Author Topic: Obama administration $20 billion on helicopter program to replace his private fleet of 23 choppers  (Read 200 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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Obama administration to spend $20 BILLION on helicopter program to replace his private fleet of 23 choppers – but they won't be ready until 2022
The tab for a new helicopter fleet will likely top $20 billion, including $3 billion spent between 2005 and 2009 on a program that was later canceled

The new contract will buy 23 SIkorsky helicopters at an estimated cost of $400 million each – about the cost of the Air Force One 747 jet
Duplicate choppers fly as decoys whenever a president takes off from the South Lawn; others are flown to Obama's travel destinations in advance
Just one company bid on the project, raising questions about whether the Navy got a fair price
A former senior Pentagon official said for the price, the new aircraft should have a 'solid gold toilet ... except that it would add too much weight'


By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

Published: 13:32 EST, 9 May 2014  | Updated: 16:12 EST, 9 May 2014 


 
The Department of Defense awarded a contract on Wednesday to a Connecticut company that will build a fleet of helicopters to replace the Marine One fleet that ferries U.S. presidents short distances.

The contract, given to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, will cost an initial $1,244,677,064 'for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement program.' For that price the U.S. Navy will get six test aircraft and all the necessary research & development.

The Pentagon made a similar attempt to replace the aging fleet of Sikorsky choppers, spending $3.2 billion on a landing pad to nowhere.


Adding in the likely $17 billion price tag for the new project – a number estimated by the Congressional Budget Office – the $20 billion total makes the fleet the most expensive helicopters ever built.



Marine One-to-be: An artist's rendering shows what Sikorsky's proposed 'VXX' presidential helicopter might look like














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Marine One-to-be: An artist's rendering shows what Sikorsky's proposed 'VXX' presidential helicopter might look like




Seeing double? If the current fleet of presidential choppers looks a lot like the new one, it's because the same company will build them, and it was the only firm to bid on the project














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Seeing double? If the current fleet of presidential choppers looks a lot like the new one, it's because the same company will build them, and it was the only firm to bid on the project


The CBO reports that the projected cost also 'does not include costs to keep the 19 existing presidential helicopters in operation until they are replaced by new helicopters.'

During a White House fiscal responsibility summit a month after President Barack Obama took office, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain mocked the boondoggle helicopter upgrade project that was later shelved.


'Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One,' McCain said. 'I don't think there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money.'

Obama replied that he had asked then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates for a 'thorough review of the helicopter situation,' and joked that he didn't see the project as very important.

'The helicopter I have seems perfectly adequate to me,' he told lawmakers in the room. 'Of course, I've never had a helicopter before. Maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2624495/Obama-administration-green-lights-20-BILLION-helicopter-program-replace-presidents-private-chopper-fleet-wont-ready-2022.html#ixzz31bOvxjGT
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« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 09:33:59 AM by rangerrebew »
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