INDEPENDENT NEWS

F16 Deal Now Looks Generous

Published: Fri 5 Oct 2001 05:01 PM
Friday, October 5 2001 Owen Jennings Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence
The American F16 deal that Helen Clark rebuffed in 1999 was a very attractive deal, ACT Defence Spokesman Owen Jennings said today.
"The Sultanate of Oman has just announced plans to purchase twelve F16s from the United States for $1.2 billion - that's $100 million each plane. In comparison, Helen Clark balked at a deal which equated to $44 million for each F16.
"Helen Clark denounced $44 million as 'far too expensive' and on that basis proceeded to strip the Air Force of its air combat facility, leaving the country vulnerable to attack. This is the Prime Minister who still believes we live in a 'benign security environment'.
"As a result of her ideology, we are bludging on our few remaining allies for air cover.
"Oman's deal shows Helen Clark's decision wasn't based on cost. It was based on ideology alone, and as a result, New Zealand is more vulnerable than ever," Mr Jennings said.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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