US Must Salvage VH-71 Costs

US Must Salvage VH-71 Costs

Rep. Jack Murtha, chairman of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, said the Navy must find some way to recoup the $3.2 billion spent on the first tranche of the cancelled VH-71 presidential helicopter.

Murtha made his remarks to reporters after yesterday’s hearing on the Navy and Marines 2010 budget request. He said we have to “take some of that $3.2 billion to build something cheaper.” He admitted he didn’t know how to do it, but the old appropriations bull has support from some of his fellow subcommittee members to do something. “It is just unacceptable that we would waste this much money,” Murtha said during the hearing.

The plain-spoken chairman said he had had a group of people from the Navy and White House in his office earlier this year and asked them why the president needed an escape helo, especially since he would “all alone out there” after an attack since no one else would be evacuated: “I said, ‘what about the rest of us?’ There was a long silence…”


Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), whose district includes the plant where the helo is built, argues that “an entire new fleet of modern, Increment 1 presidential helicopters can be completed within the original budget constraints, but the administration is dismissing this possibility for political reasons. While trying to claim that the helicopter project should be terminated to save taxpayer money, the administration is ignoring the fact that it would be far more costly to cancel the program and rebid it than it would be to continue the construction of the helicopters currently being produced by Lockheed Martin.”

Hinchey said at the hearing that the program closure will lead to the loss of some 2,000 jobs and program termination will run around $550 million, not the $85 million included in the 2010 budget. “None of this seems to make any rational sense,” Hinchey said.

And Murtha hammered the Navy and Marine leaders at the hearing about the likely costs of extending the life of the current presidential helo fleet, saying his staff reckoned it would cost $4.4 billion to refit them. When the Navy and Marine reps began to question this, Murtha said his staff knew what they were doing and were usually right.

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now thats what im talking about…

Ahem — look who is talking about waste…

Why should anyone listen to this discredited politco’s position? I wonder what links he has to VH-71 companies? Why shoud we belive his staffers?

Give an American aircraft mfr another shot at building an medium lift helo. OR better yet force the Administration to use the V-22 Osprey already in service with the Marines and possessing the charateristics desired by the White House.

lol the only part i didnt get was how are we supposed to get back money we already spent?

Good idea for the osprey.. btw

leesa, you should know that for the Vh-71 program it was within buget, and everything went ok, until there were people that added more systems, and even more systems. And then the problem began. So who’s to blmae here the manufacturer or the pentagon? And the V-22 is not an option for the presidential helicopter because the V-22 can’t autorotate, one of the critical safety features demanded for the presidential helicopter, among other things.

it cant autorotate… but i can function off one engine.. and it can glide… both engines have to go out at low altitude for a big accidnet to happen.. the chinook cant even autorotate.. the standards should be set across the board.. if the military uses the equipment.. the president should be able to step aboard no questions asked…

Rep Murtha should know when to keep his head down… For the cost of the Airport To Nowhere we could have bought a lot of helicopters.

And does the President really need a fancy helicopter? Doesn’t the darn thing have a kitchen in it? Does he need fresh baked cookies while he is spending 30 minutes in it at most? Does it actually need a Presidenttial seal? Why not just use a standard issue H-60?

And so what about the $550 million in this day of 2 trillion dollar deficits and billion dollar stimulus?

Anyway — the President does not need the darn thing at all. Just lease a commercial helicopter for the times he needs it, or just ride a very comfy limo to the airport. Right now he doesn’t need a copter to evacuate, he has a huge bunker underground and there is little chance that anyone is gonna nuke Washington with an ICBM.

Get rid of the current helicopters and send the pilots back to actual military duty!

Does the President really need a fancy helicopter? Marine One purpose was to get the President from WH to Dulles quickly enough that he could escape nuclear obliteration. AFO was the “mobile command post” for the President.Unfortunately,VH-71 was decided to make it a flying Oval Office

ya cut all the fancy crap.. andrews has plenty of presidenal painted uh-1… ive seen them.. all lined up at the joint service open house awile back… wtf do thye use those for? can anyone tell me that?

Leesea — First and foremost, you haven’t got a clue.

So the incredibly undersized, inferior S-92 is 100% american is it?! Guess you chose to ignore the fact that most of it is assembled in Canada with a number of components coming from China etc.

In addition, if you’re looking for a program that costs a fortune to run and isn’t pulling it’s weight operationally then look no further with the V-22. Plus, I’m sure the President would love that huge behemoth landing on his front lawn ruining the guy’s shrubs etc.

If you ask me, the whole marine one thing is extremely OTT and a complete waste of money BUT if the government is more than happy to cover that huge expense then you may as well plump for the best product on the market which is the EH101 — nothing else comes close.

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