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Army Re-Equipment Programme - The Facts

Army Re-Equipment Programme - The Facts

Labour's decisions on the Army are simply a completion of the tendering process started by National. It is simply not true that National sat on its hands and did nothing.

The facts of National's actions are:

* November 1997 - The Defence Assessment set out the defence procurement programme for the next 10 years.

* March 1998 - Cabinet approval in principle for new or upgraded Army vehicles.

* December 1998 - Cabinet confirmed the actual procurement programme. This included the commitment to purchase armoured personnel carriers, radios, and light operational vehicles.

* March 1999 - Max Bradford, then Minister of Defence, announced the tenders for the armoured personnel carriers.

* June 1999 - Max Bradford called for tenders for 80 armoured personnel carriers, and 24 armed fighting vehicles.

* August 1999 - Issue of tender documents to manufacturers.

The Government announced the choice of LAVIIIs in February 2000, and confirmed the successful tender in August 2000.

The reality is that Labour simply continued National's programme. The difference is that Labour will spend $611 million on 105 vehicles with turrets, whereas National would have opted for a more economical approach, since not all vehicles require turrets with a 25mm cannon.

It would mean money would have been available for the urgently required upgrade of the Orions.

Ends




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