American vs British price comparison... :(

As we know British and European helicopters are expensive but I recently read the following in February's "Air Forces Monthy" on page 14:

"On december 12, Army and Navy officials signed a $7.4 billion contract with Sikorsky to buy 537 H-60s; approimately 290 UH-60M and HH-60M Black Hawks for the Army and around 247 MH-60 Sea Hawks for the Navy"

Now let me see, in the late 1990s we took elivery of about 44 Royal Navy Merlins for about £3.5 billion, which equals about £80 million each (I have heard actually about £100 million each).

But $7.4 billion equals about £3.2 billion which means each aircraft costs about only £6.3 million each!!

For the same cost of 44 RN Merlins we could have got 537 helicopters! Yes I know that in some areas Merlins are better than a Sea Hawk or Black Hawk, but are they better than 12 US helicopters???

I have just realised that I must sound like Lewis Page, but I am not honest!
The figures aren't strictly compariable. Firstly, the sheer numbers that the spams buy means quite a bit of discount for 'bulk buying' and secondly, the cost of Merlin includes spares, training and infrastructure. The actual airframe cost is relatively minimal on its own but the training and spares support is the pricey part.

Even so, we do get ripped off big style and it would be interesting to know exactly how cheaply we could the same product.
Apparently we payed massively over the odds for our apache's so we could set up a production line and build our own over here so nothing would suprise me with the selection system for the merlin and how much we coughed up for them.
I havent been in one but im told they are a pleasure to fly in, shame they are useless if you want to undersling anything heavier than a empty landrover 90 off the bottom of them and still have stuff inside.

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