Monday, June 25, 2007

Are they insane?

Just when you thought this site had become a "toy" free zone and it was safe to come back – wham! A "toy" post with a vengeance.

There is, however, no levity here. Once again, on a day when we are also reading reports of another roadside bomb in Afghanistan, killing and maiming solders in a "Snatch" Land Rover, we have to record the utter stupidity of the MoD, which seems determined to put troops in harm's way, with inadequate protection.

The proximate cause of our ire is a report in yesterday's Mail on Sunday headlined, "The 80mph 'Mad Max' monster targeting the Taliban".

This, in the usual gushing, uncritical style of idiot journos, talks up a "four-ton monster truck" which is supposed to be "the British Army's new weapon designed to take on insurgents on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan."

It is, we are told, the British-made, the Supacat Weapons Mounted Installation Kit which "boasts awesome firepower which will be unleashed early next year," adding, "British and other Nato troops are being targeted by roadside bombs and daily firefights."

Yet, although we are told that, "Infantry soldiers have complained existing Land Rovers provide insufficient protection from the bombers," the one thing that struck commenters on both the Mail site and the Army forum was the lack of protection.

Inspection of the photograph does suggest that there could be a modicum of mine protection, in that the front wheel arches do seem to have angled armour, but the position of the gunner is still extremely exposed – dangerously so – yet 130 of these contraptions are to be sent to Afghanistan, where mines are a serious problem.

Yet again, as with the Pinzgauer Vector and the Duro we see this insane obsession with putting drivers and crew over the front wheels, in the centre of the cone of destruction, where they are at their most vulnerable. As the picture shows, of an ordinary Land Rover which survived a mine strike, the crew would be better off in that type of vehicle

Just when we thought we were getting through to the MoD, with its purchase of the Mastiffs, which are turning out to be highly popular with the troops, we then get this regression to type.

One wonders whether these fools have ever seen vehicles which have taken mine or IED strikes (above) and, if so, why they are so willing, it seems, to send troops to their certain deaths.


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