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Army cancels RAH-66 Comanche helicopter (and about @#$%&! time!)

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    Army cancels RAH-66 Comanche helicopter (and about @#$%&! time!)

    Finally, the U.S. Army pulled the plug on the Comanche program. This program has been a sucking chest wound for Army Aviation since 1983 and someone finally had the balls to kill it. Now, if the Air Force would just kill the F-22, maybe some money would get spent in the right places for a change. One shitty, over-budget program down, a gazillion more to go. . . .


    Army cancels Comanche helicopter
    Will shift money into other aviation programs

    WASHINGTON (CNN) --The U.S. Army has decided to pull the plug on the development of the RAH-66 Comanche helicopter and instead use the money to upgrade its current fleet and replace aging National Guard and Army Reserve helicopters, Pentagon officials said Monday.

    The military has already spent $6.9 billion over the last two decades to develop the Comanche, conceived as a surveillance and attack aircraft with "stealth" capability to make it difficult for an enemy to detect. But only two prototypes have ever been built, and the high-tech chopper was still at least two years away from regular production.

    "It's a big decision. We know it's a big decision, but it's the right decision," said Army Chief-of-Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, who said the program was scrapped after an internal study showed the money could be better used to improve other aspects of Army aviation.

    Schoomaker said the Pentagon was budgeted to spend $14 billion between now and 2011 to build 121 Comanches. Now, that money will be directed to upgrading more than 1,400 aircraft and buying almost 800 new helicopters for the Guard and Reserve.

    Schoomaker also insisted that the money spent on developing the Comanche was not wasted because the technology could be adapted for use on other aircraft.

    "Much of what we've gained out of Comanche we can push forward into the tech base for future joint rotor-craft kinds of capabilities, as we look further out," Schoomaker said.

    Pentagon officials also said the Comanche, conceived in 1983 during the Cold War, was a victim of changing needs as the military's focus has shifted to the war on terrorism.

    "If you look at the operational environment in which we're now operating and the one we think we'll be operating in the future, we think that is not where we should put our focus," said Acting Army Secretary Les Brownlee.

    Schoomaker also said keeping the Comanche "survivable" in the current threat environment would require design changes that would cost "several billion dollars" and erode the chopper's stealth capability, one of the primary reasons for developing the aircraft.

    He said the decision to end Comanche came from inside the Army, not from above, and he said President Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have both given assurances that the money saved will be dedicated to other Army aviation programs.

    The Comanche was being designed and built as a joint project by Boeing Co. and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, employing about 1,300 people. The companies issued a joint statement saying they were "surprised and disappointed" by the Army's decision.

    "Five of these advanced technology aircraft are on the production line today, and we are on plan for the program," the statement said. "While we regret the Army's announcement, we are committed to working closely with our customer and will engage in further discussions to ensure we have a complete understanding of the next steps for Comanche."

    The helicopters were being built at a plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

    CNN Pentagon producer Mike Mount contributed to this report
    "I had once talked to Billy Conn, the boxer, about professionals versus amateurs - specifically street fighters. One had always heard rumors of champions being taken out by back-alley fighters. Conn was scornful. "Aw, it's like hitting a girl," he said. "They're nothing."


    - George Plimpton
    "Shadow Box"

    #2
    Vargas does the "brass" listen at all to the troops and what they feel works and doesn't. What they feel they need based upon experience. I mean, I saw an after action report out of Irag where an Officer was sent to go over with a wide variety of troops almost every piece of equipment down to the type of socks.... So is anyone REALLY listening? Just curious on your perspective...

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      #3
      My friend in the marines and his brother (a test pilot for the comanche choppers) were both dissapointed. Especially considering they're using the cash to buy more damned black hawks.

      Oh well. Wonder what my old man thinks of it...... hmmmm.

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        #4
        sucks to be the engineers on that project. so much work down the drain.

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          #5
          Militia groups in Michigan will buy them....

          Comment


            #6
            Militia groups are by definition made up of trailer folk..... I'd be surprised if they could buy a remote control whirly bird toy without skimping on meals.

            Militias... feh.

            Comment


              #7
              As far as I know, the F22 is in production right now and is desgined to replace the F14 and F15. Not sure if it's going to be a Navy plane too given that the F14 is still used there.

              I don't know why the air force needs anything other than the A10, personally. Maybe keep some F16s around to escort them.
              Originally posted by The Wastrel
              I think the forum's traditionally light-handed approach to moderation has become untenable.

              Comment


                #8
                i could be wrong, but i think the navy is going for the JSF rather than the F22.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by MaverickZ
                  i could be wrong, but i think the navy is going for the JSF rather than the F22.
                  Ah, right, the JSF 35. Hopefully Canada will pick those up, because our CF-18 Hornets are the shitty two-seater version.
                  Originally posted by The Wastrel
                  I think the forum's traditionally light-handed approach to moderation has become untenable.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Whats wrong with the Comache? Its not that bad.
                    The F22 is a pretty decent aircraft still. Although the JSF is alittle better but it costs alot more from what I know.

                    The CF-18 are useless. Not too good to air to air engaements. Just surface to ground rolls. Our air force sucks the bones.
                    Ghost of Charles Dickens

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                      #11
                      Why didn't you like the Commanche Vargas? Or the F-22?
                      At least they scrapped the Crusader, do they really need bigger guns?

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                        #12
                        Militia groups are by definition made up of trailer folk..... I'd be surprised if they could buy a remote control whirly bird toy without skimping on meals.

                        Those 'Trailer Folk' buy .50 caliber sniper rifles and automatic rifles for fun. How many rifles and sniper rifles do you buy for fun?
                        "did Phrost just call me a 'bitch'?"-Omega

                        "The collective IQ of bullshido was reduced with the departure of Wastrel. It further dropped due to the retention of (Serious Harm)."
                        - The all knowing Dochter

                        "but like, it's possible to develop such a level of reflex that you can literally detect someones movements through sensitivity, and block without even thinking"-Apostol

                        That's the amazing thing about Ninjas, for sneeky cocksuckers, they are all over the place, like dog shit on your shoe.-Ronin69

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by The_Ghost
                          Militia groups are by definition made up of trailer folk..... I'd be surprised if they could buy a remote control whirly bird toy without skimping on meals.

                          Those 'Trailer Folk' buy .50 caliber sniper rifles and automatic rifles for fun. How many rifles and sniper rifles do you buy for fun?
                          Your both missing the point, why else would any civilian buy a rifle other then fun?
                          "ARGH SURF NINJAS *implodes* " the cruel fate of Stold3

                          Comment


                            #14
                            "Your both missing the point, why else would any civilian buy a rifle other then fun?"

                            Ground hogs.... plus if you keep missing the point, you shouldn't have the gun :D

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Freddy
                              Whats wrong with the Comache? Its not that bad.
                              The F22 is a pretty decent aircraft still. Although the JSF is alittle better but it costs alot more from what I know.

                              The CF-18 are useless. Not too good to air to air engaements. Just surface to ground rolls. Our air force sucks the bones.
                              the F-22 is not just a decent aircraft, it's a damn good one. :)

                              anyway, i'm fairly sure that the JSF costs less than the F-22 per unit.

                              the f-22 is around $85M, and the JSF between $28M and $38M (depending on the variant)
                              Last edited by MaverickZ; 2/24/2004 2:39pm, .

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