Chinooks were of a more advanced spec than the current RAF fleet. Advanced flight software, glass cockpit and digital engine control software to name but a few advances. QQ refused to accept the US Army Flight Test Data to support the issue of the required certificate of airworthiness for UK military a/c. They would only be prepared to do that if they performed their own testing of the a/c. To do this they require hugh amounts of gold from the MOD (They did the same for Apache but MOD paid them on that occasion - and ended up with more restrictive clearances than the US Apache D) The MOD would not pay the QQ price so the a/c were mothballed, meanwhile the US Army Chinooks of exactly the same spec have flown thousands of hours in Iraq and Afg without any software related issues. The US Army ordered more and in order to deliver quickly, Boeing offered to build 8 at the same spec as the current RAF ones and swop them with the 8 mothballed ones at the cost of £50m delta. Lab Govt says no! Then Lab Govt come under massive pressure concerning the shortage of lift helis in Afg, so their answer is, pay QQ a huge sum to stip out advanced systems and re-engineer the airframes to the current RAF (lower) spec. Is it little wonder that UK PLC is broke and the Forces in Afg have to wait for kit.
  15. Slightly more complicated than that. The US often can't/won't export the source code for complex software, so it can't be proved that it would always work as expected, so safety cases can't be approved. There had already been reports of some serious concerns expressed in some quarters over software associated with the engine management system, with the Mull crash possibly being linked to it. Who was prepared to accept the risk a possible in-flight Blue Screen of Death, and was the available US data suitable and sufficient to mitigate the risk?

    That said, it was hardly DE&S's finest hour. It will be interesting to see how the SDSR intends to reduce similar wastes of our £££ in the future...