As things stand now, British commanders in Afghanistan are being told to be frugal in their use of helicopters. The troops are not amused.
British helicopters in Afghanistan are running into the same problems U.S. choppers did in 2004. That's when there was a crises of insufficient spare parts to keep all the helicopters going in Iraq and Afghanistan. In both Britain and the U.S,. there were not enough spare parts stockpiled to deal with heavy, wartime, use of the helicopters. Moreover, the high cost of fuel (because oil is closing in on $80 a barrel) has caused the British army to exceed its budget for such fuel. While Parliament can provide an emergency allocation of money to buy more fuel, getting the needed spare parts is another matter. The supply of spares of helicopters is generally tight. No one wants to pay for a lot of helicopter parts sitting around in warehouses.