Comanche Helicopter Program Cancelled

Guess I better hold onto my Italeri 1/72 kit......
Army ends 20-year helicopter program
Canceled Comanche program will cost Army at least
$10 billion
Monday, February 23, 2004 Posted: 1:50 PM EST (1850 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Army has decided to cancel its Comanche helicopter program, a multibillion-dollar project to build a new-generation chopper for armed reconnaissance missions, officials said Monday.
The contractors for Comanche are Boeing Co. and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
With about $8 billion already invested in the program, and the production line not yet started, the cancellation is one of the largest in the history of the Army. It follows the Pentagon's decision in 2002 to cancel the Crusader artillery program -- against the wishes of Army leaders.
Pentagon officials said a public announcement was planned for Monday afternoon.
Congressional lawmakers and company executives associated with the program were scrambling Monday to figure out the Pentagon's plans.
Sikorsky spokesman Matthew Broder would only say that "we are on track and fully funded until we hear otherwise."
The Sikorsky plant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where the Comanche is being built, opened last year and employs about 400 workers.
The Comanche has been a target of critics who say it was an expensive mistake.
"The Comanche program has been plagued with wildly unrealistic technological expectations and the bugaboo of pay more and get less. Cancellation of this program would free up funds for weapons that work and meet our country's true national security needs," said Eric Miller of the Project on Government Oversight, a private watchdog group.
Loren Thompson, who follows aviation and other defense issues for the Lexington Institute think tank said he believes the Army under new chief of staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker favors ending the Comanche program, even though the service had been counting on it to provide a new reconnaissance capability.
"The Bush administration has now killed the two biggest Army weapons programs it inherited from the Clinton administration," Thompson said, referring to the Crusader and Comanche.
Earlier this year the White House budget office asked the Pentagon to provide independent reviews of the Comanche and another expensive aviation program, the Air Force's F/A-22 Raptor fighter.
Although killing the Comanche project would save tens of billion in future costs, the cancellation decision is expected to require the Army to pay at least $2 billion in contract termination fees.
The Comanche program was started in 1983 and had survived many reviews. Under a restructuring worked out in 2002, a decision on going ahead with initial low-rate production was to be made in 2007, with the first Comanches delivered to the Army in 2009 and full-rate production to begin in 2010.
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Maybe they'll bring back the Cheyenne!
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News reports indicate this cancellation as unprecedented, but it is not. When I showed up at Lockheed in 1968, within a month the rigid rotor Cheyenne helicopter was cancelled after untold $$dollars$$ invested and a nasty habit of the rotor smashing though the canopy.
This was the first indication of management "failure" by one Dan Haughton, then President of Lockheed, but previously manger of the Cheyenne project before his promotion. A sales guy, he had a tendency to tell the engineers, "Just do it, I don't care how."
A couple of years and another legacy project of his turned sour. The C-5A Galaxy wings broke early during stress tests. He had told the engineers in Georgia, "Get the weight out, I don't care how." You cannot believe what a bonanza of work that turned into as the government told the engineers, "Fix the wings, we don't care how."
The final straw was the L-1011/Rolls Royce government bailout scandal, which later turned into a bribery scandal. Yes, our boy Dan flew over to places like Japan and Holland with bags full of money to spread around to grease L-1011 purchase decisions.
And the funny part of all this, in 1968 the consensus among employees was that Haughton was some kind of nice guy and "father figure" to us all. Go figure. I sat there after the Cheyenne cancellation, an newly graduate engineer, and said, "fire Haughton, somebody, please!" Talk about going against majority opinion. I guess that is why I went my separate way a few years later; that plus a layoff notice as Lockheed sank into red ink. You see, my early hunch that Haughton was the source of much of the trouble; well that did me no good whatsoever.
One guy can screw things up for thousands of dedicated workers. How fast can you say Ken Lay (Enron) or Joe Nacchio (Mr. Nacho Cheese, my nick name, of Qwest Communications, who pays himself $100 million that last year while hyping the phone company as some kind of go-go stock).
Well at least I had the pleasure of firing Qwest's land line phone service. Sad too, because today you see these ads on TV where the Qwest people desparately try to restore their reputation with, "We are Quest, people of your community, old fashioned phone people, who go out in ice storms to fix downed phone lines; remember the days of Mountain Bell?" You know they are sincere, but how can you forgive the lousy service and alleged criminality of the previous management?
I wonder who will be identified as the culprit for the Comanche debacle. ..../V
P.S. The Cheyenne was a good looking bird at least. We need a nice model of that one. Most Lockheed designs "looked right."
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Maybe it should have been called 'Custer' instead of 'Comanche'... :-)
RobG

