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Safety Device Could Have Saved Lives


Lantern Swinger
ex_wasp_L2 said:
I used the RPG as a generalisation for a non heat seaker or non RF missile, sorry if I gave the wrong impression.

Please excuse my ignorance here but do you mean that there are AA missiles that do not have a seeking device on? i.e dumb missiles?

I mean apart from aa shells and heavy machine guns I thought it would be bloody hard to have a dumb aa missile? have I got this round my neck?
There's a thread running on PPrune at the moment about just this subject. It goes into some detail, and is effectively a campaign to get suppressant fitted to the Hercs.

Don't forget, YOU may one day be required to fly to a war zone in a Herc en-route to a ship, or something.

PLEASE NOTE - poster 'CHAPPIE' is the sister of Bob O'conner, the RAF sergeant who was killed in the crash. 'NIGEGILB' is an ex-Herc pilot who is spearheading the campaign and has talked to some very high level people about this issue.

It affects all boys and girls who climb aboard the Herc - worth a read to get the full picture.


Lantern Swinger
Folks, I have read this forum with interest and once again I am astounded by the stupidity of our ruling classes.

Is this not just history repeating itself though. Surely I have seen similar things happen many many times.

The "powers that be" will never learn. Not so long as it affects their luxurious lifestyle.


Book Reviewer
Crab_Driver said:
There's a thread running on PPrune at the moment about just this subject. It goes into some detail, and is effectively a campaign to get suppressant fitted to the Hercs.

Fascinating and frightening in equal measure.

As a professional safety engineer who has worked on Safety Cases and MAR in the past, I'm heartened that the crews are finally waking up to the level of risk that the DPA are happy to assume on their behalf. I remain disgusted, however, at the manner in which the major defence contractors hide behind the "peace-time use only" caveat in their safety case.

Safety and risk management is not done particularly well by defence contractors nor by the DPA/MoD and there is no consistent approach adopted - this means that at times it is possible that an aircraft platform and its various weapon configurations will have been judged by totally different measures. How then is it possible to judge the safety of the overall aircraft system when a weapon is integrated?

All too often, bottom line cost is placed at a higher level of importance than the actual job at hand, i.e. developing and delivering effective, safe, and leading edge weapon systems. Insted we end up with ineffective, potentially hazardous and dated weapons.

Returning to nautical matters, I can cite a specific (non-RN) example that illustrates the diligence applied by certain anonymous defence contractors. I was a safety engineer for a combat system supplier who had developed a product that was supplied to a Far-Eastern Navy; two frigates were built in Glasgow and the combat system was installed. Late in the development a safety engineer was engaged to provide assurance that safety was adequate. Considering how the system was to be used, I queried why the system's underlying track management database wasn't regarded as critical - after all, this contains details of all external contacts which, if the PWO so decides, could become targets. I raised this question of the System Design Authority while standing in the Ops Room of one of the ships and received the answer that the database was "for information only" and that before any missile engagement took place, the operator would "look out of the window and check the plane is hostile" before it would be engaged. At this point, I queried "which window?" - the DA looked round, and answered that the operators would "have to phone the bridge to confirm". At this point, I tendered my resignation!

None of my recent experience has demonstrated that the defence industry has any better grasp of how their products are used, nor do they see the need to gain this knowledge. As long as the DPA dance to their tune and accept the cheapest bid (which is then ramped up through contract variations) which doesn't meet the needs of the fighting force, we're going to compelled to do ever more and with ever less effective tools.

Rant over, I'm off for a lie down now.


Engines said:
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'
The problem with the argy bombs was that they were dropping them at a lower level than the bombs were set for. They were inflight for less time than was necessary for the little fusing prop to rotate sufficiently to arm the weapon.
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