UK's hugely expensive Apache fleet mothballed after short service

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Lions Of Punjab, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Lions Of Punjab

    Lions Of Punjab Regular Member

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    HELI-FLOP-TER: BRITAIN MOTHBALLS COSTLY APACHE HELICOPTERS AFTER BRIEF AFGHAN, LIBYAN SERVICE

    A quarter of the UK's hugely expensive Apache attack helicopter fleet was mothballed when Afghan combat operations come to a close, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has admitted. Sixteen of Britain’s remaining 66 Augusta Westland AH-64 Apache Longbow aircraft will be put into storage and used for spare parts now that the UK has abandoned combat operations in war-torn central Asia.

    An MoD spokesman confirmed to IHS Jane’s: “The 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and 2012 Planning Round identified the need to adjust the Apache aircraft numbers in line with the drawdown of operations in Afghanistan. With the end of combat operations, the fleet was adjusted to 50 in January 2015.”

    The Apache was first used in operations in Afghanistan in 2006.

    It also saw combat in Libya in 2011, where it was flown from the decks of Royal Navy ships during the NATO-led operation which culminated in the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. The decision comes as generals and politicians question the government’s defense cuts.

    From the beginning of its operational service, Apache proved as critical to UK operations as it was lavishly expensive. In Afghanistan the helicopter became a mainstay of the fraught campaign, repeatedly having to come to the aid of ground troops pinned down in forward operating bases.

    The intensity of warfare created extra costs, with parts having to be replaced at a much higher rate than expected due to wear and tear. Acquiring the helicopter is estimated to have cost the British taxpayer over £4 billion pounds and the process of obtaining it and adapting it for British use was marred by technical problems.

    The Apache’s entry into service was delayed by concerns that it could not fly in icy weather and that faults in its radio communication systems would prevent it talking to other units and vehicles. It also had to be adjusted to prevent it from, in effect, shooting itself down. In an unmodified state, the Hellfire missiles it carried would have damaged the tail rotor when fired, bringing the aircraft crashing to earth.

    There was also a delay with regards to training pilots. Ready qualified pilots required a further two years of training in order to operate it. The aircraft’s best known pilot is Captain Harry Wales – better known as Prince Harry, fourth in line to the British throne – who served as an Apache crewman on his second tour of Afghanistan.

    He caused controversy by comparing his job as a co-pilot/gunner to playing a computer game.

    Sixty-seven were originally procured, but one was lost in an accident in Helmand province in 2008.

    While no UK Apaches were ever acknowledged to have been brought down by enemy action, they were regularly hit with small arms fire in both Afghanistan and Libya.

    In Helmand Province in 2014, one was forced to make a precautionary landing after it was hit by a bird.

    http://rt.com/uk/242685-apache-mod-afghanistan-mothball/
     
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  3. sydsnyper

    sydsnyper Senior Member Senior Member

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    Who would've thought....
     
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Britain is cash strapped and all this, to include 'drawdown', is a cover up to save 'face'.
     
  5. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Finland also considered Apaches, but never bought them. They are good when opponent is second rate and in the desert, but with modern Armies and forested terrain there are better systems out there.
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    What are the better systems?

    Do share the details please since you know so much.

    Afghanistan was a desert, was it?

    Apache is second rate, right?

    So, you conclude that the British are idiots, right and you are clever?

    And so are the US, Israel, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, Greece, Japan, Taiwan apart from others are all idiots?

    Finland of course is the best and it has 'better systems'.

    Must you exhibit your ignorance at all times?
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  7. smestarz

    smestarz Senior Member Senior Member

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    `This is a result of a country which does not understand that economy is slowing down but nevertheless keeps spending on defence procurements
     
  8. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sorry, I was talking about Finnish army needs. For somebody else Apache is fine. With modern fighter-radars and missiles helicopters are relatively easy to destroy. Also FiAF is equipped with Stingers so in our forested terrain they are easy targets. For attack purposes Finnish Army rely on JASSM, JSOW, JDAM and MLRS & ATACMS for targeting we use also special forces when needed.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Finland is no strategic or tactical compass for warfare needs.

    Whatever you have mentioned are there with others and any way, you don't produce them.

    Please contribute sensibly and not trolling away merrily as you are doing and everyone is humoring you.

    It is indeed getting boring.

    Britain, at least, is a participatory nation, in the Western needs.

    Is Finland which is your Funland?

    Heard of Eklund?

    She was fun even though with such an interesting and conservative name.
     
  10. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    What is wrong with my post? I just told how we use other systems to get the effect of combat helicopters. We DO have transport helos NH90, they are now equipped with Miniguns for protection, who knows with missiles in the future? Finland is participating we were in Afganistan we have 60 years tradition in peacekeeping...
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The undermentioned part of your post is wrong.

    and

    It is suggestive that those who have Apache are not modern Armies and are fighting 'second rate' adversaries.

    What is Finland's contribution?

    It provided 50 soldiers initially for PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) to enhance CIMIC (Civil Military Cooperation).

    In the summer of 2004, Finland provided six civilians for Fire and Rescue at Kabul Airport. In 2004, Finland's contribution rose to 16 soldiers and 03 civilians. Of this one was located at Mazar e Sharif and the others at Meymaneh.

    Do read here
    Link

    and see how pathetic and insignificant was your contribution to help assist clearing Afghanistan of the terrorists or doing some constructive work.

    Have a heart.

    Compare that with India. We built the Delaram-Zaranj Highway of 218 kms with 300 BRO engineers and technicians deployed on the project, accompanied by 70 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel for their security.

    We did real service to Afghanistan and we don't do any song and a dance as you do with your meagre and insignificant contribution for the good of Afghanistan beyond token presence to state - Been there, Done that!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
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  12. jouni

    jouni Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think Apaches had relatively easy going in Afghanistan and Libya. In both cases they enjoyed air superiority, against modern armies their capabilities are yet to be tested.
     
  13. salute

    salute Senior Member Senior Member

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    finland dont have assault helicopters,

    grapes are always sour for finland,

    what they don't have is because 'not suitable for their terrain' :laugh:,

    thats what he says always.
     

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