Why does the MOD feel it needs to post this article???

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by mr_angry, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. This has JUST appeared on the MOD website. No new news, nothing newsworthy yet it takes priority over evertything else.....why?

    Viking vehicles are saving lives in Afghanistan
    10 Jan 07
    The new Viking amphibious all terrain vehicles, whose bodies are constructed from armored steel, are being credited with saving British Forces lives in Afghanistan.


    Viking armoured vehicles race in to recover Royal Marine Commandos after a patrol in Afghanistan
    [Picture: PO (Phot) Sean Clee]
    The Viking is on its first operational tour and British Service personnel speaking to the media, have said that considerably more troops would have died if it had not been for the introduction of the vehicle.

    Despite weighing 10 tonnes the Vikings 5.9 litre turbo diesel engine is capable of producing speeds of 50 mph (80 kph) on roads. And they maintain excellent mobility on soft terrain, such as snow, mud or sand, because of the even load distribution over its four tracks. The vehicle retains mobility even if a track is damaged by a mine. And it can operate in temperatures from -46°C to +49°C.

    The Viking can ford through water up to a depth of 1.5 m without preparation and is fully amphibious, being able to swim in deeper water, fully laden with marines and stores, with less than two minutes' preparation by the crew. The water speed is 5 km/h.

    "Nothing matches it. We've been here three months and would've lost considerably more blokes without it."

    Sergeant Major Simon Williams, Royal Marine
    They can also be lifted by Chinook helicopters, driven into a C130 Hercules aircraft or carried on a landing craft. They can also be split into two sections in just 20 minutes to be carried by the Merlin helicopter, so are capable of being easily dropped, ready to use, into a war-zone.

    Britain's Armed Forces are the first in the world to use the vehicles with 108 having been bought for the Royal Marines following a gruelling two year trial and development programme.


    A Viking at development trials in Bovington Exercise area in Dorset
    [Picture: CPOA (Phot) George Tweedie HQRM]
    Sergeant Major Simon Williams, aged 36, one of the Royal Marines who helped Swedish firm BAE Hagglunds design the Viking, said in an interview with the media:

    "It's a phenomenal piece of hardware, the most manoeuvrable vehicle in existence. Nothing matches it. We've been here three months and would've lost considerably more blokes without it.

    "British soldiers are coming home to their sons and daughters without missing limbs and most importantly alive, thanks to the Viking."

    "We have no complaints with this vehicle. It's hoofin' (brilliant)."

    Marine Michael Robertson
    Marine John Westwood, 24, also talking to the media said:

    "Enemy mortars landed just two metres away from my Viking the other week and there wasn't even a scratch on her. Small arms fire rounds just bounce off her like stone chippings."

    Marine Michael Robertson, 25, from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, said:

    "We still have the odd moan about kit - not enough ammo or not enough guns - but we have no complaints with this vehicle. It's hoofin' (brilliant)."
     
  2. ahhh - good evening my old workmate in the agc!
     
  3. Well I need a break between sorting a first year lesson plan for Jabberwocky and a fourth year writing paper!

    Faster my little donkey! Faster!
     
  4. A considerable number of blokes would be dead without it? I recall only one bloke was killed on Herrick 4 in a WMIK and it affords very little protection! It's just spin from the MoD to try and take some heat from the rest of everything else that is fucked up in regards to ops.
     
  5. As the Viking vehicle has been so instrumental in saving lives and limbs whilst deployed with the Marines it will be interesting to see what percentage of Vikings are provided for use by the follow on forces who replace the marines in due course. Onlt then we will know if this article is spin or not!
     
  6. It is the MOD/ Liabour spin doctors trying to balance the sh!t they have been on the receiving end, i.e. CH4 doc, even the BBC doc, and recent slating of forces accom. Oh look we have a half decent vehicle! Never mind the lack of support, ammo, guns, food etc that is still missing, sounds like a desperate reply to the criticisms.
     
