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Up in the air over copter sales

Written by: Nick G. on 7 May 2022


Authorities in China’s Taiwan Province have announced that they will not proceed with the purchase of 12 new MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters.

The helicopters are made by Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky.

Asked in parliament about Taiwan's purchase of the new U.S. weapons, Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said, "The price is too high, beyond the scope of our country's ability." 

The Taiwanese have often complained of being played as suckers by the US, which has used the island province’s captive market as one capable of being exploited by US arms manufacturers.

Last October, Australia announced it would purchase 12 MH-60Rs for US$985m. 

One would expect that the Taiwanese would face an equivalent cost. 

However, the US government-funded Radio Free Asia has estimated the cost to be at least US$1.425bn. 

The actual cost has been hidden in a confidential section of Taiwan’s budget, and Chui’s very blunt comment may indicate an underlying tension between the Taiwanese authorities and those trying to whip up a war scenario for the benefit of US imperialism. 

The Australian Navy currently operates 24 MH-60Rs.

Why do we need 36?

Will they ever be used?

Or are puppets like Peter Dutton happier than the Taiwanese to keep subsidising US war profiteers so they can keep beating their drums of war?



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