Monday, April 03, 2017

Germany May Buy Marines’ King Stallion Helicopter

via DoD Buzz
German officials are interested in buying about 40 of the ultra heavy-lift rotorcraft to replace their aging CH-53G/GA/GS aircraft, program officials said Monday at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space conference.

And that prospect could drive unit cost down and make the development of additional capabilities more efficient, both key selling points for the Corps, the King Stallion’s primary buyer.

Rep. Niki Tsongas, a Massachusetts Democrat, made headlines in March when she said in a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing that lawmakers had been briefed on a program cost increase, which, she said, would increase King Stallion unit cost to $122 million.

Marine Col. Henry Vanderborght, program manager for Heavy Lift Helicopters for Naval Air Systems Command, pushed back emphatically on that figure, saying the total program unit cost — now estimated to top $130 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report released last week — should not be conflated with the unit recurring flyaway cost, which includes just the cost of aircraft production and not the sunk costs of development.
Don't be fooled.  The Germans are seeking to buy a bit of good will with the Trump admin.  Who knew that demanding allies to step up to defend themselves could boost US defense sales?

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