NEWS

Army probes aircraft parts

The Greek army is investigating whether spare parts it ordered from four US companies for its helicopters and aircraft are genuine, after discovering irregularities in their certificates of authenticity, the Army General Staff said yesterday. «A number of certificates related to contracts from 2000 and 2001 were sent to the defense attache [in Washington] to pass on to the Federal Aviation Authority in order to check their authenticity,» the statement said. «After inspection, it was ascertained that a number of them were not genuine, with the result that the General Army Staff located… and impounded the parts,» It stressed that the suspect parts had not been used. The statement did not provide details of the parts involved, but was released in response to an article in yesterday’s Eleftherotypia newspaper that said the army had first inspected a small number of authenticity certificates and found «the percentage of certificates that was found not to be genuine was over 50 percent.» It said the parts are for UH-IN, UH-IH, Chinook and NH-300C helicopters as well as for U-17 planes, and their purchase involved five Greek middlemen for four US firms.