Procurement: September 28, 1999

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The European NH90 helicopter program has yet to resolve its contract and cost problems. The contractor, NH Industries, agreed to cut the price to $16.4 million if it was given large multi-year orders. The program was set for 595 helicopters, but the initial orders would be only 147 and NHI was concerned that future budget cuts would result in an overall reduction in the program. (Germany was to order 67 helicopters with initial deliveries starting in 2003, Italy 33 for deliveries starting in 2004, France 27 with deliveries starting in 2005, and the Netherlands 20 with deliveries starting in 2007. NHI wanted at least 200 on order and the contracts signed by year's end, or it would not maintain the new lower price and negotiations would have to start over. Germany agreed to increase its order to 134, but only if deliveries (and payments) started in 2004. This annoyed NHI, which does not want to see a delay in starting the program.--Stephen V Cole

Britain has sent two Aardvark mine-clearing flail vehicles to the Jordanian Army as part of an $800,000 deal to provide mine-clearing equipment.--Stephen V Cole

Vickers Defense Systems is secretly negotiating for licensed production of future members of the Swiss Mowag Piranha (US LAV) 8-wheeled armored vehicle family. Alvis, the main rival of Vickers, holds the license for current versions of the Piranha family.--Stephen V Cole

South Korea plans to spend $50 million buying two types of electro-optical recon systems to update its RF-4C fighters by 2003.--Stephen V Cole

Nigeria is in the market for modern fighter aircraft, and is considering the US F-16, the French Mirage-2000, the Swedish Gryphon, and two Russian types (Su35 and MiG29).--Stephen V Cole

Malaysia has obtained three CN-235 twin-engine medium transport aircraft from Indonesia. This appears to be the first part of a barter deal originally announced four years ago, although it is unclear if the original terms will be kept or if the deal has been renegotiated. Under the original deal, Malaysia was to give Indonesia 20 MD3-160 light training aircraft and 1500 automobiles in exchange for six CN-235s, but the recent delivery of three CN-235s was accompanied by an announcement that Malaysia had an option for 12 more CN-235s.--Stephen V Cole

Taiwan's military has warned the legislature that the development of an effective anti-missile defense shield will cost a lot of money, increasing the military's share of the gross national product from 2.6% to as much as 3.5%. Previous "big ticket" defense purchases have been met by similar special extra-budgetary appropriations.--Stephen V Cole

 


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