Tornado deployment to afghan delayed by concrete farce

#1
For once not the RAF's fault but 'good accurate' reporting as usual...
Bombs are already cleared
Brimstone is'nt a long range missile
Tornado GR4 only has one 27mm Mauser cannon,not two.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/new...972/RAF-bomber-delayed-by-concrete-farce.html

From todays Torygraph:

RAF bomber delayed by concrete farce.

RAF chiefs are facing an embarrassing delay to the deployment of Tornado bombers to replace Harriers in Afghanistan because a new concrete parking area is not ready.

By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 9:25PM GMT 22 Feb 2009

A new ramp is needed for the Tornados from 12 Squadron RAF Photo: AP
The four-month wait means that summer holidays for the over-worked Harrier pilots and aircrew are likely to be cancelled as they are called back for one further tour.

Delivery of eight Tornado GR4s to Kandahar airbase has also been delayed by a failure to clear new ground attacks bombs for use and over the fitting of missile defence aids.

Ministers are expected to meet next week before they make an announcement over the delayed deployment that has apparently been caused by a failure of concrete to set properly due to cold and inclement weather. There delay was caused by Whitehall indecision and a "bureaucratic nightmare" with other Nato allies who share the airfield on where to build the ramp.

Air force commanders face further humiliation as it has emerged that the £65 million Eurofighter Typhoon will not now see operational service in Afghanistan until at least 2011, two years later than originally planned.

A new ramp is needed for the Tornados from 12 Squadron RAF because they are almost twice the size of the Harriers they are replacing.


MORE......
 
#2
Nice to see the DT seeks to blame Whitehall for the failure of local workers to not complete concrete in time!

There is fault here, but as usual the "knock the bean counters, knock the RAF, knock the Typhoon, knock anyone who isn't right at the sharp end bayonetting the Taleban as they are a waste of space' agenda of the DT shows right through.
 
#3
"This is not going to be good for morale," a defence source said "Someone's long-postponed visit to Disneyland this summer is going to be ruined.
And I thought Afghanistan was supposed to be a war of supreme importance to our national security, freedom and way of life.
 
#4
whitecity said:
"This is not going to be good for morale," a defence source said "Someone's long-postponed visit to Disneyland this summer is going to be ruined.
And I thought Afghanistan was supposed to be a war of supreme importance to our national security, freedom and way of life.
Which Disneyland?

America, Paris or Whitehall?
 
#5
jim30 said:
Nice to see the DT seeks to blame Whitehall for the failure of local workers to not complete concrete in time!

There is fault here, but as usual the "knock the bean counters, knock the RAF, knock the Typhoon, knock anyone who isn't right at the sharp end bayonetting the Taleban as they are a waste of space' agenda of the DT shows right through.
So who is going to own up and take responsibility?

Thought so...

msr
 
#6
Erm, the GR4 does have 2 cannon (except for the recce variant of course), it's the F3 that has one. The reference to bomb clearances appears to refet to PW4 which still hasn't been cleared, and "long range" depends on your definition - Brimstone is similar to Hellfire on which it is based, but goes further when launched from a jet doing 420kts at 15,000 feet than from a helo hovering behind a tree.

Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
 
#7
msr said:
jim30 said:
Nice to see the DT seeks to blame Whitehall for the failure of local workers to not complete concrete in time!

There is fault here, but as usual the "knock the bean counters, knock the RAF, knock the Typhoon, knock anyone who isn't right at the sharp end bayonetting the Taleban as they are a waste of space' agenda of the DT shows right through.
So who is going to own up and take responsibility?

Thought so...

msr
Clearly the local Afghan labour are workshy scum and the weapons upgrade problems were completely unforseen and unavoidable integration issues. No planning or management fault whatsoever.

I wonder how a delay to deployment would have been written up if the pans were ready....
 
#9
One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
Not being one then I can't quote, but I thought it was the Air Support sappers who did this? :? If there is a drama from the local contactors then why can't the RE go out to sort it?
 
