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Rhodes
7th April 2014, 00:40
If you look at all the expensive equipment the DF have, ie armour, aircraft and ships, that has been replaced in recent years, currently being replaced or needs replacing then the Naval Service have very little to complain about.

Almost all of the armour and aircraft retired in recent years were purchased in the 1960s and early 70s whereas the ships currently being replaced were built in the late 70s. The Alouette's entered service in 1963 and first replacement was not until 2006, the Panhard AML's entered service in 1964 and first replacement was not until 2007, 43 years service. In comparison LE Deirdre was decommissioned after just 29 years service and Emer after 35 years.

15 helicopters were replaced by just 8, 16 trainer aircraft by just 8, 71 Panhard and Timoney APC's were replaced by just 65 Mowag APC's, 52 AML's were replaced by just 15 CRV's and MRV's. The Mowag fleet was purchased with funds from the sale of Army property and lands, they're still waiting for the last 15 Mowag APC's since 2003 after the order was cut. The last of the AML's were retired last year with no replacements in sight and its very unlikely there will be any. The Cessna's are in service now for 42 years and the Minister says he is not going to fund replacements.

The Naval Service is very fortunate, even if the new ships are a few years later than originally promised.

andy
7th April 2014, 11:29
If you look at it that way the Defence Forces really have taken a cut. I'm not sure what they will put in this White Paper - more cuts ? Defence a bit of a joke already but the country might just be happy with a combat team just doing enough to meet obligations. For example, we might only need 2,000 troops with 200 overseas and the rest in training/resting/duties ? Laughable but might be the real state of affairs.

All those ships should be replaced in pairs based on improvements of the P 61.

hptmurphy
7th April 2014, 16:17
the Panhard AML's entered service in 1964 and first replacement was not until 2007, 43 years service

Having spent an inordinate amount of money on them and then binned them!


The Alouette's entered service in 1963 and first replacement was not until 2006

And many countries still have them in service, there nothing wrong with them once you realise their limitations.


71 Panhard and Timoney APC's were replaced by just 65 Mowag APC's, 52 AML's were replaced by just 15 CRV's and MRV's. The Mowag fleet was purchased with funds from the sale of Army property and lands, they're still waiting for the last 15 Mowag APC's since 2003 after the order was cut.

The Army wanted Gucci, the Army got Gucci. could have had 50 BTRs for a fraction of the price.

Given there was one laid up in the Curragh three years after being brought home from Liberia I doubt if the army can even maintain those they have, why give them any more?

In comparison LE Deirdre was decommissioned after just 29 years service and Emer after 35 years

Compare like for Like, ships are at sea for most of their working lives, unlike armour which spends its life parked up or in training mode unless its deployed and then its rotated.

Ships wear out and become uneconomic to maintain and repair, there comes a time if you want hulls in the water you pay the price. The Naval Sevice played second fiddle to the green machine for far to long to a point in 1970 when it had no ships, the former having been in service since the early 1940s and were as good as clapped out when bought.

Last round of closure of under manned bks and removal of obselete assets and vehicles have contributed to the cost of the new ships, in fact we could do with a couple more if you fancy closing another bks. I could name five off the top of my head that serve no purpose.

hptmurphy
7th April 2014, 22:41
At least, in the AMLs and M3s favour,

The upgrade to diesel and on top of that the 20mm turrets alone was madness given they were never going to be on a apr with MOWAGs and should have been written off at that point.

Again the M3s were god for waht they were at the time and their own upgrade artificially extended their life span.

Army has a very bad habit of doing this all the way back to the 40s and them being lumbered with the resultant product, almost if it is a mindset.

GoneToTheCanner
8th April 2014, 09:39
and the civil service mindset is that anything the DF buys has to have a potential service life of thirty years, regardless of whether it's a boot, a bullet or an AFV.

DeV
8th April 2014, 11:19
The upgrade to diesel and on top of that the 20mm turrets alone was madness given they were never going to be on a apr with MOWAGs and should have been written off at that point.

Again the M3s were god for waht they were at the time and their own upgrade artificially extended their life span.

Army has a very bad habit of doing this all the way back to the 40s and them being lumbered with the resultant product, almost if it is a mindset.

That is probably more to do with DOD & DOF

hptmurphy
8th April 2014, 12:04
That is probably more to do with DOD & DOF

Then the people responsible in the army aren't making their case.

