Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Number of Panthers bought : 401. Number to go to Afghanistan : 67

Only 67 of the Panther armoured vehicles bought by the MOD are suitable to be deployed to Afghanistan. The other 334 (yes that is right, 334) will be used in "pre-deployment training, individual and collective training, and trials and development" according to the government. The problem is the vehicles, despite costing hundreds of millions of pounds, are unsuitable for action and an extra 20 million had to spent getting 67 of them ready for combat. The bad (ok even badder) news is that even with the changes if they get hit by an IED or other insurgent toys they are likely to be permanently damaged.

The changes include ECM, better protection, air conditioning and space for a fourth crew member. Its not known if funds will be available to get the other 334 up to speed.

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