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The solution to the helicopter shortage: a proposal

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Britain has a shortage of Helicopters such as the Puma

Britain has a shortage of Helicopters such as the Puma

It was recently reported that Britain is facing huge losses in life in Afghanistan due to two factors.

The first is Improvised Explosive Devices being used in ambushes on Afghanistan’s few roads.  These roads are frequently hemmed in by hills and mountains, making them easy targets.

The second is a shortage of serviceable Helicopters.  To control Afghanistan you have to have the high ground, and a means of fast deployment.  You also need vehicles capable of dealing with a hot dusty atmosphere at very high altitude.

The Russian Mi-24 was it's workhorse throughout the Afghanistan campaign of the 1980s

The Russian Mi-24 was it's workhorse throughout the Afghanistan campaign of the 1980s

The Russians learned this well and produced the Mi-24 Helicopter.  This baby could fly in a platoon of infantry and re-supply them, and it carried a huge arsenal of missiles and rockets.  Many were lost to American-built Stinger missiles, which the Taliban no longer have.

So this brings us to Nick’s big idea.   We have all these cars we need to scrap, we have factories idle, and people out of work.

Grab a spanner, lads.  It's like Airfix, only bigger.

Grab a spanner, lads. It's like Airfix, only bigger.

How hard would it be to melt down all these cars we have to scrap, then manufacture new helicopters for Afghanistan?  We have the factories and the people, and I am sure they can be mass produced.  The lathes and tools needed for assembly can be hired or even requisitioned.  Do deals, or coerce who and whatever you need.

During the war Churchill had this program where people sent pots, pans, railings and other metal odds and sods to the foundries where they were then melted down.

Spitfire factory

From there the parts to build new Spitfires were manufactured.  How hard would it be to do something like that again?  Or have we just lost the motivation to help ourselves.

Remember people, failure in Afghanistan is not an option.  I just hope Mr Brown is listening.

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Written by Nick Gilmartin

July 15, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Posted in in the news

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