The DOD or The DOF certainly didn't come up with the idea of rebuilds on their own, they had to be lead to it.

Civil servants while creatures of habit certainly are not adverse to having suggestions made to them on cost basis.

Upgrades are fine if they are carried out with the intention of keeping a concept current rather than trying to keep a long dead concept alive in order to prevent having to implement a replacement package which is the case in this scenario.

Back to ships!

paul g
9th April 2014, 19:25
Having spent an inordinate amount of money on them and then binned them!



And many countries still have them in service, there nothing wrong with them once you realise their limitations.



The Army wanted Gucci, the Army got Gucci. could have had 50 BTRs for a fraction of the price.

Given there was one laid up in the Curragh three years after being brought home from Liberia I doubt if the army can even maintain those they have, why give them any more?

In comparison LE Deirdre was decommissioned after just 29 years service and Emer after 35 years

Compare like for Like, ships are at sea for most of their working lives, unlike armour which spends its life parked up or in training mode unless its deployed and then its rotated.

Ships wear out and become uneconomic to maintain and repair, there comes a time if you want hulls in the water you pay the price. The Naval Sevice played second fiddle to the green machine for far to long to a point in 1970 when it had no ships, the former having been in service since the early 1940s and were as good as clapped out when bought.

Last round of closure of under manned bks and removal of obselete assets and vehicles have contributed to the cost of the new ships, in fact we could do with a couple more if you fancy closing another bks. I could name five off the top of my head that serve no purpose.

Nothing to do with Gucci, the army got the APCs it needed for peacekeeping and interoperability with NATO forces, buying BTR would have been nuts, in terms of interoperability and being able to survive on the modern battlefield they're so old fashioned its unbelievable. Dismounting from one deserves a medal in its own right, and you can only squeeze six dismounts in the back, if they;'re midgets which leaves you with a very smal section for dismount operations. As for spare parts, you going to buy them off the Ukraine or Mr Putin? Why not buy Poti class corvettes to replace the Emer onwards.


And no doubt about it, the mowag was a challenge, but things are getting better. Essentially it would be much better for the defence forces it it bought AFV as part of a joint project with other Eurpean nations from the spares point of view. One of the problems with the mowag and LTAV is that there are so few of them they're almost unique and hence spares are very costly to make for the company to make, where as spares for machines operated by a large number of nations such as Boxer are less expensive . And the DOD has less influence with manufacturers than bigger countires like germany when it comes to negotiating spares packages. Honestly if I'd been in charge I think we should have waited for boxer. Same with the LTAV I honestly think we should have gone for the mowag eagle, because the bundeswher has bought so many of them mowag will be making lots of spare parts. But that was politically impossible until very recently and is something that is being proposed for the future according to the green paper.

As for the green machine in 1970, it wasn't far off the N.S with no no ships when you think about it.

As for the money spent on the AML upgrade, that was in the late 1990's when there was no real replacement on the market. Many of the suggestions of AML replacements on this board ignore basics like often the vehicle proposed is no longer in production or is due to be replaced within the next decade, or has only been bought by a few nations because its too specialised. The upgraded AML served in Liberia and Lebanon mk 2.

If people want to look at who is to blame its not the green machine or the department, its WOD who saw his role as being minister for limerick rather than defence, and spent all his time in cabinet arginmg for projects to help his vote in Limerick rather than for ships for the N>S. Thats why there was the delay in the ship replacement project.

hptmurphy
9th April 2014, 22:15
Nothing to do with Gucci, the army got the APCs it needed for peacekeeping and interoperability with NATO forces, buying BTR would have been nuts, in terms of interoperability and being able to survive on the modern battlefield they're so old fashioned its unbelievable. Dismounting from one deserves a medal in its own right, and you can only squeeze six dismounts in the back, if they;'re midgets which leaves you with a very smal section for dismount operations. As for spare parts, you going to buy them off the Ukraine or Mr Putin?

Poland operates a large number of BTRS, they're NATO, contribute to peace keeping....

Battle fields..where.....???

They could have bought cheaper off the shelf, Mowag was top of the range as correctly pointed out, but did we really need it?


Essentially it would be much better for the defence forces it it bought AFV as part of a joint project with other Eurpean nations from the spares point of view

Thinking outside the box is not allowed.


