Thursday, 27 August 2009

Chinook MK3s: nine year criminal delay

Eight Chinook MK3 helicopters have not been able to be used since they were bought back in 2001 because the MoD tried to save money by designing its own software for them.
In what has been described by the chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee as as “one of the most incompetent procurements of all time”, Boeing warned the MoD that the avionics system software would be too complex for them to write their own

code but of course the MoD thought it knew better. For eight years the Chinooks have been sitting in a hanger gathering dust while the MoD's computer people failed to come up with their own bespoke software. The MoD has now conceded that it can't in fact adapt the helicopters into the high-tech model they planned and have been forced to settle for the original, utility version. So the eight Chinooks which could have been in service in 2001 will now be in service in 2010 and their cost has increased from £259million to £500million.

The Army has been crying out for helicopters and lives have, at the least, been put at risk because there aren't enough of them in Afghanistan.

The Chinook fiasco is not "embarrassing", it's downright criminal.

The Times: Missing software kept Chinook Mk3 helicopters in Wiltshire hangar
The Times: Chinook turns out to be one of the MoD’s most embarrassing purchases