Safety Device Could Have Saved Lives

The deaths of 10 military personnel in an air crash in Iraq could have been prevented if a fuel safety device had been fitted to their British plane, it was reported.

The crash happened on January 30, 2005, when the Hercules was hit by ground-to-air fire which caused an explosion in the right-hand wing fuel tank.

It was was the single biggest loss of British life in Iraq since military action began in 2003.

But according to the BBC, documents show that RAF pilots had requested explosive-suppressant
foam devices be fitted to Hercules fuel tanks two years before the attack.

A board of inquiry said the crash was not survivable but admitted that the lack of a fuel tank safety system could have contributed to the crash.

The Ministry of Defence said none of its planes in Iraq or Afghanistan had the foam, but some would be fitted soon.

Campaigners say they will sue ministers for corporate manslaughter if any more lives are lost.

The foam has been in use in US Hercules aircraft since the Vietnam war.

An internal RAF document obtained by BBC Radio 4's Today programme suggested that requests for the explosive-suppressant foam were being discussed at least as early as 2002.

The document read: "Urgent operational requests for all Hercules aircraft should continue to be actively pursued. Specifically, all aircraft should be fitted with fire suppressants in fuel tanks."
Should we really expect the govt to fork out on life saving equipment when there are much more deserving causes like housing immigrants and setting them up with Sky TV....
Makes my blood boil, anything that has a small chance of lifesaving value should not be delayed for any reason.


War Hero
I bet the crabs deployed on Herrick are loving the way the BBC is publicising the vulnerability of their Herky-birds to ground fire!

Not defending the lack of foam tanks at all, but once again the BBC are putting out info useful to the enemy to further their own agenda.......

It's not the immigrants with Sky TV that are costing the money, it's the legions of paper-pushing civil servants to enforce anti-smoking, five a day, lesbian single mother whale support legislation......



Like body armour for all those entering a combat zone.......?

Hmmmm, this is the MoD we're talking about - "Just enough, just in time", yeh, right.


Lantern Swinger
Would that be the body armour that you can jab a sharp pencil right through?
Yet another example of our rotten country putting servicemens lives at risk.


Lantern Swinger
The most difficult thing for the families of those killed in this incident to stomach must be another of B Liar's team (Ingram) telling a RAF pilot's father in response to a question that all UK Hercs are fitted with a suite of protective measures.

Like the man said, a couple of expendable human resources standing on a C130's open ramp yelling "Break right" or "Break left" on seeing any flashes is not a suite of protection, at least not in the English that I speak. Yet another politico who should fall on his sword!
Yes I was suitably impressed (sat in San Carlos) when the news gave out 'there appears to be something wrong with the Argentinians (British)Bombs'
BBC (now known as Blair Broadcasting Corporation)/ITV were embarked so the local reporters did get some of their own medicine.
One MP per battalion/Squadron that would concentrate their minds.


Lantern Swinger
come_the_day the problem is not in the protective measures but in the type of "missiles", I dont know what was used in this case. If an RPG is used against the aircraft then NO protection device will work. The Defensive Aide Suite (DAS) as fitted can only, and are only designed to, give protection against IR (flares) and/or radar guided missiles (chaff). As I said if an RPG is used the only defence is the Mk1 eyeball looking at the right place at the right time and having enough time to shout "Break right" or "Break left". Finally yes the C130 is fitted with DAS, what system is fitted I cant remember as it has been a few years since I left the air environment


Lantern Swinger
Thanx Wasp

I have only ever been a passenger of the RAF and FAA Flying Taxi Services, but it seems to me that our elected representatives should not be reassuring electors that certain things are true, when they are patently not! If the USAF has had protective measures, whether it's DAS or fuel tank foam, since Vietnam, our forces should have similar,though from what you say it's all for show anyway.


Lantern Swinger
The vast majority of front line aircraft have DAS fitted, or at least fitted for. To fit the dispensers takes but minutes few. The problem was, as greenking alluded to, there were not enough to go round for every aircraft to have them fitted with. but as I said my info is now a few years out of date so it may have changed.


"Fitted for, but not with" - another of the great cop outs.

I think it's high time we all acknowledged we are no longer a superpower and have not got anything like the resources required to effect change militarily.

Two new carriers? Keels laid yet? CVA01 ring any bells? Even if we get them, think we could afford 2 deployed at the same time? ALBION and BULWARK (the LPDs in service now) were procured to be operating at the same time, but they don't.


Lantern Swinger
I agree "fitted for , not fitted with" is a way of allegdly massaging the figures. The reason two carriers do not operate at the same time , in my opinion, is we do not have enough aircraft to populate them with. I could be cynical