POTUS Obama confronts a choice on copters


Obama confronts a choice on copters

By Peter Baker
Published: February 16, 2009

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has slammed high-flying executives traveling in cushy jets at a time of economic turmoil. But soon he will have to decide whether to proceed with some of the priciest aircraft in the world — a new fleet of 28 Marine One helicopters that will each cost more than the last Air Force One.

A six-year-old project to build state-of-the-art presidential helicopters has bogged down in a contracting quagmire that will challenge Obama's desire to rein in military contracting expenses. The price tag has nearly doubled, production has fallen years behind schedule and much of the program has been frozen until the new administration figures out what to do about it.


the International Herald Tribune said:
Andrew Card Jr., Bush's White House chief of staff, grew exasperated in 2002 by helicopter mechanical problems and instigated the development of an ultramodern replacement. The Pentagon awarded a contract in 2005 to Lockheed Martin, even though it had never built helicopters, reasoning that a three-engine model produced by its British-Italian partner, called the EH-101, provided a useful foundation.

In doing so, the Pentagon bypassed Sikorsky Aircraft, the contractor since the Eisenhower era. Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, where Sikorsky is based, said she believed the Bush administration wanted to reward Britain and Italy for support in Iraq. "I think this was a way of saying, 'We understand what you did for us; now we're trying to do something for you,' " she said.

The Bush administration denied that. But as the White House tried to effectively replicate Air Force One in helicopter form, it soon became clear that modifying the EH-101 was much more complicated than anticipated. The new armored 64-foot-long presidential helicopter had to carry 14 passengers and thousands of pounds of secure communications equipment and be able to jam seeking devices, fend off missiles and resist some of the electromagnetic effects of a nuclear blast.

Perhaps if the "experts" from across the pond didn't insist on screwing around with the design and build, they wouldn't be so far behind schedule and costing so much. Something similar happening elsewhere :x


Book Reviewer
Victorian_Major said:
What's a POTUS?

An American WAH

Have the CIA and other agencies just found their Grassy Knoll?

2 years from now

World in Mourning as 1st Black (it's not a race issue...) President killled in helicopter crash

President Obama was killed today when one of his aging fleet of helicopters crashed :wink:
A nice Harry Spankers S92 with some comfy seats, a decent comms suite and a fancy paint job. Why has everything go to be so complicated and mega-expensive? I can understand why the VH3s need replacing, as they're a bit long-in-the-tooth, but what's wrong with the VH60s? They can't be life ex'd already surely?