#10
One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
I think that's a tad unfair. The RAF will continue to support the troops with Harrier which will extend.

If anything, this is a jolly infight within the RAF community as to who's to blame and who's drawn the short straw. :)
 
#11
box-of-frogs said:
One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
Not being one then I can't quote, but I thought it was the Air Support sappers who did this? :? If there is a drama from the local contactors then why can't the RE go out to sort it?
It might help if one first read the article...
Ministers are expected to meet next week before they make an announcement over the delayed deployment that has apparently been caused by a failure of concrete to set properly due to cold and inclement weather. There delay was caused by Whitehall indecision and a "bureaucratic nightmare" with other Nato allies who share the airfield on where to build the ramp.
 
#13
One_of_the_strange said:
Erm, the GR4 does have 2 cannon (except for the recce variant of course), it's the F3 that has one.
No it doesn’t oots. As part of the GR4 upgrade, one of the cannon was removed to make room for additional avionics (FLIR iirc). Likewise, there is no ‘recce variant’ per se remaining in service in the same was as we used to have the GR1 and GR1As.

Edit: apologies for the post cross over!

One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
I’d suggest we (and the RN) do. Our Harrier GR9s are deployed and providing CAS/ISR as requested. Would we like to have additional assets in Theatre? Of course, just like you guys would like to have more boots on the ground! What stops the UK military from doing that? The Treasury.

As far as building ‘runways’ [sic], the RAF have not had an airfield construction capability since the 1950s as far as I understand. This task has fallen to the excellent RE. However, this appears to be down to neither service. Rather it’ll be the normal contracts faff to get infrastructure produced in time.

Regards,
MM
 
#14
whitecity said:
box-of-frogs said:
One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
Not being one then I can't quote, but I thought it was the Air Support sappers who did this? :? If there is a drama from the local contactors then why can't the RE go out to sort it?
It might help if one first read the article...
Ministers are expected to meet next week before they make an announcement over the delayed deployment that has apparently been caused by a failure of concrete to set properly due to cold and inclement weather. There delay was caused by Whitehall indecision and a "bureaucratic nightmare" with other Nato allies who share the airfield on where to build the ramp.
Or maybe we could have sent the sappers out last summer when it was warmer so that the concrete would have been set by now.............. :roll: The decision to send the tornado's was taken ages ago. Surely PJHQ could have sorted it by now? Note PJHQ taking responsibility and not the RAF. I frankly can't be arrsed to type a 'moan moan moan, crabs cocked up, moan moan moan' post when its no doubt out of their hands. My original point was that I think it the sappers who are responsible for building stuff like airfields with or without local help. Is it? I don't know. Maybe someone from an AS Sqn could enlighten me?
 
#15
Magic_Mushroom said:
One_of_the_strange said:
Erm, the GR4 does have 2 cannon (except for the recce variant of course), it's the F3 that has one.
No it doesn’t oots. As part of the GR4 upgrade, one of the cannon was removed to make room for additional avionics (FLIR iirc). Likewise, there is no ‘recce variant’ per se remaining in service in the same was as we used to have the GR1 and GR1As.

Edit: apologies for the post cross over!

One_of_the_strange said:
Still, let's have the usual suspects justify yet again why the RAF cannot deliver to support the 18 year old currently sat in a puddle in AFG. I mean, who on earth could reasonably expect the RAF to understand how to build a runway ?
I’d suggest we (and the RN) do. Our Harrier GR9s are deployed and providing CAS/ISR as requested. Would we like to have additional assets in Theatre? Of course, just like you guys would like to have more boots on the ground! What stops the UK military from doing that? The Treasury.

As far as building ‘runways’ [sic], the RAF have not had an airfield construction capability since the 1950s as far as I understand. This task has fallen to the excellent RE. However, this appears to be down to neither service. Rather it’ll be the normal contracts faff to get infrastructure produced in time.

