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House App Comm Funds VH-71; Full Vote Next Week  
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Posted (5 years 9 hours ago) and read 4620 times:

I have a strong feeling that it passes and does not wind up with the F-22.

Quote:

The effort to restoring funding for Lockheed Martin's VH-71 Helicopter passes another vote.

The House Appropriations Committee approved adding $485 million into the defense bill.

It will now go to the full floor for a vote next week.

Congressman Maurice Hinchey says the money would fund continued research and development of the VH-71.

http://www.wbng.com/news/local/51412937.html

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 hours ago) and read 4572 times:

http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?c...5b3424-f897-4fff-80b1-3461222103af says the funds would support 5 "Increment One" frames.

It also says:

From this subcommittee vote, the full House Appropriations committee would have to include the funding, and there is currently no companion bill in the senate, though Senator Charles Shumer (D-NY) has said he would work to keep the program alive on that side of the Capitol. But even if it passes both houses of congress, there is no guarantee President Obama would sign the bill. He has threatened to veto the Defense Appropriations bill over funding for the F-22 and F136 alternate engine for the F-35 JSF.

[Edited 2009-07-23 19:12:05]


Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

But the big difference is that the VH-71 saves taxpayers money.

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4459 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 2):
But the big difference is that the VH-71 saves taxpayers money.

That's pretty optimistic.

It seems right now we have the worst of both worlds, money in the budget to refurb the old choppers and $0.5B to fund a VH-71 program with no roadmap because a certain US congressman needs to bring home the bacon to keep his job. But we also hear chirping from congressmen/women in CT where Sikorsky and its parent UTC are.

It's all such a mess.

From what I read, four Test Vehicles (TV) and five Pilot Production (PP) aircraft have already been built and delivered to LM for "completion", whatever that is, yet we know LM laid off 600 workers who presumably were a part of that effort.

No one is really saying what an Increment One helicopter can or can't do.

LM says

Quote:
Increment 1 will provide an urgent replacement for the current fleet of Marine One helicopters, and will serve as an interim solution. Increment 2 will provide a fleet of 23 aircraft with enhanced capability that meet the White House requirements for a mobile command and control platform for the office of the president.

Ref: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/products/vh-71/index.html

AW says:

Quote:
Rather than junking the Increment 1 helos, which the Pentagon says only have 5-10 years of useful life and are therefore not worth fielding, AgustaWestland argues that the rotorcraft, with some certification activities, can be validated for at least 10,000 hours of useful life, not the 1,500 specified by the Navy. The baseline AW101 aircraft is already certified for that flight time.

Moreover, with about $3.3 billion already sunk into the program, AgustaWestland argues it can deliver 19 more Increment 1 variants for another $3.5 billion.

The total would roughly equal the original VH-71 program budget before costs more than doubled as requirements grew and the program raced ahead.

The helo maker further is floating the idea of building an upgraded version, a so-called Increment 1.5, which would be close to meeting the full program requirements but below the $13 billion price tag the program has now reached.

Ref: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...spacedaily&id=news/VH71-050109.xml

It seems to me then the $0.5B would rehire 600 workers at LM to do "completion" tasks, and perhaps also the "certification" tasks needed to allow these 5 ships to be viable for more than 5-10 years?

So we end up with a small number ships that may or may not be part of the long term answer?

No one is saying what percentage of the long term answer an increment 1 helo represents, but even AW is saying an increment 1.5 program is needed to get somewhat close to the long term answer?

Seems the current plan makes more sense. Refurb the old helos till you know what you really want and what you really can afford. If at that point the LM/AW helo is the right helo for the job, then the $3.5B or so spent so far won't be wasted, otherwise it's another write off due to the fact that the GWB administration was too busy fulfilling the neo-con manifest that they had no time for pseky things like program management.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 4, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4446 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
But the big difference is that the VH-71 saves taxpayers money.

Hmmm, 5 VH-71 helios at a cost of $485M = $97M per bird. That is on top of the $13B already wasted on this program, so the real cost of 5 helios is $2.7B per helio?

