Monday, June 01, 2009

Navy cancels VH-71 Presidential Helicopter

Remember the phony controversy, right after the inauguration, about President Obama's really expensive new helicopter?  Republicans, including vanquished presidential candidate John McCain, tried to turn the helicopter into a symbol of budgetary excess for the new Chief Executive. 

MCCAIN: "One area I wanted to mention that I think consumed a lot of our conversation on procurement. It was the issue of cost overruns and the Defense Department. We all know how large the defense budget is. We all know that the cost overruns, your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think that there's anymore graphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers enormous amount of money. So the -- we will and I know that you've already made plans to try to curb some of the excesses in procurement. We really have to do that."

This, despite the fact that the helicopter program was begun under the Bush administration.

Anyway, nobody has to worry about the VH-71 Helicopter anymore.  

The Navy today announced that it will terminate the VH-71 System Development and Demonstration (SDD) program contract. The announcement follows a Department of Defense (DoD) decision to cancel the existing presidential helicopter replacement program.

The VH-71 was intended to replace both the VH-3D and VH-60N aircraft currently used to conduct presidential support missions.

Navy contract N00019-05-C-0030 and associated work with Lockheed Martin Systems Integration – Owego (LMSI-O), Owego, N.Y., awarded Jan. 28, 2005, for the SDD of the VH-71 program, has been terminated for the convenience of the government.