  7. Of course it is spin! Unless the Marines have changed tactics and are now using these to drive straight into ambushes to overun the enemy i can't really see how they would have saved lots of lives. Obviously they afford protection but we didn't have them on Herrick 4 and it's not as if we lost loads of blokes because of this factor and TBH i don't think the Marines have got it nowhere near as bad as we had it in regards to contacts. I think the people who wrote and contributed to this article don't realise how hard it is to actually get shot or fragged! I wouldn't have believed it myself up until a few months ago!
     
  8. Possibly they are trying to justify the costs of these beast at £250k a pop they not cheap.

    What you have to bear in mind is the viking is the marines Warrior there is no other armoured vehicle for royal and you will probably find that if the lads had been using the old BV 206 there may have been more casualties then there have been.

    FSJ not contradicting what you say in any shape or form but I was speaking to one of my mates last week who was on R&R and from what he was saying its bad enough apparently 90% of whats going on isnt being reported anymore.
     
  9. I see your point though 90% of contacts we were involved in never made the news. I suppose the difference now is Afghanistan is old news. Pit bull culls in Liverpool and Druggie slags being murdered in Ipswich are what the public want now. And let's be honest, the Government will do all it can to keep anything to do with operations out of the news unless it's spin like these Vikings.
     
  10. Why does MOD post any article on its website?

    It is possibly one of the most unprofessional corprate web presences in the UK. Consistently behind the news cycle, articles written in turgid prose which - on close reading - contain almost no information, often containing factual errors and mis-captioned illustrations, and apparently posted without any regard to appropriateness or without any effort to project a coherent story. Just consider these links -

    RAF is set to benefit from new and upgraded surveillance system 10 Jan 07

    Met Man recalls 55 years of the weather 9 Jan 07

    Cadet Force expansion revealed 9 Jan 07

    Tornado celebrates 25 years 9 Jan 07

    Sergeant Wayne Rees killed in Iraq 8 Jan 07

    State-of-the-art accommodation nears completion 8 Jan 07

    Soldier killed in Road Traffic Accident in Iraq 7 Jan 07

    Royal Navy school for leadership becomes centre of excellence 5 Jan 07


    The ability to present the death of a soldier on operations between a feelgood piece about Tornado 25 and an attempt to deflect criticism of military accommodation demonstrates the moral and journalistic bankruptcy of the whole enterprise.

    And in case you're thinking that this webpage is produced by a retarded teenager on work experience, think again. There is a whole directorate - 'D News' - devoted to MOD's public image and manned by a mixture of (failed) journalists and military officers. The latter are simply dire - the one with whom I have most contact is a man who simply cries out for a slap, oozing as he does a mixture of preening self-importance and smug self-satisfaction at being on first name terms with journos and his self belief that he is setting the news agenda. He appears to have lost sight of the fact he is soldier or where his loyalties lie. I suspect even journalists feel slightly queasy in his presence.

    In case you think I am being harsh, let me say that MOD's Internet site is not the worst website in the world - that accolade is reserved for MOD's Intranet, only available on DII, etc. Looking at this every day would suggest that everything in defence is wonderful and that MOD's only real function is civilian 'Human Resource' management. Maybe it is, and I've missed the point somewhere.

    M_f_B
     
  11. Point taken FSJ although it is a new low for HMG!

    What it doesnt mention is what a complete ball ache they are to care and maintain and when you throw Bowman in as well!
    I'm glad I'm sitting on a nice warm oil rig now!
     
  12. Welcome to 1984.
     
  13. At least these vehicles are designed to work heavy weapons, including the "new" grenade launcher. How many wmiks rolled on Herrick IV due to the fact that the rover wasn't designed to carry a HMG. If they are staying on for summer they had better improve the 49oC heat range tho.
     
  14. Contract was for 108 vehicles at a cost of 60m. About 550K each but that might include a lot of support on top. So yes, not cheap and I think they have been up-armoured since because the original spec. was 7.62mm AP and heavy shell fragments from 10m.

    The article reeks of some fatherless having been pressured for a "positive" story and trotting out pointless drivel.