For $the additional $485M, we could also buy 5 new build F-22As (current price is about $100M each). For the full VH-71 program of $13.%B (including this $485M), we could buy another 135 F-22s, or even 16 Burke class DDGs..

I say.........NO.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4389 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
But the big difference is that the VH-71 saves taxpayers money.

I know you didn't mean to misquote, but it wasn't me who said that.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Hmmm, 5 VH-71 helios at a cost of $485M = $97M per bird. That is on top of the $13B already wasted on this program, so the real cost of 5 helios is $2.7B per helio?

It seems at this point in time we've only spent $3.3B and it seems we have bits and pieces of 4 test and 5 pre-production helos at LM to show for it.

Ref: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/06/04/us-must-salvage-vh-71-costs/

As of a year ago:

Quote:
Pentagon acquisition chief John Young further acknowledged that total program cost has grown from $6.8 billion to $11.2 billion, with Increment 1 rising from $2.3 billion to $3.7 billion and Increment 2 jumping from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion.

Ref: VH-71%20Deal" target=_blank>http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...%20Branch%20Strikes%20VH-71%20Deal

So, in round figures, given we've spent $3.3B we must have spend most of what's needed to get through Increment 1, although some may have been spent towards Increment 2 already as well. The $11.2B figure above apparently has grown to $13B, and it represents the total program cost, both Increments 1 and 2.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 6, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4377 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 5):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 3):
But the big difference is that the VH-71 saves taxpayers money.

I know you didn't mean to misquote, but it wasn't me who said that.

Sorry about that. That happens sometimes on a.net when you press the "selected text quoted" button.

The current proposal of $485M is for 5 increment #1 helios. There were only 27 helios total in the program. If we go ahead and buy the 5 helios, someone will then want to buy the remaining 22. At the price of these things, and having no real military value (all 27 are for POTUS transport), I think it is best we cut our losses on this thing and not waste any more military dollars on something that will never benefit the military forces.

We can buy the things our forces need for that $485M, even if it is only eggs for the chow hall.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4372 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
The current proposal of $485M is for 5 increment #1 helios. There were only 27 helios total in the program. If we go ahead and buy the 5 helios, someone will then want to buy the remaining 22. At the price of these things, and having no real military value (all 27 are for POTUS transport), I think it is best we cut our losses on this thing and not waste any more military dollars on something that will never benefit the military forces.

I agree with the thrust of the point, but the numbers may not be right.

We've spend $3.3B and it seems we need another $0.5B to get the 5 Increment 1 helos up to some standard of usability, presumably qualifying them for the longer lifespan.

If you do the math right then and there, it's $760M/frame which is crazy.

AW wants us to spend another $3.5B to build another batch of Inc 1 helos, presumably to get to the goal of 22 helos that we had for Inc 2. Thus it'd be 3.3 + 0.5 + 3.5 / 22 = $331M/frame which is still pretty crazy.

And AW is talking in terms of something called "Increment 1.5" that would get most of the bang they can get out of the current frames without spending limitless bucks, but they haven't really defined what that means. I presume it means "everything you can do without redesigning the main gear box, the blades, the boom and the tail unit" like they planned to do for Increment 2.

Bottom line to me is, unlike others, I'm fine with writing off the money spent so far. The only way we should go forward with LM on this program is if they put up performance bonds guaranteeing price, performance, functionality and delivery dates.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4368 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 7):
Bottom line to me is, unlike others, I'm fine with writing off the money spent so far.

Me too.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4348 times:

I think you all are missing the point. It makes little sense to otherwise spend the same amount of money to cancel the VH-71 program as is the plan, if it costs the same and likely more money to get another platform/program up to the same spot that the VH-71 in Increment 1 form is already at!

