Prince Andrew has described the Ministry of Defence as "hopeless" for not ordering better armoured vehicles. Gamal Fahnbulleh reports for Sky TV London on 6 November,2010.
Prince Andrew has described the Ministry of Defence as "hopeless" for not ordering better armoured vehicles. In this video Gamal Fahnbulleh reports for Sky TV.
According to Gordon Rayner in the London Daily Telegraph, 6 November Prince Andrew has regularly visited Afghanistan to see the challenges faced by British service personnel there.
He was speaking at the factory that manufactures the £1 million Ranger. He was visiting in his capacity as an ambassador for British trade and industry.
It seems the Prince was addressing members of the company's board, and was unaware that a local journalist had been invited to witness the meeting.
Last year the Ministry of Defence said it had no immediate plans to order Rangers, but had asked for independent tests to establish the vehicle's resistance to roadside bombs of the type used by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The Duke told executives at Universal Engineering in Weymouth, Dorset:
Why do they have to do blast tests? It's just increasing the cost. It just seems that because it takes time to get these things done – I would say to you that regrettably they will not get off their fat backsides. The MoD are completely hopeless at these kind of things.
…active service in the Falklands…
The Prince is a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who saw active service in the Falklands War. He is the colonel-in-chief of five Army regiments.
The issue of armoured vehicles has been a running sore for ministers since the invasion of Afghanistan in 200 reports Mr. Rayner.
He reports that dozens of soldiers have been killed by roadside bombs while travelling in poorly-protected vehicles, including at least 37 who have died in the 'notorious' Snatch Land Rovers, originally designed for use in Northern Ireland.
Mr Raynor says the Prince’s comments are likely to embarrass the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has insisted that defence cuts will not compromise the safety of those serving in Afghanistan.