More Government Wastage, yes, sad but true, we haven’t got to the end yet, but I’ll be quick today.
Apparently they’re quite important for moving our brave lads around in whichever theatre of war they find themselves.
In 1995 it was decided that the country needed to buy 8 Chinook Mk3s in 1995 for £259million but they have been kept in storage since they were delivered in 2001.
They were ordered as dedicated special forces helicopters
“It has always said the helicopters have not been able to be passed as fit for use because officials negotiating the deal to buy them did not ask for the access code for the software used to fly them and Boeing refused to hand the code over once the mistake was noticed.
But the Times reports the MoD never asked for the code because, under pressure from the Treasury, it told Boeing it planned to install its own software, thinking it could do so more cheaply.”
Now that does sound like the sort of thing a cheapskate arrogant government might say don’t you think? Another example of The Treasury interfering in front-line issues. Sadly though the software didn’t work (quelle surprise) and the 8 Chinooks are no longer hi-tech fighting machines, but are now good old transport aircraft.
A village somewhere must be missing an idiot. Didn’t ask for the software access codes? Can anyone really be that daft?
A slightly ‘posher’ version of the same affair is this;
“After protracted negotiations to allow them to enter service, Air Forces Monthly reported in November 2006 that the Defence Aviation Repair Agency would likely receive a contract to install the Thales “TopDeck” avionics system on the Chinook HC3s. However, the Ministry of Defence announced in March 2007 that this so-called “Fix to Field” programme would be cancelled, and instead it would revert the helicopters’ avionics to Chinook HC2/2A specification. The programme was estimated to cost £50-60 million. In June 2008, the National Audit Office issued a scathing attack on the MoD’s handling of the affair, stating that the whole programme was likely to cost £500 million by the time the helicopters enter service. On 6 July 2009 the first of the eight modified Chinook HC3s made its first test flight at MoD Boscombe Down as part of the flight testing and evaluation phase of the HC3 “reversion” program.”
Whichever version you prefer, it’s still a scandal, an expensive one at that, and the special forces’ choppers went as transporters and on meteorological flights. Did the Special Forces ever get their 8 new helicopters? Did we spend more money ordering them a ll over again? It’s not all about the money.
It’s an old story and that’s why I’ve kept it brief, but it’s another £300-500 million pounds worth of government wastage to add on, and another example of how we must be seen as a right old Laughing Stock by our foreign allies.