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'Life-saving' Afghanistan vehicles stranded in Dubai

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'Life-saving' Afghanistan vehicles stranded in Dubai

Old 4th Aug 2009, 23:23
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'Life-saving' Afghanistan vehicles stranded in Dubai

Torygraph: 'Life-saving' Afghanistan vehicles stranded in Dubai

Life-saving vehicles built to withstand Taliban roadside bombs have been stranded in Dubai for the past month because the RAF does not have enough planes to fly them into Afghanistan, it can be disclosed.

During the bloodiest month for British soldiers in Helmand province, where 22 died and an estimated 100 were wounded, nine £300,000 Ridgback vehicles were left on the tarmac at Al Minhad airbase outside Dubai, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

The Ridgbacks, which offer protection against mines, are a four-wheeled version of the robust six-wheeled Mastiff that has saved numerous lives in Afghanistan. They were ordered principally to replace the vulnerable Snatch Land Rover, in which 37 soldiers have been killed.

News of the delay comes after the Telegraph disclosed yesterday that six Merlin helicopters being sent to Afghanistan are unlikely to be used on combat operations because they are not armour-plated.

During the time that the Ridgbacks have been held up in Dubai a number of soldiers have been killed in less-protected vehicles such as the Jackal, Viking and Spartan.

Fifty of the 157 ordered are scheduled to have arrived in Dubai by November. Built in the US, they are shipped to Britain, fitted with specialised armour and electronic defence systems and then delivered by sea to Dubai to be flown direct to Camp Bastion.

The stranded vehicles were left in the Middle East as the RAF committed its C17 Globemaster aircraft to removing British equipment from Iraq.

RAF commanders are also furious over a “ridiculous” ruling that the armour and protection fitted to the vehicles was “UK Eyes Only”, which means they are not allowed to go on allied aircraft shuttling out of the airbase.

“This is life-saving equipment. You’ve got to really question why they are still sitting here doing nothing,” said one. “The Ridgback drivers here are very frustrated because they want to get out to Afghanistan where they know these vehicles will protect their mates.”

The 19-ton vehicle, which can carry six soldiers, has been described by analysts as “extraordinarily well-protected” and, being smaller than the 26-ton Mastiff, will be able to patrol the urban areas of Afghanistan.

Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: “The idea that we would have bought potentially life-saving vehicles and then not have the ability to ensure that they would get to those that need them is inexcusable.”

An MoD spokesman said the Ridgbacks’ delivery had to be “prioritised against operational requirements”.

“Unfortunately this can be affected by a range of factors including aircraft availability, airfield capacity and conflicting operational priorities.”

The stranded Ridgbacks are expected to be in Afghanistan by next week.
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Old 4th Aug 2009, 23:28
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News of the delay comes after the Telegraph disclosed yesterday that six Merlin helicopters being sent to Afghanistan are unlikely to be used on combat operations because they are not armour-plated.
...so just what is the MAUM of an armour-plated Merlin?
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 00:27
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Good job we're cancelling numbers 7 and 8 C17 then.... This government are now killing our guys through their ineptitude at defence management. The mad scramble to get kit out of Iraq should have been planned months ago (when the end of the MOU was first known about), and whats the rush to shift it by air? Send it by sea for fu*ks sake!! Iraq has sea terminals...! "Left hand, this is right hand, message over." Honestly, it would be funny if it weren't that people were getting killed...
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 00:30
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MAUM of Merlin

Well, going off the info on the AW website, I'd hazard a guess of 15.6 T.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 00:44
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FJ2ME

What are you on about, the Ridgebacks have never been in Iraq.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 03:22
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Read the article!

"The stranded vehicles were left in the Middle East as the RAF committed its C17 Globemaster aircraft to removing British equipment from Iraq."
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 08:03
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I've always got Antonovs available..........

This is criminal that you guys have to put up with this sort of situation..

Sack the lot of them

VEEPS
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 09:15
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Nice one Jumping Jack- you're not a senior officer or a minister with those reading and point-missing skills are you...?
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 09:20
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Why should the getting the kit out of Iraq be any different from how we got it in in the first place. An op made to work by Junior and intermediate service officers and screwed around and over by civil servants, special advisers and politicians.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 09:43
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That was probably true at the time. Over about the last 8 years, though, the buyers, movers and stackers that now comprise DE&S is populated at the top by senior and intermediate Service officers. All trained professionals, of course.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 09:59
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Heavy?

Spurlash2. Not sure a Merlin can manage a Ridgback. Each one is rated at 19.5 tonnes.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 14:01
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oops...

"BOOM, big flash....'course I was verrry verrry drunk...."
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 15:10
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Yes GBZ but they are directed by Civil servants, special advisers and politicians.....my goodness you couldn't let the British military think for itself god knows what would happen
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 15:54
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Ive seen so much organic fertilizer printed in the press about helicopters and troops over the last few weeks, I don't actually believe anything in the press now, even the Telegraph I'm afraid to say.

The situation is very probably as described (I know the AT guys are busy) but everything military is 'sensationalised' at present leaving me both cynical and sceptical.
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 19:12
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Could stick em on a boat to Karachi then drive em up to wherever, course, going by air is quicker eh?
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 19:30
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Maybe this explains things?

Ridgback armour secrecy deprives British troops of Afghanistan vehicles - Times Online 5 Aug 09

If it's true, isn't it a shame that the RAF isn't going to get those extra C17s!

MOD cuts C17 Nos 7 and 8
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Old 5th Aug 2009, 20:31
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According to the Channel 4 news tonight, the government has denied this story.
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 08:44
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It must be true then!!!

Never believe anything until it is officially denied!!!
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 09:16
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Ok, secrets out...it's got a BBQ grill all over it, now get it on a plane & into Afghanistan FFS!
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Old 6th Aug 2009, 11:38
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An 124, internal 'crane' can lift 20T in theory. Crate/wrap up vehicle and provide armed escort as per any other classified load. Even if the crane cannot manage, it must be possible to conceal the external features leaving window spaces for marshalling, drive on and further obscure as necessary.
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