Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

UK Apache...this can't be true

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

UK Apache...this can't be true

Old 27th Mar 2008, 15:38
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 93
UK Apache...this can't be true


March 10, 2008: Cuts in defense spending in Britain led to low stockpiles of spare parts for many major weapons systems. As a result, the hard working British AH-64 helicopter gunships in Afghanistan are suffering a shortage of spare parts. In reaction to this, 251 parts were removed from Britain's AH-64 fleet, over the last twelve months, in order to keep the eight in Afghanistan in working order. Some British officers would like to get more AH-64s to Afghanistan, but the spare parts situation makes that inadvisable (as it would groups a large number of other AH-64s that were cannibalized.)

Britain has been cutting back on defense spending since the end of the Cold War in 1991, as have most other European countries. But operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have put more helicopters into the air, more often, and in very demanding (hot and dusty) conditions. This has used up spare parts stockpiles, causing many helicopters to be sidelined and often cannibalized for parts, to keep other aircraft in the air. The British military had kept details of this quiet, but an opposition member of parliament got the information out of the Ministry of Defence, in an attempt to force the government to buy more spares and technical services.

I had heard on the on the old boys network that the Apache was suffering due to high hours demand in Afgansitan, but the hours flown there are tightly controlled and are nowhere near the levels flown by the US Army AH64's. Buying a Porsche is the cheap bit, driving it like a Porsche and keeping that Porsche on the road is what takes the money. Maybe the Cobra would have been a better choice after all.
owe ver chute is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 15:43
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: england
Posts: 613
This was always going to be a problem. I herd a rumour that they were even robbing a particular oils and lubricants from aircraft.
Lurking123 is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 15:49
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 3,058
Read the Nimrod information thread. Same underlying problem.
tucumseh is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 15:57
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 62
Posts: 2,224
In the early days of the C-130J, Navigation Light bulbs were regularly robbed, until robs were stopped, it didn't stop them cannibalising them after that.

When replacement items came, they consisted of the entire mount and bulb, as you could not just demand the bulb. All the DF's did, was put the new bulb in the aircraft and put the new fitting in the bin. No wonder money disappears from the defence kitty.
ZH875 is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 16:33
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: England
Posts: 76

How many Typhoon are sat with minimal flying hours and numerous deficiencies because to keep the flying going with no money, you have to ROB !
formertonkaplum is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 17:12
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 255
Ask the grey fleet at Culdrose how their flight hours are going (or why they're short of bodies).

Ask why half the RN is either tied up or sailing with serious OPDEFS that would have never been authorised onlya few years ago.
Not_a_boffin is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 18:33
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 341
AH are limited out there because of the spares issue!

And the fact that of the 5 squadrons trained, they are only manned to a little over 40% of crews required, and still not a pinch trade............
HEDP is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2008, 22:08
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Hogwarts
Posts: 31
Although i'm not an AH driver I have spoken to several people in the loop at both Shawbury and Wallop and they have commented that some of the airframes in storage are unlikely to EVER fly due to the amount of canibalisation that has taken place. This is their comments and not anything I have witnessed but the sources were trustworthy and if this was indeed the case it is significant food for thought.

Hope its not true or it makes our procurement lot look an even bigger bunch of arses that they already do.

As for future Lynx, don't get me started.
Floater AAC is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 00:07
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Suffolk
Posts: 27
It's getting much better, but that's pretty accurate. The parts are often hard to come by, or sometimes non-existent - even for everyday items. The system is however slowly getting worked out, and parts are becoming more available all the time... If only people didn't hoard stuff - including the broken things that need to be exchanged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mikhail Sharpowicz is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 00:33
  #10 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Thailand
Posts: 53
Ah 'Just in time Parts'

OK for a Toyota car production line but not really aplicable to front line operational aircraft.
jonwilly is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 00:42
  #11 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Warrington, UK
Posts: 3,680
Hey jon, where you been? It's taken you long enough to get here!
MightyGem is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 09:27
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Blighty
Posts: 554
No news here, just the same old story that we did not buy enough spares (or write a good enough contact to have Wastelands provide them). Theatre takes priority, ac in the UK get robbed blind, ability to train back in the UK dwindles, no-one says anything about it because it is all too politically sensitive to criticise British 'Industry'...
South Bound is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 10:54
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 158

Yet again it reinforces my belief that the 3.5% cost of capital charge (cold war legacy to disencourage stock holding) should be abolished. This is the real reason for not holding spares.
helidriver is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 12:28
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wattashame
Posts: 136
There is more to shortages than meets the eye.

There have been some fairly simplistic views about this. Cold War throw backs etc, this aircraft has been the target of budget cuts for as long since it was a twinkle in the AAC eye. An easy target really, given that it was bought to defeat massed armour on the inner German border. A good job that it wasn't a "one pony show".

HEDP, I know you're in the know, but 40% manning! I knew you were a glass half-full man, but 40%!
AHQHI656SQN is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 13:03
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: North Yorkshire
Posts: 119
Elastic straining...

It really galls me that the AH crews I worked for last Summer came back to Blighty and have already been sent back out to AFG again (or out to Iraq for the Lynx crews). This usage rate on aircraft and aircrew is not sustainable.

FrogPrince is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 13:28
  #16 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: England
Posts: 964
There is a hanger (belonging to the Brits), full of brand new Apaches that have never been flown. Quite a scandal really. Must be several hundred million worth of christmas trees.
Tigs2 is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 16:14
  #17 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 341

Based on figures from the two Regts, will go up to just short of 60% when CE completes.

All subject to the yellow and black of course!

HEDP is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 18:18
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Wattashame
Posts: 136
TIGS, maybe you better tell AH IPT where the hanger is. Then they will have more aircraft to rob spares from!

PS. I hope your head is better.
AHQHI656SQN is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 18:57
  #19 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 1,771
I take it that's like the 'hangers' in Switzerland / maybe Germany, where aircraft were winched up near the roof for storage ?!

I read the other day that the term ' Hangar' ( I think they changed the spelling just to be a step ahead of the Americans, unfortunately our lot can't spell either ) comes from original airship days, when the things had to be suspended / prodded / held in every diection going.

I expect everyone at it was smoking too...

Last edited by Double Zero; 28th Mar 2008 at 19:11.
Double Zero is offline  
Old 28th Mar 2008, 19:22
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 40

Is this a good time to mention a forum on the Times newspaper website that advocates the use of the Apache in Iraq to protect our soldiers should the chaps with rather ragged headresses kick off again..?
Scotch Bonnet is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.