Australia Announces Massive Selloff of Military Equipment

Posted June 29th, 2011 at 7:00 am (UTC-5)
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The Australian military says it will sell dozens of ships, aircraft and armored vehicles in the biggest disposal of surplus military equipment since the end of World War Two.

The military announced Wednesday it will sell 24 ships, more than 200 aircraft of various types, and 600 armored vehicles over the next 15 years. The aircraft include combat planes and helicopters.

Jason Clare, the minister for defense materiel , says the proceeds will be used to buy new equipment. Australia plans to replace or upgrade up to 85 percent of its military's equipment over the next 15 years.

Private companies will be invited to bid on the surplus equipment, which would then be repaired and upgraded for sale, presumably to other countries.

Clare says Australia hopes to emulate the British government, which has generated $1 billion offloading its extra war-fighting equipment since 1997. Australia has spent more than $20 million disposing of surplus military gear during the same time period.