As for the money spent on the AML upgrade, that was in the late 1990's when there was no real replacement on the market. Many of the suggestions of AML replacements on this board ignore basics like often the vehicle proposed is no longer in production or is due to be replaced within the next decade, or has only been bought by a few nations because its too specialised. The upgraded AML served in Liberia and Lebanon mk 2.

I disagree, there was plenty on the market but the army were far behind the modern thinking on IFVs when they spent this money. AMls proved unsuitable in the later missions and were then transferred back and most went straight to open storage having very little mileage on their new packages.

Had the DF bit the bullet and introduced a gradual replacement programme instead of the upgrades we wouldn't have ended up with a two tier armour package, which has been finally addressed albeit with the wrong vehicles.

We had a very good working relation ship with Panhard, the progression from AML 90 to the Likes of ERC 90 or Saige could have been very easy, and could possible have traded off the 90s in the process.

French VAB, Spanish Santa Barbara, even SISU while lower tech were far cheaper and could have been bought earlier and would have given the same capabilities ten years earlier at a fraction of the cost.


If people want to look at who is to blame its not the green machine or the department, its WOD who saw his role as being minister for limerick rather than defence, and spent all his time in cabinet arginmg for projects to help his vote in Limerick rather than for ships for the N>S. Thats why there was the delay in the ship replacement projec


The apathy towards the NS service far predates this package of ships and WOD, Maritime Blindness within the halls of power and the lack of a senior Naval Officer at the top of the table and unwillingness to invest in meaningful capital replacement projects has been the cause of for many years.


As for the green machine in 1970,

had it not been for the situation in Northern Ireland in the 70s I seriously doubt we would even have an army at this point, but one has to question the sheer waste in the army in that period in everything from equipment purchase that were shoddy to say the least, to barracks being kept open that were part of a WW2 policy and served no purpose.

Rhodes
10th April 2014, 01:55
Poland operates a large number of BTRS, they're NATO, contribute to peace keeping....

Battle fields..where.....???

They could have bought cheaper off the shelf, Mowag was top of the range as correctly pointed out, but did we really need it?

Poland doesn't have any BTR's, they use the Patria AMV for overseas which costs a lot more than a Mowag.

You only have to look at the recent attacks on Irish troops in Syria and the damage done to know that if it wasn't for the Mowag and its superior protection, mobility and weapon system then Irish troops would have been killed.

If your so fond of buying cheap why not get Chinese built Haijian OPV's, you could replace the entire Naval Service fleet with them for a lot less that the cost of the two P60's and have enough change left over to buy a ninth ship.

paul g
10th April 2014, 11:22
Not only have poland phased out all their BTR's but so have most of the eastern european countires, and countries that retain BTR's for units at home like Roumania use the mowag for overaeas
In fact poland has a major project to replace all its old soviet era armor over the coming decade.

The problem with sagie is that its due to b e phased out by france by 2018, and had bought some in the late 1990's then we'd be back to the landsverk days driving around a pos that its difficult to get spare parts for, because the major user has got rid of it. .

As for buying APC a decade beforehand, the requirement for the mowag was only drawn up in 1995, and it was only drawn up due to the state's lack of ability to contribute to the balkans mission and pressure from Europe. Tenders were only issued in 1998, and when trials took place the state chse the mowag. Its intresting to note that the only APC trial in Eurpe around the same time, Denemark also chose the mowag. Choosing something like the Sisu and Santa Barbra)( Providing we could get them second hand as the spanish long since stopped making them in the 1990's) is that the sisu is now being phased out by the Swedes, Dutch and Finns for a vehicles like the mowag. So there will be the same problem with spares in the decades to come and vehicles wouldn't be interperable. Mowag MRV and CRV gives the state essentially the same reconnaissance vehicle used by the US army, which is pretty impressive, and the ability to upgrade the vehicle out to 2040. sisu, VAB and the like were a developmental a dead end

The mowag was state of the art when it was introuduced and we were virtually the first user of a type of vehicle that has become the standard across Europe. Yep there were problems but it was such a massive jump that any organisation would have had those problenms, but a lot of thosehave either been or are now being ironed out. Compared to the fiasco the briis made of FRES the DOD weren't that bad

Same with you rum and sodomy boys, the state only developed the navy because of pressure from Europe from the 1970's onwards, we got the mowag because Europe demanded that type of vehicle

As for the army in the early seventies, well 25 years before hand the state had needed a large conventional army of over two divisions and had found it difficult to create, that played a part in the thinking. And During the 1970's there was a realistic fear of british withdrawal from the north that would have again needec a large conventional response, add to that FF parish pumpery and that explains the large numbers of barracks.

