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Aermacchis rejected by Defence

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Defence

28 November 2007

Aermacchis rejected by Defence as advanced pilot training aircraft – Goff

The New Zealand Defence Force has been given the go-ahead to replace its current advanced training aircraft, and will issue a tender early next year, Defence Minister Phil Goff said today.

“The NZDF looked at the possibility of the Aermacchis being used to replace the King Air advanced pilot training aircraft during the evaluation stage, but ruled it out,” Phil Goff said.

“The Aermacchis were rejected as an option because they are not suitable for providing full training capabilities necessary for the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s upgraded C130 Hercules, P3 Orions and 757s and the new helicopter fleets.

“Another factor was the cost of the package of training aircraft that would have included the Aermacchis, which was three times the operating cost of purpose-specific aircraft.

“It was prudent for the NZDF to consider the Aermacchis, but this does not signal a change in status in the sale of the Skyhawks and the Aermacchis. The sale process to a United States purchaser remains in play, despite frustrations in New Zealand over the delays caused by the US system. The US Government has to ratify any sale of Skyhawk aircraft under the original agreement to purchase military aircraft from that country.”

ENDS

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