Simon Jenkins who writes a regular article each sunday in the Sunday Times equated the dud Merlin with the sa 80 jamming riffle, a helicopter that the Navy has spent billions of pounds on flawed, does anyone know why?
Simon Jenkins article was all about why the "poor bloody infantry" gets shafted in defence funding. However, the man (who is often sound about political issues but knows even less than Lewis Page about Defence issues) also moans about Type 45s, CVF and Merlin, and therefore knows nothing about what the RN actually does.
Rather than complaining about this, however, the RN should look at why an educated non-expert commentator assumes that the 3 most important naval procurement projects in a generation are (in his opinion) irrelevant in this day and age, when in fact they are crucial to UK plc's capability to project force worldwide in defence of British interests (in worst case, think infantry and equipment need transportation by sea, transport needs protecting, etc). Yet again, the RN does crap PR... craply.
Well said Geoff. However, the reason Jenkins was wittering is that he's bought into this idea that all conflicts in the future will be asymmetric and the oppo will only be touchable by some sort of super-SF / MI6 type commandos and that all conventional military capability is therefore obsolete.
He is therefore talking out of his arrse - as he does about most things IMHO....
Well having served on Merlin during it's introduction, I can say that the aircrew speak much more highly of it's abilities than the afore mentioned journalist. It is true to say that there is a much lower threat from out east than there was, but let's not forget that they are still not our friends and are still highly involved in espionage against us. Who's to say that they and their subs are gone forever from our list of problems?
Is it true that they failed to fit it with an adequate fire detection system so rather than the expense of redesign/retrofit they stuck some great big truck wing mirrors on each side so the pilots can see if it's on fire by looking out of the window?
I`m sorry, but for value for money the MK 1 Merlin is crap, the only positive is that George W may get to fly in a variant (US101) and we have already lost 2 due to design errors. Square holes in a highly loaded composite beam now they won`t crack will they, The Comet airliner, libertyships all highly publicised previous examples of square holes and stress. Designed by Kermit checked by Fozzie.
When speaking of value for money, what are we actually comparing it with?
To compare it with many other countries would be innacurate becuase we have only ordered a few against countries such as the US who order hundreds for themselves as well as exporting them to other countires around the world.
They fit fire detection systems to the engine bays on all aircraft, but not to the Transmissin bays, which was where the fire was on the aircraft that crashed in BUTEC a few years ago, hence the wing mirrors. i heard a dit that it was a fishing trawler who told the crew that they were on fire!