3 Mar 2010

Faults with army helicopter 'teething problems'

2:40 pm on 3 March 2010

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has described faults with military helicopters that New Zealand is buying as teething problems that will be sorted out.

The German Army has reported that the new NH90 helicopters have extremely limited capabilities.

Its report, quoted in US magazine Defense News, cites problems with ground clearance for soldiers entering or exiting the helicopter in certain situations, weak floors, limited internal capacity for soldiers and problems with the helicopters' winch systems.

The New Zealand Defence Force is buying eight helicopters at a cost of $772 million.

Dr Mapp says there is plenty of time to iron out the problems before the helicopters are delivered in 2012.