March 19, 2005
Navy's $100m chopper can't fly in bad light
Serious flaws have been uncovered in Australia's $1.1 billion squadron of Seasprite naval helicopters, rendering them unable to fly crucial missions.
Costing $100 million each - more than the latest stealth fighter - and arriving more than three years late, the helicopters cannot be used in murky weather when the pilots' external vision is impaired, the Herald has learnt.
They have been restricted to simple tasks, such as delivering stores and transporting passengers, and only when the weather is good. - SMH
"Now I must admit here there is a very strong possibility that our Seasprites won't get through. The Seasprite is a ludicrously cumbersome vehicle, depending as it does on a group of highly trained runners carrying it into enemy territory."
"Seaslug" in the original, of course, but as we - apparently - say in our country: "Near enough is good enough, eh?"