Regards,
MM
So who lets the contracts ? Who is the SME who should understand the implications of normal climatic variation on construction rates ? Who is the PM keeping an eye on how performance is doing vs the plan and flagging up any variance when it occurs ? If the RAF is - as you imply - completely out of the loop for this work then criticising them is indeed unfair.

However, you must understand that eyebrows are raised when the RAF wash their hands of all responsibility for one of the, erm, more important items required for fixed wing ops.

(Yeah, and hands up to the GR4 errors I made. You learn something every day.)
 
#16
One_of_the_strange said:
Erm, the GR4 does have 2 cannon (except for the recce variant of course), it's the F3 that has one.
Erm,Tornado GR4 has ONE cannon,the port one removed to make room for extra avionics,the GR4A has both cannons removed & the F3 has only one.
The GR1 had two cannons however.I spent enough time arming the buggers to know!
Spike (Ex Tornado GR1/GR4 Armourer)
 

Attachments

#17
box-of-frogs said:
Or maybe we could have sent the sappers out last summer when it was warmer so that the concrete would have been set by now.............. :roll: The decision to send the tornado's was taken ages ago. Surely PJHQ could have sorted it by now? Note PJHQ taking responsibility and not the RAF. I frankly can't be arrsed to type a 'moan moan moan, crabs cocked up, moan moan moan' post when its no doubt out of their hands. My original point was that I think it the sappers who are responsible for building stuff like airfields with or without local help. Is it? I don't know. Maybe someone from an AS Sqn could enlighten me?
It seems irrelevant whose hands wield the shovel at the sharp end. It doesn't matter whether is RE, RAF or local navvies, the problems seems to stem from planning and implementation decision-making. Whether that problems is with the MoD, the Treasury, PJHQ or the local command structure at Kandahar remains opaque.

However, consider this rather than continue down the green v blue v purple slanging match. If the delay is going to be 4 months or so, does that not smell of the systems integration issues being the main culprit - rather than a concrete pouring during inclement weather problem?
 
#18
PW4 is cleared for release under a recent UOR.....clever little bomb!
 
#19
whitecity said:
It might help if one first read the article...
Ministers are expected to meet next week before they make an announcement over the delayed deployment that has apparently been caused by a failure of concrete to set properly due to cold and inclement weather. There delay was caused by Whitehall indecision and a "bureaucratic nightmare" with other Nato allies who share the airfield on where to build the ramp.
So that will be no-one then.

Trebles all round!
 
#20
One_of_the_strange said:
So who lets the contracts ? Who is the SME who should understand the implications of normal climatic variation on construction rates ? Who is the PM keeping an eye on how performance is doing vs the plan and flagging up any variance when it occurs ? If the RAF is - as you imply - completely out of the loop for this work then criticising them is indeed unfair.

However, you must understand that eyebrows are raised when the RAF wash their hands of all responsibility for one of the, erm, more important items required for fixed wing ops.

(Yeah, and hands up to the GR4 errors I made. You learn something every day.)
I don’t know enough about the contracts process to comment on this specific example. However, I did see the process at first hand in MND(SE) where, despite the best efforts of the Army and RAF, the civvy contracts staff (both in theatre and at home) worked at their own pace to the considerable annoyance of those in uniform.

In fairness to the civil serpants, sometimes the interminable bureaucracy associated with negotiating such contracts overseas, with foreign contractors, in what contractors may interpret as a dangerous area, when there will be other priorities competing for the same funds does complicate matters. Equally, sometimes the civvies will completely ignore military advice with disastrous results (anyone in MND(SE) remember the effect on morale when the civvies changed the laundry contracts in 06?!).

I acknowledge however that as you’ve said elsewhere, sometimes the RAF is not the best at explaining the reasons behind an issue.

No worries about the GR4 specifics; the Tonkas have had so many fleets within fleets it’s difficult to keep up, even for a spotter like me!!

Regards,
MM
 
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