Troops face helicopter shortage

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by dui-lai, Mar 18, 2005.

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    On one hand we see bravery being awarded and what frontline soldiers do for their fellow soldiers......

    And then we have the incompetence that is the MoD :roll:
  2. And this at a time when the recent defence paper announced the reduction in the Puma fleet? :evil:
  3. They still cannot get the new Special Forces Chinooks to work properly. The US I believe have even offered to take them back and provide the lastest SF verision as a replacement!

    The madness is that as the summer heat builds up again in Iraq, the one helicopter that can fly in even the hottest part of the day, we are short of!

  4. Procurement is a total joke, but we must remember that this particular project is a legacy delivery. The telltale line 'the Chinook Mk3 met all requirements in the original 1995 contract as well as those in a revised 1997 deal' confirms this. Requirements do not always equal purpose.

    So-called 'smart procurement' should solve many problems that we currently hear about in the press. This (supposedly) involves bringing industry and customer closer together, so that problems are minimised. Of course this doesn't work either, as the MoD doesn't possess the necessary expertise in contract law; and industry exists for one purpose - to make money.

    We also need to remember that the MoD is a very small global player in defence sales terms. The current Bowman project (which is even more utterly appalling than this Chinook feck up) will only cost £2.4bn - the equivalent US project is worth £85bn. Therefore, industry does not need the UK military business paycheque, and can therefore resource elsewhere.

    Doesn't get away from the fact that this is yet another example of woeful procurement, with decisions on military utility being sacrificed for political gain. And if the PAC think that this is 'one of the worst examples of equipment procurement that the committee has seen', I suggest they haven't seen anything yet!

    Anyone for NEC? :D
  5. A 'Super Belvedere' is an interesting concept adastra. Shame it didn't make it, along with the supersonic Harrier and HS 681.
  6. Much as Boeing have been in the news for all the wrong reasons recently they're not actually to blame for this one. The DPA ordered the helos to a spec they wrote and Boeing delivered exactly what they were asked for.

    When the helos got to Boscombe and the chaps there tried to generate a Military Aircraft Release (MAR) to UK standards it was found that the spec they'd been bought to was not sufficient to allow this to happen. Boeing will help - you just have to pay them for whatever they do, which is after all a not unreasonable thing for a business to require.

    The real culprits here are the DPA who bought something that could never go into service under the current regs.
  7. Much as I would like to blame the government for this huge mess, the true seat of blame lies somewhere in the corridors of MOD Whitehall. I very much doubt that those who are ultimately responsible will ever be bought to account. Indeed, I would not be greatly surprised to discover they have been promoted and are supervising future expensive mistakes.

    And until that culture is changed and individuals made accountable for the projects they run, this WILL happen again. I understand part of the problem lies in the fact that senior personnel in these teams change on a fairly regular basis. This can only make the difficult process of procurement even trickier and introduce huge potential for misunderstanding and miscommunication. And while that sort of madness is the norm, it is not a matter of 'if' it happens again, but 'when'.
  8. Dear friend!

    Don't worry. If American helicopters can't fly then there are other ones on the market.

    I suppose that the problem was known long ago. So practical Brits are prepared.
  9. Shortage?

    So instead of being able to book them and sit around waiting for JHC to say they can't fly because the Officers Mess teapot was cold at breakfast we now can't book them because they aren't there.

    Think of all the soldiering we're going to have to do instead of sitting on the LZ.

    Damn. :roll:
  10. Doesn't help when the Navy throw their's away rather than check the fuel level! Or does it know mean that Broon's taking so much in fuel duty that it's cheaper to throw it away rather than fill her up? :wink:

  11. You know, it's funny you should say that: Guess what did for the Nottingham's helicopter...
  12. I think the govenment ideal solution to the helicopter crisis is to reduce the amount of forces we have rather than procure new helicopters.

    This is just plain stupid, Helicopters are essential on the modern battlefield,

    Am glad i got out, or i would end up going on Ops in my shreddies by the time the govenment had finished with there cuts and lack of fore sight!
  13. What about Apache?
    Great if you are a huge super power and can have a heli for every occasion but ARRSE for a small Army like the Brits who needs one tool to do many jobs (A bit like a 2Lt). Blackhawk would do the Apache job and have the utility of the Puma and cost about one tenth of the price of Apache.
  14. Is this news? I for one remember practising helicopter drills in the FRG using Bedfords and then TRM as surrogate Pumas...of course underslung loads were a bit difficult to simulate!

    Talking of sitting on the LZ waiting for non-available assets, I recall a 3 Cdo BAS Gazelle fluttering down through the impenetrable mists of OTA to inform us that the RAF Pumas were not coming, as it was unsuitable weather for flying...