Thursday, April 25, 2019

Troubled Lockheed Copter Needs New Review, Inhofe Tells Pentagon

via Bloomberg.
The Pentagon needs to undertake another review of Lockheed Martin Corp.’s $31 billion CH-53K heavy lift helicopter program amid continuing technical problems and delays, according to the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Republican Senator James Inhofe said the importance of the CH-53K King Stallion to the Marine Corps means that a “comprehensive, independent update” on the long-delayed program is overdue. Inhofe’s role leading the committee that authorizes defense spending means his request will almost certainly be heeded.

“We need to get it right, and this report should give us a current assessment and reestablish a baseline for the program to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely,” Inhofe said in a statement to Bloomberg News. The senator cited concern that the chopper “is more than a year behind schedule and has over 100 outstanding deficiencies that still require resolution.”

Inhofe’s request comes as the Navy plans to award a production contract for as many as 14 new King Stallions next month, though so far only two of a planned 200 helicopters are under contract. The Navy program office and Lockheed’s Sikorsky Aircraft unit are still working to address 126 technical deficiencies, according to the Pentagon’s latest report on the system. The Oklahoma senator stopped short of suggesting the contract not be signed.
Story here. 

What has the Marine Corps forgotten?  That NO ONE WEAPON SYSTEM is worth an astronomical cost.  NO ONE WEAPON SYSTEM is indispensable.  You equip the man, you don't man the equipment!

Does the CH-53K (if it can work right) mean an improved capability for the Marine Corps?

Yes.  Without a doubt.

But is that improvement in capability worth the price?

I'm not sure.

This program should already be under review.  Can you honestly say that this program shouldn't already be under Nunn-McCurdy?

My worry is that we're falling into the same trap as we did with the F-35.  We're deciding that weapon systems are worth "dying in a ditch" over.

Sorry bros but that's bullshit.

If it don't work then you either get the contractor to get his head out of his nether regions OR you move on to another contractor that can get you 90% of what you want.

Do I like the CH-53K?


Do I like the costs or the delays?  Fuck no!

Give me marinized CH-47's if they can't get us this helo at a proper price on a proper schedule.

Side note.  Can anyone explain where they got 200 for the number of airframes they're looking at buying?  That's more than the total number of CH-53E's that the USMC bought.  We're looking at a more than one for one replacement while we're also buying more MV-22's than we had CH-46's.  We're buying EXCESS CAPACITY!  How is that being frugal with the taxpayers dollar?

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