London, Aug 25(ANI): If reports are to be believed, the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made a 'disastrous' decision over tandem rotor helicopters Chinook Mk3's, which are meant for complex operations.
In 1995, the ministry had agreed to buy eight Chinook Mk3s from Boeing for 259 million pounds, and wanted to fit its own software in place of the avionics software, which would have cost another 40 million pounds.
However, Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, had warned that the British software might not be compatible with the helicopter.
The warning has come true as the 500 million pound choppers are stored in climate-controlled hangars as the ministry found that it could not design the software, and the failure to design proper avionics software means meant that the helicopters are incapable of flying in difficult conditions.
"The MoD and RAF said they wanted to fit their own avionics software. Boeing told them that they would have trouble integrating their software, but the MoD believed it could do it better than Boeing. The MoD found it couldn't design the software for the Mk3s, as Boeing had warned," The Times quoted Defence insiders, as saying.
"This was a disastrous procurement programme, which could have been resolved eight years ago." a source added.
Now, without proper software, the helicopters would become active next year, but they will only be the basic version, not the high-tech models.
The MoD has continually claimed that officials negotiating the contract in 1995 had failed to ask for access to the software codes, and that Boeing refused to hand them over after the mistake was realised. (ANI)