And I cannot see where all this hate for the green machine is coming from, the department wanted you boys like the Scttish fisheries prtection agency last time around and you were saved by the same green machine that some seem to think hates you so much.

As for the Green machine's celtic tiger bonanza, that all came during the smith years or he put it in the pipeline, none during WOD days in office

hptmurphy
10th April 2014, 11:26
Poland doesn't have any BTR's, the

they had when we bought MOWAG.


If your so fond of buying cheap why not get Chinese built Haijian OPV's, you could replace the entire Naval Service fleet with them for a lot less that the cost of the two P60's and have enough change left over to buy a ninth ship.

If its within spec, why not, if Appledore can't supply into the future we may have to go to persons who can.

But on checking its not within the spec.

Again across the DF not buying off the shelf and having small amounts of equipment built for our specific need is problematic.

Partnership through the proposed life time and replacement of units is key. Buying bits piecemeal from various suppliers is problematic.

While I disagree about MOWAG being the ultimate supplier I would agree with Paul G on the point that the LTAV should have come from the same supplier as the other major vehicles in the fleet.

The commonality worked with Panhard.


You only have to look at the recent attacks on Irish troops in Syria and the damage done to know that if it wasn't for the Mowag and its superior protection, mobility and weapon system then Irish troops would have been killed.



I believe that any of the MRAP in service with forces in Afghanistan would have done the same job.

Just because its not MOWAG dosen't mean its not safe.

hptmurphy
10th April 2014, 13:50
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BTR-80

Take a look down through the later variants and those still in production

http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product116.html

Obviously the unit cost will go down with the numbers ordered, but at the same time we bought MOWAG, BTR 80 was half the price.


And I cannot see where all this hate for the green machine is coming from

No hate at all. Given I was an army reservist for 17 years , served in a cavalry squadron, I have an opinion on that equipment I used. My opinions on MOWAGs are based on those who have spoken with me around the problems encountered with the vehicles.

My issue being in how the DF sources and procures equipment and then the wasted money in fcuk acting around with it when its beyond normal life expectancy.

The Navy is no better , going back to the LE Eithne debacle, The sheer nonsense on some of which was delivered within and how even the more moderately intelligent.

The procurement of the Peacocks, took ships that were thrown at them which were 30 years behind the concept we were operating , but took them out of desperation and have been very limited with them ever since, PVs needed to be replaced en masse again not on a hull for hull basis , and the failure to realise a blue/green type vessel.

Again I may be off target, but it is my opinion on the equipment that has been in service,where we got it wrong and why in my opinion we keep getting it wrong and wasting money.

You don't have to try prove me wrong, but the view that speaks most is that of the end user. I've had people pointing out the major failings of the P50s to me since they came on line 15/16 years ago.....will the P60s address the shortfalls, and at what cost.

I agree if we buy a single package like that MOWAG supplied we should stick with that package through the life of the fleet, but that fleet must have a determined life span and replacement sought before that life span expires.

They've done it again with the Steyr trying to adapt a 30 year old package and then in limited numbers instead of replacing the whole system. End result, two tier operators.

DeV
10th April 2014, 13:59
It was put out to tender, 12 companies submitted proposals.

I did see the list in papers at the time.

GoneToTheCanner
11th April 2014, 00:14
Hi all,
when you look at the Don as an example, the stuff that works best is the stuff that they don't tamper with, buy as near as possible to off-the-shelf, stop adding unreasonable shit to the kit when you get it and stop babying it like it's made of glass. The Cessna 172s, the Alouettes, the SF 260s and the King Airs, the Squirrel (least heralded aircraft in the whole Don but totally reliable. we should have ****ed out the Gazelles and got the basic squirrel back then)) (and the MATS jets, surprisingly) have all delivered on their promise because they left them alone, used them for what they were designed for and basically treated them with respect. The Dauphins were a shiny joke because the Don became an unofficial test cell for Aerospatiale and the aircraft became hangar queens and soaked up a fortune. Their utility and availability went south very quick and it was an object lesson in how not to do it....some of that shit has resurfaced with the 139s and you can see how quickly Agusta has moved to bigger, more militarised models. I'm still not convinced that the 139 is really suitable as a proper soldier's helicopter......also, in the case of the DF in general, have they even settled on a standard truck yet? there seems to be such a wide range of trucks for general troop carrying/cargo/DROPs and so on. The Mowags might not be the only issue.

