The Nimrod safety fears

  TopCat® 00:56 10 Nov 2007

The replacement to this ageing aircraft will not come into service until sometime in 2009, I believe, so how many more vulnerable RAF personnel will have to risk life and limb before this suspect airborne refuelling leakage is curtailed? click here

Until the full facts are known from the current Board of Inquiry into the loss of XV230 and all its crew, then I believe it's plain common sense that air-refuelling should be stopped before another tragedy occurs.

These planes should only be refuelled on the ground back at base and if this means constant surveillance is lost, then surely a couple more Nimrods could be deployed out there to cover the situation. TC.

  laurie53 07:54 10 Nov 2007

The air to air refuelling system on the Nimrod was installed after the Falklands, so it's not as old as the airframe.

I'm not suggesting for a moment it is safe. That's for the enquiry. I worked on the weapons system of the Nimrod with the prototype installation at the time of the Falklands, and it always stunk of fuel, but so did the Lightning.

You cannot keep doing things on the cheap and not expect to pay for it eventually.

Unfortunately those paying the price are not the penny pinching bean counters.

  Forum Editor 08:15 10 Nov 2007

of gradually reducing our defence budget is folly, and this is one manifestation of it.

  jack 08:45 10 Nov 2007

I find it disturbing to know that when the problem was highlighted by the manufacturers the powers that be still chose to ignore it.
Disturbing on two counts - How the manufacturer aware of the problem -released the craft to service
The RAF being made aware of the problem were prepared to accept the aircraft- remember this was probably in the time of 'peace' and no urgent need.

  dagbladet 08:50 10 Nov 2007

"......surely a couple more Nimrods could be deployed out there to cover the situation. TC."

And therein lies the crux of not just this, but many current defence issues. We simply haven't got any more.

  the kopite 10:06 10 Nov 2007

Topcat This problem with infight refueling goes back over two decades. It was first brought to the RAFs attention when the old vulcan bomber's was being made ready to fly to bomb Stanley airfield during the Falkland war. There were numerous spillages nearly resulting in disaster,when they tested the feasability of in flight refueling over such a long distance

  anskyber 10:20 10 Nov 2007

Defence spending is a difficult area, much depends on what you want to do. Defence spending in this country is still higher than our European counterparts.

I think the answer rather depends on whether we see ourselves as a world power or as a small country somewhere just off mainland Europe.

  DrScott 10:32 10 Nov 2007

European counterparts aren't engaged in a conflict in the Middle East. You can't fight a war and not expect to pay for it.

  anskyber 10:58 10 Nov 2007

And that really is the point isn't it.

Clearly if the aim is to maintain, as some see it, a position as a "world power" we need to fully fund it and tax accordingly. I have never fully understood why we should continue with this rather outdated assumption that we should try to be a world power.

It's much to do with our perception of what national pride should involve. It matters not to me that we reduce our spending to a level commensurate with reasonable national protection; others seem to survive just fine so why can't we?

The key is to fund, adequately, the standard of service we wish to provide which plainly we are not doing now. In Afghanistan we are in the most dangerous province, our European allies seem reluctant to become involved where the real heat is found.

Perhaps we should re evaluate our role before spending yet more money on trying to hold onto being a world power.

  DrScott 11:39 10 Nov 2007

I am entirely against war and loathe our engagement in the Middle East. Yet society, or at least society's represenatives, felt it was a worthwhile venture. If the governemnt of this country wants to engage in such conflicts, then it has to provide the money.

Your point is about what our role in the modern world should be, which I think it a little different to the question of funding. Personally I think ignoring the United Nations was one of the worst decisions HMG ever made, and we're starting to pay for it by our isolation.

But whatever military service we provide, we need to ensure it is adequately funded.

  Bingalau 11:41 10 Nov 2007

I read somewhere last week that our spending on defence was at the same rate as in 1930. Look where that got us, a very bad start in fighting for our lives in WW2. Politicians never learn from history. I still reckon that if all the different Army Regiments hadn't been amalgamated, we would have had a lot more recruits for the Army. (Family members were proud to serve in the same regiments as their grandparents and parents). I'd willingly pay more in taxes if I knew we were safe, with a strong and well equipped Army, Navy and Air Force. (Not forgetting the finest of course... "Her Majesty's Jollies".

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