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F-16 Cost Solid

Dr Wayne Mapp, MP Opposition Defence Spokesperson

28 January 2000

F-16 Cost Solid

"There is no cost blow out on the F-16 deal," says National's spokesperson for Defence, Dr Wayne Mapp.

"The Green Party has taken spurious quotes from Cabinet papers to try and show a bogus cost blow out. In fact, the costs of the F-16s, being a well-proven aircraft in service in numerous airforces around the Pacific, are quite well-known. The lease costs and the purchase price of the F-16s are fixed.

"The Minister of Defence, Mark Burton, has stated in answer to a written parliamentary question that the costs of the start-up and acquisition package are $238 million, spread over five years. These figures are quite reliable and not subject to blow-out risks.

"The Green Party's well known phobias about defence have once more led to extravagant claims unsupported by the facts," Dr Mapp said.

"The debate about the leasing or otherwise of the F16's should be an open and honest one, and I invite the Greens to participate in the debate in that spirit - and not quote Cabinet papers selectively and inaccurately'" Dr Mapp said.

Ends

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