KUALA LUMPUR: The story below from AFP is self-explainatory but it seems to be something that we all thankful for. Around the same time, the Aussie was buying the Kaman SeaSprites, MINDEF, if I remembered correctly, was also on the verge of buying the same helicopters for the Navy.
Actually, if not for the economic downturn the Kaman helicopter would be safely hangared in Lumut by now. The latest news from Australia justified the RMN’s move to ensure that the Super Lynx was purchased instead of the Seasprites.
The offer from Kaman was very tempting, indeed, 12 Seasprites for the same money of 6 Super Lynx (around RM900 million) together with several KMAX thrown in for free for vertical replenishment. And there was more, Malaysia was to be the regional centre for Kaman helicopters.
It took guts for RMN to oppose MINDEF at that time although they had to compromise on the NGPV project (was it worth it?) but at least they got what they wanted albeit with the Fennec also thrown in as another sweetener. The service wanted six Anti-Surface Warfare helicopter and six Anti-submarine helicopter but ended with the former at the moment with the latter expected to be paid for during the next five years.
Still its better than getting the damn Seasprites isnt it? Anyway this time around we can kid the Aussies for a buying a fleet of lemons at a much higher price!
Australia Cancels Seasprite Contract
Published: 4 Mar 22:13 EST (17:13 GMT)
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SYDNEY – Australia on March 5 cancelled a $1 billion (930 million U.S.) contract for U.S.-made Seasprites helicopters following a review of the troubled project.
The Australian navy ordered 11 of the anti-submarine and anti-shipping helicopters in 1997 but technical problems meant they were never fully operational and the fleet was indefinitely grounded in 2006.
Thank God for Small Miracles!
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