Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Further to the Sea Sprite drama, it now appears that a party sub-contracted to supply the avionics failed to deliver.

[Kaman's senior vice president Russell Jones] said the delays began when a subcontractor selected to provide a complex guidance system for the Seasprites went out of business.

Why did we buy them in the first place? The helicopters were to be deployed on a new class of Offshore Patrol Vessel which we were acquiring along with Malaysia, which required a very lightweight helicopter. Malaysia pulled out of the program, and the OPV was cancelled, but not the helicopter. Why was it not cancelled? Rumours of an impending freeze on defence spending prompted senior Navy bods to get the project approved in a hurry, before the department of finance had a chance to tighten the purse strings. That hasty decision seems to be coming back to haunt Navy, although whoever it was that signed the contracts seems to be keeping a low profile.

But there are now rumours of an even more serious problem. Cracks have started appearing around the airframes.

Thank you Hugh Jarse, wherever you are...


At 6:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a fiasco, it also seems that they can`t pull out of the deal because someone forgot to put in the contract a default clause that if the aircraft didn`t meet the required standards that it was acquired for,then the service could refuse to accept them but that option does not exist so the seakings after 30yrs of service which is not a bad record for a helicopter even though it was maintenance error or negligence on behalf of the maintainers, they will have some new companions in the next hangar to keep them company.

At 7:57 pm, Blogger Chris said...

Which sounds like a hastily prepared contract written by someone insufficiently qualified to draft one.

It makes my blood boil when I think about it, because the Fleet Air Arm is getting a reputation for being a dangerous joke, which none of the guys and gals serving in it deserve.

At 10:33 am, Anonymous LP said...

Hi Chris,
Stumbled on your blogg while bored and googling my surname Parkes. What a witty, entertaining and funny blogg you have. The 'cracks appearing' pic is a good one haha. I'm sure I'll re-visit for another giggle someday soon.
Cheers, LP :-)


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