The UK Ministry of Defence and the National Audit Office seem to have missed the point about the current shortage in the helicopter fleets of the UK armed services (Flight International, 13-19 April).

The damage is self-inflicted, the cause of the capability shortfall is not so much technical as the endless defence cuts and programme deferrals on purely budgetary grounds.

Now money has been found to spend on an assessment, which will probably result in more cuts. As for aircrew currency, again this has suffered from reductions in the number of hours flown. Defence is expensive, but less so than losing a war, especially in the current climate of terrorism.

Steven Stott

Thornton Heath, Surrey, UK

Source: Flight International