Murphy's Law: The Small Print

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September 12, 2009: The Japanese manufacturer (Fuji) of AH-64D helicopter gunships, is suing the Japanese government for over half a billion dollars. This is because the government decided to cancel the project after only ten, of sixty, AH-64Ds were actually purchased. The Fuji contract obligated them to pay American manufacturers the license fees for the AH-64D technologies, whether the helicopters were built or not.

Eight years ago, Japan selected the AH-64D Apache helicopter gunship to replace 88 elderly AH-1S helicopters. Also competing for the contract was the AH-1Z (an upgraded AH-1S) and the Eurocopter Tiger. Originally, the army wanted to buy 90 Apaches. But when it became clear that the locally built AH-64Ds would cost over $70 million each, this was reduced to 62, and then reduced further. 

 


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