As a former Marine rotary-winged avionics tech, I've followed the fiasco otherwise known as the H-1 upgrade program from it's onset where hoary AH-1W and UH-1N's were intended to be upgraded to new model Zulu and Yankee status but instead, were all but basically dumped mid-way through the program for new-build airframes, essentially doubling the initial costs of the alleged "upgrade" program which was sold on the premise that it was going to be cheaper than buying new aircraft, (new aircraft that likely would not have been built by Bell helicopter mind you!)

My point is to spend anywhere from $2 to $4 billion to extend the life of the VH-3D and VH-60N would be gross fiscal mismanagement and likely only cost more than what is even currently estimated, and all so as to result in the status quo.

The facts as I understand them are simple: Increment 1 VH-71A's have every capability as do existing VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft, but instead (in addition to being brand new,) offer a larger cabin size and level of amenity, offer superior operating performance in terms of speed, range, reliability, maintainability, and survivability.

Also, throw into the equation from the perspective of a former avionics technician and that of a private pilot, the VH-71 flight deck also affords the HMX pilots an exponential level of improvement in flight deck situational awareness and cockpit resource management, which only further enhance the safety and preservation of the cargo it's tasked to ferry.

As one who spent a lot of time on the flight deck of Marine CH-46E's who recently got an opportunity to spend a few hours in the MV-22 sim, the level of improvement between the two flight decks is like the difference between carburetor and fuel injection, flint-lock rifle and an M-16, or dare I even say pen and paper versus a modern graphing calculator?

The problem with VXX is that after the contract was awarded and agreed upon, egregious scope creep suffocated the financial practicality of the platform.

I'm a logical and deductive reasoning type of guy, and I like ROI analyses. The VH-71 is still the very best and most capable platform in the entire world to perform the mission of HMX; the S-92 is decent but it's inferior in nearly every category.

So spending anywhere near the same amount as it would cost to just finish the Increment 1 buy as it would cost to terminate the current program and begin another, to again tell us what we already know, is fruitless at best.

Loren Thompson sums it up well...

Quote:

The critics are right. Starting over will cost the government at least $8 billion, and that’s not even counting the price-tag for a new replacement helicopter. First, Secretary Gates proposes to walk away from the $3.3 billion already spent on the canceled replacement helicopter, designated VH-71. Second, the government will have to pay termination fees of $200-600 million to contractors (depending on whose estimate you believe). Third, $4.4 billion will need to be spent to extend the service life of the helicopters in the existing Marine One fleet, which were supposed to be retired in the near future. Nobody knows what it will cost to develop a different replacement helicopter, but that money will be added to the $8 billion in costs already associated with the Gates decision.

It appears that Secretary Gates canceled the helicopter without a serious assessment of alternatives. VH-71 was the only rotor-craft in existence that had the potential to meet presidential range and payload requirements while still being able to land in the confined space of the White House lawn. Most of the cost overruns in the program resulted from unrealistic specifications and features added by the government. And some of the supposed problems with VH-71 that Gates cited as reasons for killing the program — like a limited service life — turn out to be untrue. But what’s most unsettling about the cancellation of the president’s new helicopter is that it squanders billions of dollars at a time when the federal government is facing the worst fiscal crisis in living memory.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/06/02/vh-71-kill-wastes-8-billion/


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8397 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Well, that stuff is ridiculous. The VH-71 is a revolting waste of money that should have been cancelled years ago.

It is almost sick to watch the powerful corporate advodates nuzzle up despite the executive's clear position. The VH-71 will be torpedoed by the President himself. He will deservedly mock the program for its waste. There are plenty of off-the-shelf alternatives available at minimal cost. In no scenario should the president's rotor fleet exceed a cost of $1B. That it even needs to be said, exposes just how weak we have become in these choices. The US is a weak country indeed if we are unable to solve simple problems at a reasonable cost.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4327 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
The facts as I understand them are simple: Increment 1 VH-71A's have every capability as do existing VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft, but instead (in addition to being brand new,) offer a larger cabin size and level of amenity, offer superior operating performance in terms of speed, range, reliability, maintainability, and survivability.

