Monday, May 17, 2010

Scorched Earth?

Apparently, in their last days of office, the government was following a "scorched earth" policy aiming to sign off spending on anything and everything it could. That is the story, at least according to the Times and others, natually I'm a little bit more suspicious.

One of the items is in question as part of this article is:
A series of defence contracts signed shortly before the election, including a £13 billion tanker aircraft programme whose cost has “astonished and baffled” ministers.

This programme appears to be designed to find a replacement for the UK's existing tanker fleet of Vickers VC10s (Introduced in 1964) and Lockheed Tristars (Introduced in 1972). So that's a 46 year old and a 38 year old aircraft design.

Now, I'm no expert on aviation, but it does seem to me that those aircraft designs seem a bit erm...old, and perhaps they might need replacement. That and the fact that the first bids for this project were recieved in 2001 makes me smell a rat.

The whole project has the whiff of a project that was planned very carfully over a number of years with a very sensible aim. Would the new government really have abandoned this project leaving the RAF with it's ancient refuelling craft? That to me just doesn't sound sensible and that's why I'm certainly thinking that this whole "scorched earth" thing is little more than a concoction by our new government's spin doctors.

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