Dithering by Defence Chiefs on Armoured
Vehicles has cost 30 lives
[Daily Mail-Defence Correspondent
DEFENCE chiefs wasted almost a decade
on trying to develop new armoured vehicles - while soldiers were being
killed in aging Land Rovers.
A scathing report by the Commons
Defence Select Committee today describes the Ministry of Defence's
efforts to provide [suitable] battlefield vehicles as hampered by a '
'sorry story of indecision ,
changing requirements and delay'.
Opposition critics accused the
Government of putting the lives of servicemen and women in Iraq and
Afghanistan at greater risk due to their 'INDECISION and MISMANAGEMENT'
of the ISSUE.
More than 30 British soldiers have been
killed in Iraq by roadside bombs since 2003 - many of them while
travelling in poorly protected 'Snatch' Land Rovers.
MPs claim they identified an urgent
need to equip the Army with new medium-weight armoured vehicles as long
BUT despite Labour spending hundreds of
millions og taxpayers money on failed or aborted schemes, the entire
project remained little more than an idea.
Labour first promised the Army a new
fleet of armoured vehicles in its 1998 Strategic Defence Review.
Ministers announced that medium-weight
vehicles were needed to bridge the gap between the heavy Challenger
tanks on the one hand and thin-skinned or lightly armoured vehicles such
as Snatch Land Rovers on the other. But nine years on
NOT A SINGLE VEHICLE HAS BEEN BUILT OR
The vehicles - expected to be
eight-wheeled armoured trucks -must be tough enough to protect troops
from small roadside bombs or rocket-propelled grenades, but also light
enough to be carried in the RAF's long awaited A400M transport aircraft
- WHICH IS ITSELF YEARS BEHIND SCHEDULE.
Today's report reveals how the MoD
first wasted £182 million on two failed joint projects with the USA and
The expected date for vehicles to enter
service has slipped from 2009 and now doubtful before 20127, MPs said.
Meanwhile the MoD has spent £120
million buying off- the- shelfbomb proof Mastiff and Vector vehicles
-although they have no fighting capability. Committee chairman James
'The Army needs a a new generation of
armoured fighting vehicles capable of being deployed overseas.
'Meanwhile, our soldiers in Iraq and
Afghanistan are expected to make do with a mix of old vehicles and
Shadow defence spokesman Gerald Howarth
'The Government's indecision, lack of
direction, and mismanagement has led to its inability to provide our
servicemen and women with the equipment they need when they need it.'
Defence Procurement Minister Lord
Drayson [Friend of Tony Blair] said the delays were partly because of
changing requirements on the Army's experiences in Iraq.
He said the MOD was now making 'rapid
[Well! We all know that
Tony Blair was warned by seasoned diplomats from the Middle East when he
decided to embark on an illegal war that it would lead to the exact
scenario as shown since the supposed victory in 2003.
We have previously said that if the MoD
had to pay a £1,000,000 to the relatives for each death in the theatre
of war they would have solved the question of adequate protection
for our troops years ago.
While the troops in Iraq and
Afghanistan have been starved of critical resources - billions have been
spent on the EU Rapid Response Force and allied projects. Germany
now has one of the largest Army's in EU Europe with 300,000 troops but
it is very careful not to allow its soldiers to become involved in
It caused the Kosovo crisis by the
recognition of their WWII friend Croatia and the support of the Albanian
so -called Freedom Fighters who were operating the biggest drug
and gun-running corridor through Kosovo and Tiranen.
Germany gained control by the outright
purchase of their main asset, their chromite mines.
Provoked by repeated terrorist attacks
by Kosovo Freedom Fighters, the anticipated Serb response gave
German-controlled Europe the excuse to lead NATO into an ILLEGAL WAR
against a SOVEREIGN STATE -by cunning German contrivance. This served
Germany's historical aim of destroying Serbia, helping to reclaim
so-called German territory in the East, thus helping the construction of
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MORE THAN HALF of voters believe Britain should
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