9 Aug 2012

Aircraft sale announcement expected

2:49 pm on 9 August 2012

An announcement is imminent on the sale of New Zealand's disbanded fleet of Skyhawk strike aircraft and Italian Aermacchi trainer jets.

The former RNZAF fleet was disbanded more than a decade ago.

The Government has long sought to sell the airplanes but has been held up by US regulations regarding the re-sale of American-made military equipment.

Draken International, a US defence training company, says it has reached a deal to buy the eight Skyhawks and has received approval from the US State Department.

It also wants to wants to buy nine Aermacchis.

Radio New Zealand News understands the government is preparing to release a statement about the sale.

An 11th-hour delay is understood to stem from conflicting understandings between the United States and Italy over which US government department is responsible for approving the deal.