I wish I had the same understanding. The capabilities of VH-3D and VH-60N in terms of communications and defensive measures are fairly closely held, and no one seems to be spelling out exactly what an Increment 1 VH-71 is. Sure, it's at worse a EH-101 which is a fine ride, but still, no one is spelling out exactly what it is once LM "completes" it. And if VH-71 Inc 1 is such a fine ride and so superior to the existing VH-3D and VH-60N , why did we ever say we needed a VH-71 Inc 2?

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
I'm a logical and deductive reasoning type of guy, and I like ROI analyses. The VH-71 is still the very best and most capable platform in the entire world to perform the mission of HMX; the S-92 is decent but it's inferior in nearly every category.

I think you may be presuming something about the cost and/or the features of the VH-71 Inc 1 which may or may not be true.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7048 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4310 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
I think you all are missing the point. It makes little sense to otherwise spend the same amount of money to cancel the VH-71 program as is the plan, if it costs the same and likely more money to get another platform/program up to the same spot that the VH-71 in Increment 1 form is already at!

Let's not forget the principle of the thing. POTUS and his supporters just put their necks on the line to cancel the F-22 because it is the current poster child of the busted procurement process, how exactly are they now going to turn around and fund the F-22 twin sister?

This is one time when the price of growing some balls and saying enough is enough will be in the best interest of the tax payors long term, when the next project comes around OEM's will at least know that the possibility exist and excersize more due diligence.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1669 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4306 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
here are plenty of off-the-shelf alternatives available at minimal cost.

Such as what? The non-compliant S-92?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
In no scenario should the president's rotor fleet exceed a cost of $1B.

Better than spending the same amount of money being spent now to REFURBISH and RESET the existing aircraft; and we are still left with old airplanes.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
And if VH-71 Inc 1 is such a fine ride and so superior to the existing VH-3D and VH-60N , why did we ever say we needed a VH-71 Inc 2?

Because the White House, Secret Service, et al all began to stuff extra requirements into the contract?


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4302 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
Well, that stuff is ridiculous. The VH-71 is a revolting waste of money that should have been cancelled years ago.

It is almost sick to watch the powerful corporate advodates nuzzle up despite the executive's clear position. The VH-71 will be torpedoed by the President himself. He will deservedly mock the program for its waste. There are plenty of off-the-shelf alternatives available at minimal cost. In no scenario should the president's rotor fleet exceed a cost of $1B. That it even needs to be said, exposes just how weak we have become in these choices. The US is a weak country indeed if we are unable to solve simple problems at a reasonable cost.

I agree, the AH-64 and H-60 designs are of 1970's ear origin, and when is the last time Bell came up with a new airframe again?

However, the realist must ask the question that if the VH-71 program is terminated once and for all, where do we then go? HMX still exists and the POTUS will still need a ride.

So for the same amount of money to terminate the program and extend the life of the current fleet long enough so that a new competition can be awarded, why not just buy out Increment 1 instead?

And most importantly, what good will a new competition bring forth?

We all already know that the VH-71 is the best airframe available anywhere in the world to perform the mission, so what good will it do to delay the inevitable, spend billions in the meantime just to pacify the status quo, all to end up with the same dilemma that was truly responsible for the unsavory outcome of this program? (i.e. woeful program management from the WHMO, NAVAIR, and LM/AW)


User currently offlineDw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1257 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4298 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
We all already know that the VH-71 is the best airframe available anywhere in the world to perform the mission,

At least the best one that doesn't tear up the White House lawn  Big grin . It seems the muscle of a CH-53 would help in many ways!



CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12128 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4277 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
The VH-71 is a revolting waste of money that should have been cancelled years ago.

Correct

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
And if VH-71 Inc 1 is such a fine ride and so superior to the existing VH-3D and VH-60N , why did we ever say we needed a VH-71 Inc 2?

Because the White House, Secret Service, et al all began to stuff extra requirements into the contract?