hptmurphy
11th April 2014, 17:11
I don't think the title of the thread reflects the actual content, its more about DF purchasing trends as opposed to a specific vehicle.

I agree with Gttc on the aircraft purchases. Again if it hadn't been screwed around with back in 1999 we would have had S92s as opposed to AW139s.

And my favourite, those who belittle it.. the EH101.. Australians have put them into service recently along with the Italian Navy...anyone wonder why they didn't buy the 139???:rolleyes:

Rhodes
11th April 2014, 18:28
I don't think the title of the thread reflects the actual content, its more about DF purchasing trends as opposed to a specific vehicle.

I agree with Gttc on the aircraft purchases. Again if it hadn't been screwed around with back in 1999 we would have had S92s as opposed to AW139s.

And my favourite, those who belittle it.. the EH101.. Australians have put them into service recently along with the Italian Navy...anyone wonder why they didn't buy the 139???:rolleyes:

It would of been the Cougar in service now and not the S92 as that's what the Air Corps selected until Smith made a shameful mess of it all.

The Italian Air Force have selected the AW139 to replace all their AB212's and their Army may also do the same or they could just order more NH90's.
The Italians selected the AW101's as replacements for their Sea Kings, they would never of considered downsizing to a 139 as replacements.

Most of Europe seems to be still committed to the NH90 as their helicopter of choice despite its long running problems and huge cost.
The AW139 has still become a popular military helicopter and their must be close to 100 in military use or on order so far, if it already hasn't passed that mark.

DeV
11th April 2014, 18:59
The AW139 isn't a medium lift helo

The real Jack
11th April 2014, 19:16
Define medium

GoneToTheCanner
11th April 2014, 20:08
@realjack, I would define medium as anything in the class of a Puma or Mi-8, with the ability to lift at least a section (10) men and their kit, or a heavy mortar or a light field gun or an equivalent load of rations/ammunition/tools/casualties or an external war load such as ATGWs or rocket pods............... The 139 is a pretender. It has trouble coping with soft Irish fields, which is why you see them flying around with skipads on. I'm quite sure the current Agusta 139s being flogged around have been ungraded or modified to cope with issues raised by the Irish experience..........

DeV
11th April 2014, 20:14
Platoon minus really (around 20 pax)

Not a light (section minus-section) eg Lynx
Not a heavy (platoon plus) eg Chinook

hptmurphy
11th April 2014, 20:22
Correction, the Australians bought NH90..as did the italians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHIndustries_NH90


It would of been the Cougar in service now and not the S92 as that's what the Air Corps selected until Smith made a shameful mess of it all.

It was the non selection of the French machine that caused the problem.

But in saying that had they bought the Super Puma instead of the Dauphin we would have fared out better in the long term.

Aloutte was actually to good and lasted far too long and created the illusion that the Air Corps could continue indefinetly without sourcing suitable machines for the diversity of roles required.

DeV
11th April 2014, 20:40
Or of course the Government could have brought sustainable jobs to Ireland by making offsets complusory

The real Jack
11th April 2014, 20:56
@realjack, I would define medium as anything in the class of a Puma or Mi-8, with the ability to lift at least a section (10) men and their kit, or a heavy mortar or a light field gun or an equivalent load of rations/ammunition/tools/casualties or an external war load such as ATGWs or rocket pods............... The 139 is a pretender. It has trouble coping with soft Irish fields, which is why you see them flying around with skipads on. I'm quite sure the current Agusta 139s being flogged around have been ungraded or modified to cope with issues raised by the Irish experience..........


Platoon minus really (around 20 pax)

Not a light (section minus-section) eg Lynx
Not a heavy (platoon plus) eg Chinook

Hardly scientific defintions :) Depends on what the sales team is calling it at the time really.


