What's the Vegas line on the next new Presidential replacement helicopter still ending up to still be based on the the H-71 but coming in only more expensive for the taxpayer than if they were to have just finished Increment 1? Can't possibly begin to tell us that the S-92 is a better aircraft or can do anything that the H-71 cannot.
The bill does end two other programs that the Pentagon has sought to discontinue over the objections of some in Congress: the F-22 fighter plane, and the VH-71 presidential helicopter, both made by Lockheed, as well as the ground vehicle portion of the Army's modernization drive.
Article dated 10/22 as well, with some other articles saying that funding for a more C-17's could still happen in another amendment, so not certain yet until we read something from Murtha about the VH-71. With Gates stance on the VH-71 one really has to wonder his ties to Sikorsky, how can he be so adamant minus the financial numbers that everyone else is using?
Meanwhile, Murtha said there still has been no decision by House and Senate conferees on whether to include funding for the problem-plagued VH-71 presidential helicopter program, which the administration has sought to cancel because of soaring costs and schedule delays.
Defying a veto threat from the White House, the House passed a bill with an added $400 million to make five initial "Increment 1" helicopters operational, reflecting Murtha's concerns that the military already had invested $3.2 billion in the program.
The Senate bill included only the funds requested to cancel the program.
In a "heartburn" letter to appropriators Oct. 14, Gates said he would personally recommend the president veto the defense bill if it includes funds to continue the VH-71 program. Making the five aircraft operational, he said, would cost an additional $2 billion -- and the helicopters would still not meet full operational requirements.
Undeterred, Murtha is still speaking with the administration about the issue. "We're still negotiating, trying to convince them," he said.
[Edited 2009-10-22 19:46:19]