Thursday, April 06, 2006

DAS Again

Big media pick up a bit on the Hercules defensive-aids suite story (see here and here). Not much dig-in, though. This is just the latest in a sea of bullshit - there are 9 out of 25 RAF C-130s that have the full fit of defensive gear, including some really clever stuff like the Directional IRCM laser that picks out enemy missiles to flash an IR light in their eyes. However, the others don't have anything like that.

Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram told the House of Commons back in 2002 that all the aircraft used in Afghanistan had the DAS, but they didn't, and as previously posted the paperwork was fixed to get around the CENTAF threat matrix for Afghanistan. Geoff Hoon actually flew into Kabul on one of the not-defended C-130s, although no-one is sure if he knew he was in danger. (In fact I can answer that - does anyone think Hoon would have been on that plane if he thought his skin might be at risk?)

I'm also getting worried that the Op. Herrick deployment is drifting back towards an under-supported, over-numerous incoherence. This Air Assault Brigade we are sending only seems to be taking 6 Chinook and 4 Lynx, and perhaps some Apache (although they seem to be going quiet all of a sudden) - and the RAF Harrier squadron in Afghanistan is being withdrawn.

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