Or of course the Government could have brought sustainable jobs to Ireland by making offsets complusory

We'd have to buy a lot more than 6 to get offsets, how much actual manufacturing is possible here is questionable, assembly possibly.

DeV
11th April 2014, 22:32
Sikorsky offered offsets of in the hundred million pounds (at the time) range to FLS Aviation in Dublin (and other companies) if it won the AC Medium Lift Helicopter tender to supply 5 helicopter. Sikorsky won the tender (valued at IR£100) with the S92. The work was to convert pax aircraft to cargo I think.

EADS-Eurocopter took High Court proceedings and the contract was cancelled.

There was apparently a lot of lobbying as well.

sofa
11th April 2014, 22:48
Sikorsky offered offsets of in the hundred million pounds (at the time) range to FLS Aviation in Dublin (and other companies) if it won the AC Medium Lift Helicopter tender to supply 5 helicopter. Sikorsky won the tender (valued at IR£100) with the S92. The work was to convert pax aircraft to cargo I think.

EADS-Eurocopter took High Court proceedings and the contract was cancelled.

There was apparently a lot of lobbying as well.

Lobbying came from the north Dublin TDs,

DeV
11th April 2014, 23:07
Who in some cases had been lobbied

There was reports of the US ambassador lobbying.

paul g
12th April 2014, 19:04
the medium lift tender was tied to SAR, the original intention back in 1998 was to have three medium SAr Helicopters and two medium helicopters to support the army, and the alouette were to be replaced by 8 helicopters like the squirel, that was the pwc recommendation.

Cougar won, and then sikorsky lobbied the cabinet (Harney), and it ended up in the courts, before smith cancelled the tender.


However the antics in sligo over winchmen didn't do the air corps any favours.

As for the aw 139, the bluffwaffe aren't going overseas anytime soon as a unit, there were enough problems sending them to sligo ffs, and for training with army units on exercise, vip and all the other routine duties they do, its a good enough solution.

NH-90 has a slow delivery rate, Eh 101 has caused loads of problems in service, blackhawk was not favoured by our politicans.

There is a story that the Scorions weren't fitted with cbrn defence systems because the department worried that somebody would think we were planning to get nuclear weapons.

As for procurement , in artillery they got it right, with amstar, light guns, ruag mortars, RBs-70, lucie, the sta smarts on the latv. They also got it right with the nissan, establishing a pattern that has been followed by lots of other armies.

Steyr in the early 1980's was considered a disaster, but was soon rectified and atured into an effective system.

We're no worse or better than others, FRES and panther made the dod look like good compared to the mod

sofa
12th April 2014, 21:14
Blackhawks only had analogue cockpits at the time. So were not sparkly enough.

DeV
12th April 2014, 22:08
And the EH101 has a lot more maintenance (3 engines)

hptmurphy
12th April 2014, 22:11
Sikorsky offered offsets of in the hundred million pounds (at the time) range to FLS Aviation in Dublin (and other companies) if it won the AC Medium Lift Helicopter tender to supply 5 helicopter. Sikorsky won the tender (valued at IR£100) with the S92. The work was to convert pax aircraft to cargo I think.

EADS-Eurocopter took High Court proceedings and the contract was cancelled.

There was apparently a lot of lobbying as well.

thought so, thanks for the confirmation

GoneToTheCanner
13th April 2014, 16:00
paul g , I'm curious about your assertion that the Steyr was a disaster in the 80s. Compared to rattly old FNs, it was a serious breath of fresh air and it had the sight as well! As for the Nissans, I'd read nothing but complaints about the concept of using light civvie 4x4s since they were first mentioned on these pages.

regards
GttC

paul g
13th April 2014, 16:43
If you're old like I am cast your mind back and there letters written about how the Steyrs were breaking all the time, how one had melted when put in front of a fire, it even got onto the TV around 1989. Total rubbish of course,.

As for nissan, ever do a cit in a landrover? Dave Stapleton came to the conclusion that there wasn't enough money in the pot for a military utility vehicle but there was for sufficent nissans, and that for the majority of domestic duties a landrover military spec vehicle type wasn't needed. Canada and The Dutch have followed suit.

GoneToTheCanner
14th April 2014, 12:20
Ah, I thought you were talking about them acting as pretend Acmats or reconaissance cars......I spent long enough in Landys to know how uncomfortable they are.

regards
GttC