Author Topic: 'Gold-standard ****-up' over grounded helicopters  (Read 1772 times)

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Offline GAP

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'Gold-standard ****-up' over grounded helicopters
« on: June 04, 2008, 17:56:32 »
'Gold-standard ****-up' over grounded helicopters
 Article Link

LONDON (AFP) — MPs accused the defence ministry on Wednesday of a "gold standard ****-up" for spending hundreds of millions of pounds on eight helicopters grounded since delivery in 2001.

The government's spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) found the eight Chinook Mk3s have been lying idle in hangars in southwest England at a time of helicopter shortages for troops in Afghanistan.

Edward Leigh, the chairman of the lower House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, which oversees the work of the NAO, strongly criticised the government's handling of the affair.

"The Ministry of Defence's programme to make airworthy the eight Chinook Mk3 helicopters which it acquired in 2001 for special operations work has been a gold standard ****-up," said Leigh, a Conservative Party lawmaker.

Ordered from US manufacturer Boeing in 1995 for 259 million pounds, the choppers were designed to be used on special operations but have been grounded since delivery over safety concerns.

To cut costs, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) ordered a one-off "hybrid" digital-analogue cockpit computer system
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