US Navy moves ahead to replace presidential helicopters | Reuters


WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy is moving forward with a long-delayed effort to replace the aging fleet of Marine One helicopters that transport the U.S. president, with the first of the new aircraft slated to enter service in 2020.

The Navy’s last attempt to buy a new presidential helicopter ended in 2009, when then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates cancelled a program run by Lockheed Martin Corp after numerous requirement changes threatened to double the cost of the program to more than $13 billion.

via US Navy moves ahead to replace presidential helicopters | Reuters.

The VH-71 program was a fiasco because neither the Navy nor the White House was willing to exercise any discipline at all in trimming the requirements. Seriously, does the President really need live, secure video teleconference capability in Marine One? Voice coms, sure. But for a platform he’s rarely in for more than 30 minutes at a time? Or a fully equipped galley for hot meals? Dude, pack a thermos and a damn sammich!

Sadly, I expect this current pledge for a reasonable, disciplined buy to again succumb to bloat, contractors lowballing then coming back for money, and the usual contractor protests to GAO and the courts. I guess the only way the Marine One fleet will ever get a reasonably priced replacement is when the President gets killed in a helo crash.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “US Navy moves ahead to replace presidential helicopters | Reuters

  1. David Navarre

    I think it should just be the standard transport chopper with the extra electronics he would get in a limo. Either that, or those medevac choppers they used in Korea. POTUS could get some good “alone time” riding on the stretcher.

    • ultimaratioregis

      I say give him a 50-year old Phrog with bullet holes in the side, like the one we tooled around Anbar in. When the hydraulic fluid stopped dripping, you knew they were low.

  2. Grumpy

    URR, I believe you just might have it really valid point. I do believe such a move would create one of those, “cranial-rectal extraction” moments in life. The only problem are the predecessors and I mean all of them. All of them should go through the process for the rest of their lives. WELL DONE!

  3. scottthebadger

    Marine One helos are the only Sea Kings left, aren’t they?

  4. Nothing wrong with a good UH-60, or MH60S with a La-Z-Boy thrown in back. Making Marine one like a mini AF 1 is simply idiotic. Which, is prolly why they will make it so.