UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: March 5, 301 AP.
Utania to buy Lendosan warships!
Minister for Defence Samuel Artos announced this morning Utanian plans to spend C900m
of the ten billion pund capital fund on warships and leased aircraft from the Lendosan
The deal, explained the minister, had been agreed with the Confederation before the
President's freeze on purchase negotiations for military hardware late last month. Utania will
be purchasing surplus warships from the Confederation to supplement the current Naval force of
Utania. There is thirteen warships in all, consisting of two "light" frigates, five missile
boats and six gunboats. All will be employed in coastal protection roles.
Furthermore, the Confederation is leasing Utania one hundred surplus Espectro "Wraith"
II jet fighters (see attached). These will supplement the few jet aircraft that Utania
currently has, and be used as a "stopgap" measure until the "Firecat" project is fully
operational and producing "Firecat" jet fighters.
The total cost for the first two years of purchases and lease would be C570m, and
thereafter C250m for the fighter lease, however, by then, Mr Artos explained, the number of
jets required would be significantly reduced as "at least" thirty "Firecats" would be in the
sky by then.
The Minister explained that Utania was "very close" to signing a contract with "another
nation" for the supply, and joint-D&C (Design and Construction) of the remaining equipment
to be phase-constructed to "keep costs well-below the C3.3bn mark". The MInister has, with the
Lendosan Confederation purchase, only C2.73bn remaining in his 301ap budget, and opposition
politicians are wondering aloud precisely how many years the President is planning the heavy
military expenditure will continue.
Opposition leader Thomas Kemp MP said he intended to use "this massive waste of spending
power" in his Presidential campaign, also citing the "militarism" of fmr-Pres. Hope, his main
©UPA, 301 AP.
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)