MILITARY | UTILITY
According to the U.K.’s National Audit Office, the Defence Ministry mishandled the purchase of eight Chinooks from Boeing and took delivery even though the aircraft’s avionics software was insufficient.
The office estimated that the necessary refit, which should be completed in 2010 after a 30-month negotiation between ministry and industry officials, will cost the country about £422 million ($829 million).
Intended to support U.K. special forces, the aircraft will now be converted to a battlefield utility configuration.
More importantly, the error kept the Chinooks from flying in Afghanistan, where NATO forces consistently cite lack of helicopters as one of the factors hindering their fight against the Taliban.