Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Collusion? USMC sticks by CH-53K while the US Army cancels CH-47 upgrade contract....

via Military.com
The Corps will not pursue buying Boeing's CH-47 Chinook in place of the King Stallion, Lt. Gen. Steven Rudder said Monday at the annual Sea-Air-Space conference near Washington, D.C.

"We have not found another platform that can accomplish everything we can off of a ship at the distances and the weight that we're asking it to do," said Rudder, head of Marine Corps aviation.

The Marine Corps' plan to spend $31 billion on 200 CH-53Ks has come under scrutiny from lawmakers. Even with the high price tag -- about $155 million per aircraft -- there have been more than 100 deficiencies found during testing.
Story here. 

This is interesting to the max.

1.  The US Army Sec recently stated that the US Army is canceling upgrades for the CH-47 and he challenged industry to produce a faster, heavier lift helicopter.

2.  Despite a price tag of 155 million dollar EACH, the USMC is still sticking with the CH-53K despite it having numerous deficiencies.

Are we seeing collusion?

Have the services come to the conclusion that a heavier lift helicopter is necessary?

If you say no, then I must ask the question.  What exactly can one CH-53K do that two, or even three CH-47s couldn't?

Regardless of your answer its obvious that something is seriously broken in Marine land...and the infection might be spreading to the rest of the DoD.

Once again we're seeing attempts at leap ahead technology...tech that might not be ready.  The track record is stunning.  First the EFV.  So advanced that it was considered unsustainable even without the "high water speed" widgets removed.  Then we add the saga of the F-35.  Even the fanboys have to admit that its been a clusterfuck of epic proportions.  Next up is the super-dooper Recon Vehicle replacement of the LAV-A2.  As awesome as it sounds its looking like a redux of the Army FCS program just on a smaller scale.

The only programs that have been undeniably successful (and this is off the top of my head) is the re-barreling of the M-777 to get extended range and my personal favorite the ACV.

If that isn't enough there is one more issue that is looming that makes me scratch my head.

We're buying capacity to equip a 200K Marine Corps.  That's the only thing that makes sense with a projected buy of 200 CH-53Ks.  There is already talk of cutting boatspaces and I've heard rumors that the 150K end strength is back on the table.

If that's the case then we're not only buying equipment for a force that doesn't exist but we're also being foolish with limited funds.

If the Corps shrinks then so should its buy of gear.

I got nothing else on this except that it bears watching.

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