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What about the Sgt. York anti aircraft system? Boy, talking about flogging a dead mule? Mike IPMS
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Did you ever see the movie "The Pentagon Wars" with Kelsy Grammer? A kind of black humor story about how everybody and his brother put their two cents into the design of that APC, and when it was all done all they have was a royal PoC. Wasn't so funny after I found out that it was mostly true.
-- John ___ __[xxx]__ (o - ) --------o00o--(_)--o00o-------
The history of things that didn't happen has never been written - Henry Kissinger
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Actually that movie was based on the development of the Bradley AFV not the Sgt. York. I saw it and honestly didn't think it was very fair to the military leadership since it made them look like a bunch of kids. Not that they don't often deserve that kind of portrayal, but it takes away from the serious matters portrayed in the movie and makes the facts seem even more incredulous. On the other hand, knowing the true story, there is some merit to the movie. I just think it would have made a much better movie had it been done as a drama like "The Insider".
IPMS El Paso Web Guy http://www.ipmselpaso.org
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Mike Keown wrote:

The celebrated latrine removal system, you mean. ;)
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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Bill Banaszak wrote:

    Right on, Bill! I see that story did get around. A friend of mine worked for AAI and when he told that story around the campfire one evening most of us really cracked up. Of course, that was before we thought about all the taxpayers money that had gone down the tubes, baby!     And now we have the International Space Station....
                            Bill Shuey
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...and the "Manned Mission to Mars", possibly the most cynical nonsense ever dangled in the face of an uneducated public.
Tom
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ever
How about a manned mission to the Sun, do not worry though, they will go at night.
;-)
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might as well tack on the ABM programme / Star Wars / Son of Star Wars whatever that things called . . .
how many trillions your defecit nowadays?

at
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Well, now Sikorsky will really be mad at modellers selling their 'copter kits!
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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The A-12 Avenger II program was even worse!
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Sbschiltz wrote:

Yup.
--
- Rufus


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My first thoughts on hearing the news were: "That's probably for the best, especially since Suckorski deserves it... those bastards"
IPMS El Paso Web Guy http://www.ipmselpaso.org
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If you think that Sikorsky was mad with everybody before , just wait a few weeks or so. When this all starts to settle down they're going to really be pissed at all us modellers. They will be going after as many people as they can selling Kits and having the name ''Sikorsky'' anywhere in the information for their kits. ....... :( :( Should maybe change it to ''suckorsky'' :)
OHHH - Nooo , Sgt. YORK... Yes I seem to remember somebody getting caught at actually Blowing UP the Drones via a Remote device. And saying something like ; "Well they would've Hit it Eventually if they Shot enough rounds at the target I was just showing you that result.......!!" Or words to that effect. All they ever did was almost Kill some poor Guy taking a Dump in a port-a-pottie. I bet he ended up taking One Hell of a Shit That Day....
... Carl .........
.
Rama-Lama-BIG-BORG ; BORG TEMPLE N.Y. Central-Park-West ; Master Builder of blessed temple KITS ; Keeper of Secret Temple Decoder Rings & Bracelets ; Fluent-in-1stDegreeTALK-to-the-HAND TEMPLE-ETTEGuardsSIX&SEVEN http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/ThemodelsIlikethe This is My WebPage TheWORLDWIDEWEBis totally jam packed with thousands of people who are Destined to be nothing more then a faded weatherbeaten CHALKOUTLINE along theINFORMATIONSUPERHIGHWAY http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/MODELERSHELPERall Introducing ''SPOT-the-CAT''
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Speaking of the Sgt York. I worked at White Sands during the early 80's and was with a company that provided targets for the gun to shoot at. It was the most miserable thing I have ever seen. What I saw them do to make this thing look like a viable weapon system makes Watergate look like a church social.
Mike
CYBER BORG wrote:

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True- and they didn't want $200 billion of MY money to do it. Also, there were obvious exploitable resources in those colonies. As we now occupy Iraq, I don't think we need to spend $200 billion for an alternate source of sand, when we're spending $87 billion for some here on Earth. You want a challenge? Come up with a way to pour Humbrol paint without spilling. Kim M
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As the Sgt. York and other "Mil/Indus Complex " charity programs have been mentioned... what about the stories out of Iraq? Simple, CHEAP RPG's able to take out Bradleys. Lucky shots to a vulnerable area? Or what? Also, the Stryker apparently has had a retro-fit of an external cage to act as a sort of reactive armor plane. Probably cheaper than the explosive skins. Anybody have access to educated opinions? Thanks from Bill
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