Much has been said about the way Des Browne had helped beef up the armed forces equipment - which is desirable, after decades of decay, but we still have a spatchcock policy see Lord Patel March 2007
MOD to get 14 more 'copters. 8 refurbed turkeys and 6 on the borrer from the Prince of Denmark
"14 additional helicopters will become available over the next 2 years for use on military operations (please note the (very) careful wording).
Well up to a point Lord Copper.
Basically we have borrowed 6 Merlins from our Danish friends as they withdraw from Iraq and we finally get to use the Chinooks we ordered in 1995 in 2 years time... at a cost conservatively estimated at "around" £250Mn. Quite what the MOD would use these helicopters for other than military operations defies understanding - ferrying Prince Andrew between Golf courses ?"
On the 13th March the MOD took the opportunity to unroll the Mastiff at the time Lord Drayson was out in Basra.
The MASTIFF, a heavily armoured, wheeled vehicle suitable for road patrols and convoys, is the newest delivery in a range of protected patrol vehicles being used in Iraq.
The MASTIFF is the newest delivery in a range of protected patrol vehicles being used in Iraq
It is a 6x6 wheel-drive patrol vehicle from Force Protection Inc. which carries six people, plus two crew. It has a maximum speed of 55 mph (89 kph), and can be armed with a machine gun, 50mm canon or 40mm automatic grenade launcher. (But the one in the picture Copyright MOD is not armed)
These were dissected by Lord Patel Thursday, September 14, 2006
Too Large, Too Late and incredibly expensive MOD runabouts bound for sunny Afghanistan.
Presented as a replacement (at £1/4 Mn per throw) for the indaequately armoured "snatch" Land Rovers this hugely expensive sticking plaster adds a further burden of costs of spares, and base training , and a further front line burden , of training mechanics, the need for low loaders , more back up equipment, spares to carry and a higher overhead of maintenance staff, plus their housing , catering etc., Press reports state they cost £1/4 Mn. each but the manufacturers press release at the date of order 11th August (4 weeks ago!) states the order for 85 vehicles is US$63 Mn. = approx £400,000 "The contract also includes associated spares, technical manuals, and field service support and is worth approximately $63 million. "
The manufacturers are a start up company Force Protection Inc. (OTCBB:FRPT) at the time announced their Q2 results on August 15th. Record sales of US$56 Mn. and highest qrtly profits of US$ 1.3 Mn.The official announcement included the statement..."A recent contract from the British Ministry of Defense for protected vehicles to support infantry patrols marks an additional expansion of the company to the international defense industry."
This has done wonders for their share price, see the graph. For more info see their website -
Almost unnoticed, at the same time (03/14/2007) Force Protection, Inc. announced that it had received a contract modification from the British Ministry of Defence for 22 additional Cougar Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicles (Mastiff PPV). The order will bring the total number of vehicles produced for the British government to 108 at an approximate value of $70.1 million. US$800,000 give or take a few bucks each = £400,000 at this fatrenoon's exhnage rate of £1 = US£1.991.
Basically the Mastiff PPV is the same as the Mastiff but with some armament and a turret - which seemingly they forgot from the first specifications. It is still a 27 tonne Mack truck with a lot of body armour and very little interior space.
In the MOD piece much atention is paid to the levels of protection ..
The MASTIFF Company Commander, Major Dan Bradbury, 1st Yorkshire Regiment, said:
"The soldiers love it. It's a real investment in their protection."
Royal Logistic Corps MASTIFF driver, Private Ciaran Castles, said:
Superb protection ...but what do you DO with it, apart from provide a mobile comms platform for BOWMAN, which was designed to fit on a Land Rover but doesn't.
"All round it's a good bit of kit. It's enjoyable to go out there because you feel more safe and you know if it comes down to it, you've got that extra armour to protect you."