Uganda returns Hinds.

UGANDA ANNOUNCED on March 15 that it is returning two Mi-24 attack helicopters -reportedly because they have not been overhauled as specified in the contract. The supplier, Consolidated Sales Corporation (CSC) has been given three weeks to meet its obligations or face the loss of the contract and a demand for a refund. However, CSC maintains that the deal has no termination clause but does allow for amicable settlement or arbitration.

The latest difficulty is finding a suitable overhaul location. The Ugandans estimate the overhaul cost to be $1.2 million, but CSC objects to that amount. It has come up with a manufacturer-approved facility quoting $400,000, but the Ugandans declined this option, so a return to the manufacturer as the only other solution.

CSC recently secured another Mi-24 deal with Rwanda (News Briefs, March, pl9) and will be eager to avoid problems with this deal. The two Ugandan helicopters were procured from Belarus early in 1998 for the reputed cost of $1.5 million each — the original contract was signed in February 1997. Two more helicopters are also due to be delivered to Uganda and will need overhaul. Adding further fuel to the fire are claims that aircraft records have been ‘doctored’ to suggest that they have more airframe hours left than is the case.

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