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Helen Clark's Hunt For Cold War Ghosts

The Prime Minister is still trying to fight the defence debate on Cold War lines, National Defence spokesperson Wayne Mapp said today.

"She's trying to insist that upgrading the Air Force Orions was solely about equipping them to hunt for submarines. In fact, the upgrade was largely about surface surveillance.

"She is using this patently false line as an excuse to try to gut the Air Force. There's a real danger that the Orions will be ditched altogether if they become obsolescent through the lack of upgrading. I worry that has been the Government's intention all along," Dr Mapp said.

"Helen Clark knows as well as anyone that the most common use of the Orions is search and rescue operations and surveillance of our exclusive economic zone.

"Sailors and fishermen lost at sea should know that thanks to the Government's canning of Project Sirius, the Orions will be searching for them using 1960s and 1970s radar technology instead of 21st century equipment.

Ends


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