U.S. buys Russian choppers for Afghan military

WASHINGTON - The U.S. government is snapping up Russian-made helicopters to form the core of Afghanistan's fledgling air force, a strategy that is drawing flak from members of Congress who want to force the Afghans to fly American choppers instead.

msnbc.msn.com/id/37793266/ns/politics-washington_post

This makes no sense. Perhaps someone needs to lose their job over this.

[quote="shockerfan, post:2, topic:202460"]
This makes no sense. Perhaps someone needs to lose their job over this.

[/quote]

Aparently Congress prefers the American people lose jobs.

What is the cost benefit ratio? Buying Russian helicopters may make the most sense for our spending in that area.

[quote="shockerfan, post:2, topic:202460"]
This makes no sense. Perhaps someone needs to lose their job over this.

[/quote]

Actually, it makes a lot of sense, and I would be really surprised if they went with American aircraft.

The Mi-17 Hip is a rugged, easy to maintain helicopter. US aircraft are technically superior, but with that comes a price tag. You have to have a lot more techical expertice and logistics to maintain them. A Blackhawk has FAR more in the way of electronics, and much more complex electronics at that. So you have to have the banks of technictians who can analyse and repair these systems.

In addition, the Hip is well known in the region and thus there will be more people in the region who know how to operate and maintain them, than something like a Blackhawk.

[quote="Brendan, post:5, topic:202460"]
Actually, it makes a lot of sense, and I would be really surprised if they went with American aircraft.

The Mi-17 Hip is a rugged, easy to maintain helicopter. US aircraft are technically superior, but with that comes a price tag. You have to have a lot more techical expertice and logistics to maintain them. A Blackhawk has FAR more in the way of electronics, and much more complex electronics at that. So you have to have the banks of technictians who can analyse and repair these systems.

In addition, the Hip is well known in the region and thus there will be more people in the region who know how to operate and maintain them, than something like a Blackhawk.

[/quote]

So we are not capable of manufacturing a scaled down version of the Chinook or Blackhawk?

Did you notice the section of the article which says there is no other competion and the prices of the Russian helicopters are going up considerably?

[quote="josephdavid, post:6, topic:202460"]
So we are not capable of manufacturing a scaled down version of the Chinook or Blackhawk?

[/quote]

Consider the lead time in designing and developing such a scaled back version, getting all approvals, etc. It's not a matter of a lack of capability, but a matter of time and bureaucracy.

Better something available off the shelf, so to speak, IMO.

[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:7, topic:202460"]
Consider the lead time in designing and developing such a scaled back version, getting all approvals, etc. It's not a matter of a lack of capability, but a matter of time and bureaucracy.

Better something available off the shelf, so to speak, IMO.

[/quote]

Point well taken but I believe we have had a few years heads up on this.

[quote="josephdavid, post:8, topic:202460"]
Point well taken but I believe we have had a few years heads up on this.

[/quote]

Losing out on all the oil contracts in Iraq, and now not even being a supplier for the Afghanistan army.

All in all, Americans have not been the business-savvy opportunists that they have been stereo-typed as being.

[quote="josephdavid, post:6, topic:202460"]
So we are not capable of manufacturing a scaled down version of the Chinook or Blackhawk?

Did you notice the section of the article which says there is no other competion and the prices of the Russian helicopters are going up considerably?

[/quote]

And several custom built Blackhawks would be any cheaper? And even then, it would not have the deep history of being easy to maintain that the Hip has.

One would hope that the training and equiping of Afgan armed forces would have the purpose of helping them become self sustaning at keeping the peace in country.

Thus the decisions on equipment, like any good decision on military spending, should have it focus on what best accomplishes the assigned mission. It should NOT be viewed a jobs program for workers anywhere.

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