Also correct. Don't forget NAVAIR also had their fingers in that cookie jar. By the time all the "stuff" was added, the weight and space requirements almost required a "VH-47F", or "VH-53K".

The POTUS does not need a heavy lift copter, but that is what he is going to end up with.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7048 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4222 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
We all already know that the VH-71 is the best airframe available anywhere in the world to perform the mission,

What exactly is the mission? A new competition will have to define that as it is not just transporting POTUS, certainely the mission that spawned the current VH-71 is not viable.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 14):
all to end up with the same dilemma that was truly responsible for the unsavory outcome of this program? (i.e. woeful program management from the WHMO, NAVAIR, and LM/AW)

They have already been added to the mission capabilities of the a/c hence the cost. If the OEM had a tranche 3 a/c which excluded all the "crappy items" which exploded this project that could be considered as an alternative, but since those requirements were already built into the a/c you cannot make them go away or pretend that they did not exist.

The only way to get to tranche3 is to start the process all over again with stricter guidelines on what is really expected, I'm certain that if due diligence is done on all sides, smaller a/c will also be considered, as the chances of the mission being defined as being able to transport the president X miles or XX hours will take precidence over bathrooms, conference rooms, communications rooms, etc.

Blackhawks are in the presidential fleet, POTUS uses them, if they had gotten rid of the VH-3's and standardized on the UH-60's when they were first purchased this whole project would never exist, whatever removed the UH-60 from this project is not technical, so ??? My thought is that the VH-3's remained because the a/c were already in inventory and cost was not an issue, cost is now an issue and the UH-60 is the cheapest option.

1. It is already in use, pilots, mechanics, spares already exist
2. It is transportable by the C-17, C5, with minimal break-down
3. Range is adequate
4. A/c is still in production with improved capabilities, has excellent record, and time in sevice.


User currently offlineSasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4205 times:



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
Better than spending the same amount of money being spent now to REFURBISH and RESET the existing aircraft; and we are still left with old airplanes.

That are still performing the mission every day, let's not forget.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4183 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
What exactly is the mission? A new competition will have to define that as it is not just transporting POTUS, certainely the mission that spawned the current VH-71 is not viable.

A new competition as in another competition? We just had a VXX competition who's RFP went out in December of 2003 and was awarded in January of 2005?

Oh that's right, we just added $440m in the defense spending bill for another new competition for KC-X.

Why do we all of sudden need two competitions for every program?

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
The only way to get to tranche3 is to start the process all over again with stricter guidelines on what is really expected, I'm certain that if due diligence is done on all sides, smaller a/c will also be considered, as the chances of the mission being defined as being able to transport the president X miles or XX hours will take precidence over bathrooms, conference rooms, communications rooms, etc.

But the real question is do even really need Increment 3? We're talking about helicopters here, not jumbo jets or underground bunkers. Obviously more was added to the contract than what any rotary-winged platform and or program could digest.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 17):
Blackhawks are in the presidential fleet, POTUS uses them, if they had gotten rid of the VH-3's and standardized on the UH-60's when they were first purchased this whole project would never exist, whatever removed the UH-60 from this project is not technical, so ??? My thought is that the VH-3's remained because the a/c were already in inventory and cost was not an issue, cost is now an issue and the UH-60 is the cheapest option.

1. It is already in use, pilots, mechanics, spares already exist
2. It is transportable by the C-17, C5, with minimal break-down
3. Range is adequate
4. A/c is still in production with improved capabilities, has excellent record, and time in sevice.

Yeah except for the fact that the VH-60N offers the least amount of room to the POTUS since the Bell UH-13-J “Sioux” flew President Eisenhower to Camp David in July of 1957.

Gates has mentioned that perhaps a two aircraft mix is more so what HMX needs for the future, as is the current case with the VH-60N/VH-3D mix.

So if new-build VIP H-60's are what's needed for overseas, it's not like you can stick a whole lot in those cabins anyways, so they can't possibly be too terribly expensive.

