The Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith, has dismissed reports that the Government of Ghana has ordered four new military aircraft value at $680 million.

Several media reports in the country quoted a statement published on the website of Defence Industry Daily which announced that the government has placed orders for four C-27J light tactical transporters, to be delivered with 10 Rolls Royce AE-2100 engines (8 + 2 spares), 4 of BAE’s.

But the minister who spoke to Joy FM mon Thursday, dismissed the publication as false said the Mills administration is only pursuing the two earlier aircraft that was ordered by the previous government from the USA.

“I personally wrote to the US Ambassador in Ghana that we would like to buy these [jets] and make sure that the US government gives us the opportunity to purchase two of the C-27J aircraft.”

He noted that many discussions have been held by the current government, including the one that was held when Obama came to Ghana. “We discussed it so we are in the process, nothing more has happened”.

Lt. Gen. Smith was surprised about the allegation that the new jets would be acquired in addition to 10 Rolls Royce.

“It doesn’t make sense for anybody to buy one aircraft or two and ask for 10 Rolls Royce. What are you going to do with that? In any case if the US government decides to sell the aircraft to us, it is then that a technical team will sit down from both sides and decide on extra things that will go with the aircraft, it is after that, that even the price could be determined.”

He said a chat he had with both President Mills and Vice-President Mahama revealed that the two first gentlemen of the land are ready to use any aircraft being used by the military, provided it is in good shape.

“They were of the view that if you (J.H. Smith) can get a transport aircraft good enough to lift the troops everywhere, we will also use it when we are travelling.

“They are not asking for a different aircraft to standby as an executive jet for their use.”

Story by Isaac Essel
Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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