Portugal fails to offload its ancient Puma helicopters

Defence chiefs are in a quandary over what to do with eight ancient Puma helicopters which have failed spectacularly to attract any buyers. The choppers, dating back to the 60s and 70s, were put up for sale in April. Four are said to be working well, with the rest needing “maintenance”. But no buyers have come forwards. Their sale has now been withdrawn as the government ponders the next step.

Defence minister Aguiar Branco has explained that the Pumas are far too expensive to maintain. They will either go back on sale at a later date, or “invitations” could be sent out to parties that may be willing to buy them, reports Correio da Manhã.

The obsolete choppers, all of which operated during the colonial wars, have been replaced meantime by EH 101 Merlins.

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