They might be a good combination to the VH-71A Increment 1 buy, which would be in less numbers than what was originally planned and thereby plausible that it be supplemented.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7048 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4140 times:



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
Why do we all of sudden need two competitions for every program?

The first one is screwed up and cannot be fixed, we are now up to 3 for the tanker so lets hope this one does not follow that route

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
But the real question is do even really need Increment 3? We're talking about helicopters here, not jumbo jets or underground bunkers. Obviously more was added to the contract than what any rotary-winged platform and or program could digest.

Well you did say that the VH-71 was the best a/c for the job, you do realise that the VH-71 is the project with all those stuff already added to it, the way your govt. works, if you want to remove them another appropriation is required, hence the new project.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
Yeah except for the fact that the VH-60N offers the least amount of room to the POTUS since the Bell UH-13-J “Sioux” flew President Eisenhower to Camp David in July of 1957.

And space is an issue for the stuff that was added which made the a/c to expensive and led to its cancellation. If the VH-3 and UH-60 are used with their space obviously it is enough.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
So if new-build VIP H-60's are what's needed for overseas, it's not like you can stick a whole lot in those cabins anyways, so they can't possibly be too terribly expensive.

Never mentioned overseas, have seen the UH-60 used in the the southern US before, one a/c leads to simplified maintenance, crew training, spare parts etc. etc. etc. all those reason that folks use for a single tanker buy.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
They might be a good combination to the VH-71A Increment 1 buy, which would be in less numbers than what was originally planned and thereby plausible that it be supplemented.

See comment above, you do not need two types, in these hard economic times POTUS should make do with one a/c, it is the cheapest solution. Besides, the next POTUS might not be as tall as the current one so the a/c will be even larger  Smile


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 21, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4126 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 16):
Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 13):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 11):
And if VH-71 Inc 1 is such a fine ride and so superior to the existing VH-3D and VH-60N , why did we ever say we needed a VH-71 Inc 2?

Because the White House, Secret Service, et al all began to stuff extra requirements into the contract?

Also correct. Don't forget NAVAIR also had their fingers in that cookie jar. By the time all the "stuff" was added, the weight and space requirements almost required a "VH-47F", or "VH-53K".

The POTUS does not need a heavy lift copter, but that is what he is going to end up with.

My question was rhetorical.

To me, this is all so rediculous.

We take a helo that can carry 14 troops, or carry two torpedos in an ASW role, and add so much stuff to it that we end up needing to add more powerful engines and redesign almost every mechanical aspect of the helo? We end up with helos that are more expensive than the VC-25? Was reading that HMX-1 also supports the vice president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of the Navy and visiting foriegn VIPs. Maybe these folks should travel by car instead of us buying 22 flying Oval Offices?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1669 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4108 times:



Quoting Sasd209 (Reply 18):
That are still performing the mission every day, let's not forget.

Yes, the VH-3 which is no longer produced, and is at the end of the product life for Sikorsky. Parts that are getting increasingly difficult to source which means more expensive and more difficult upkeep.


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7048 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (4 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4093 times:



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 22):
Yes, the VH-3 which is no longer produced, and is at the end of the product life for Sikorsky. Parts that are getting increasingly difficult to source which means more expensive and more difficult upkeep.

Thats another reason why the push is so urgent for the VH-71, if enough of the VH-3's break down, you might see a VH-60 landing on the White House law and someone will have to explain where it came from, when it was bought and if they already had it, why they were spending billions for a new a/c to replace the VH-3 when they already had another modern chopper in the fleet.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12331 posts, RR: 25
Reply 24, posted (4 years 12 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4076 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 23):
if enough of the VH-3's break down

