Procurement: September 2, 1999


Austria bought five used Swedish J35F Draken fighters for $30,000 each and flew them home to cannibalize for spare parts. (It was cheaper to fly them home than to take them apart and ship them by truck and ferry.) Austria insists that this was simply a means of acquiring spare parts and does not mean any delay in the planned purchase of entirely new fighters in 2003.--Stephen V Cole

Australia has narrowed its choices for a new attack helicopter to the US Apache, the Eurocopter Tiger, and the Italian A129 Scorpion. (The Australians rejected the S70 Battle Hawk, the AH-1Z Viper, and the RedHawk.) This will be the third time that the two European helicopters have gone head-to-head with Apache, which won the first two (the British and Dutch competitions). Scorpion (a repackaged Mongoose) is the smallest and lightest of the three, which makes it the cheapest but the least capable (lowest payload and shortest range). --Stephen V Cole


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