Procurement: October 19, 1999


Norway's program to buy five new frigates is in disarray since the selected contractors (Bazan of Spain to build the hulls and Lockheed Martin of the US to build the systems) have been unable to offer the Norwegians the price that Oslo wants. The Norwegians have reopened negotiations with Germany's Blohm & Voss to put more pressure on the Spanish.--Stephen V Cole

Turkey is demanding that the US provide the super-secret computer source codes for any combat helicopter it expects to sell (AH64 Apache or AH1W SuperCobra) in the expected helicopter deal. Of the five competing helicopters (Bell SuperCobra or KingCobra, Boeing Apache, Eurocopter Tiger, Agusta Mongoose, or Russian Ka-52 Black Shark), all but the Black Shark use the Hellfire-II missile. The Russian helicopter is offered with the Israeli NT-D missile. The Turks are demanding a public pledge that the US will never refuse to sell Hellfire-II missiles, despite the fact that such a pledge would actually have little enforceable value.--Stephen V Cole

South Africa has finally sealed its planned arms purchases, but has reduced the number of Swedish JAS-39 Gryphon fighters from 28 to only 9 and the number of British Hawk combat trainers from the expected 24 aircraft to only 12. The South Africans have, however, built in contract options that would allow them to buy the deleted aircraft at some future point.--Stephen V Cole


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