If enough break down, maybe Obama will have to ask VP, SecDef and SecNav to travel by car instead, oh the indignity of it all...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
25 Par13del : Now why do you want to open up a new can of worms, did they not just spend thousands of dollars on "The Beast", you want them to buy more ?
26 Sasd209 : I've never said anything to the contrary of your statement. I was simply stating a fact....some here give the impression that HMX has broke birds all
27 CTR : Who do you believe to be the customer? The President? The Secret Service? Or the USMC? Even if the Secret Service or USMC were very unsatisfied with
28 Sasd209 : Sorry, I wasn't clear: HMX-1 is the user and the 'customer' is the one who uses the services provided ie: the president and whomever he lets use his h
29 Par13del : So who exactly started the replacement process and what reasons were given, it had to have been the Navy and Marines, unless someone wants to suggest
30 ThePointblank : The issue is that you need to start the process to buy a replacement when your existing equipment still has a bit of life in it. If you continuously
31 Par13del : Unfortunately, the "bit of life" is usually a paper number which is adjustable based on policital or economic needs, remember the tankers which were
32 AirRyan : The doom and gloom is in reference to the fact that IF VH-71A Increment 1 is allowed to be terminated as it stands, that means about $4 billion will
33 Revelation : And these are the ones who are being told they can't have everything they want, especially if that means 22 flying white houses with tv studios, gall
34 Trex8 : no, never ever would I have thought the previous administration would do anything of the sort! can't the increment 1 choppers be used for anything el
35 Par13del : In 5 years wonder what the cost would be for these one of a kind a/c, hopefully those in support of their purchase will put out some long term mainte
36 Post contains links and images DEVILFISH : They might be delighted at the opportunity of replacing this with those..... View Large View MediumPhoto © Robert Beaver
37 Post contains links AirRyan : I guess Sikorsky must have given a lot of money to Obama's political campaign, because evidently major multi-billion dollar defense project requiremen
38 Revelation : The existing requirements drove the program team to have to redo the EH-101's engines, rotors, gear box, boom and tail assembly and spend twice as mu
39 Post contains links Lumberton : The Obama administration has added the VH-71 to the "veto threat list". That makes three so far: F-22, F-136 engine (alternate for the F-35), and the
40 Par13del : We often expect leaders to be better than us mere mortals and humans but time after time they disappoint. Everyone know the paint scheme on those bir
41 AirRyan : But even Obama will admit, (which is very difficult for a Harvard lawyer to do) that he knows little to absolutely nothing about military projects an
42 Lumberton : Murtha has some potentially serious issues hanging over his head due to his relations with lobbyists. He can't afford to push too hard here.
43 Par13del : A lot of horse trading is now taking place, and usually it make no difference what the original bill is all about, everything in fair game, health ca
44 Revelation : Since you are so superior, why not explain why anyone other than POTUS and perhaps VP and foreign dignitaries of similar stature should be given a ri
45 Post contains links AirRyan : It's not superiority, it's just that your argument questioning the need of 23 aircraft for Marine is elementary and has been beaten to death for quit
46 Flighty : Agreed, with the full weight of Obama's young Presidency against the VH-71, it is d e a d. It will make screeches and noises as it dies.
47 Lumberton : If they are naive enough to challenge the White House solely on this helicopter, then Obama will veto the bill--and the vast majority of the public w
48 Par13del : Correct me if I'm wrong but since the Senate version differs from the House the bill has to go to committe before being sent to the president? If I'm
49 Post contains links Sasd209 : Ummm....no they don't. " The VH-3D was delivered to HMX-1 in December 1974 as a replacement for the VH-3A, which entered service in 1963. By the end
50 Post contains links AirRyan : Maybe I didn't word that well enough; although the current variant used is the VH-3D, the VH-3A goes back to 1961 and JFK. Who's challenging who? The
51 Revelation : Yes, I know. I've read about it here, and seen the excellent documentary recently on Discovery Channel covering HMX-1. However, for all the great inf
52 Wvsuperhornet : yers this program isnt a waste of money, I would rather have the F-22's back.
53 AirRyan : But the big difference is that rotary-winged aircraft have numerous times the number of moving parts and you just can't compare them apples to apples
54 ThePointblank : The thing is that support for the B-52's and KC-135's is still there; many of the parts manufacturers are either still around, or the USAF has taken
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