25 Jun 2011

Air Force jet trainers go on the market

8:07 am on 25 June 2011

The Government is putting up for tender 16 mothballed Aermacchi jet trainer aircraft.

The 20-year old aircraft have been out of service since 2001 when the Labour-led government scrapped the strike wing of the Air Force.

The Government says the aircraft have had engine problems and are no longer suitable for Air Force training.

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp says selling the Aermacchis makes way for a more modern Air Force, with 15 new helicopters in action by the end of the year and upgrades to the Hercules and Orion.

Earlier this year, the Government announced that nine of the Air Force's fleet of decommissioned Skyhawk jets would go to museums while the remainder were likely to be sold to be broken down for spare parts.

The tender for the Aermacchi jets closes in six weeks.