Monday, October 16, 2006

Chinooks anyone?

The answer should be, "no thanks, I've already got some sat in a hangar in Wiltshire!" read on....

The Independent on Sunday reports....

"Britain is so short of helicopters in Afghanistan that military chiefs are being forced to scour the world for civilian aircraft"

"An ageing fleet of just eight Chinooks is working around the clock to supply and reinforce soldiers in remote outposts facing waves of Taliban attacks. The only Chinook in the Falklands was taken away for use in the campaign."

"the MoD has been forced to seek out commercial operators for non-combat operations, to free more military craft for use at the front line. So urgent is the need that Britain is understood to be asking other nations that have ordered Merlin helicopters from Westland to allow the MoD to requisition them. " I understand that these Merlins are on order for Denmark.

Given that we appear to be is such a tight spot, I ask one simple question - why the hell are there at least 6 brand new Chinooks sat in a hangar at Boscombe Down doing nothing? My understanding is that they require some kind of software upgrade that will cost millions of pounds to rectify - well Mr Blair, put your money where your mouth is, get your chequebook out, the soldiers risking their lives at your instigation need these machines, and they need them now.

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