USMC Helicopter Programs May be Raided to Pay F-35 Costs
November 16, 2011 1:41 PM
Marines need replacement copters according to officials
The U.S. military is facing budget cuts everywhere in part because of the money crisis in Washington and in part to help pay for the
massive cost overruns in the F-35 program
. The USMC is one target that Washington my look at to save some money reports
There are two successful programs in the helicopter arm of the Marines that are doing well and might be potential targets to cut funding. According to officials, those programs are the UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter programs.
quotes one defense official saying, "The UH-1Y and AH-1Z programs are exceedingly successful. The [Department of the Navy] is looking to make them bill payers once again to help pay for [F-35B Joint Strike Fighter] overrun costs."
Lockheed F-35 Lightning II with its weapons bay doors open [Source: Air Attack]
The current helicopter fleet the Marines operate are reportedly worn out from nearly two decades of constant fighting and desperately need replaced. Lt. Gen. George Trautman said, "They [existing Marine helicopters] absolutely need to be replaced. The Marine Corps is not getting out of the attack helicopter business."
The Marines indicate that require 420 F-35 aircraft and there is absolutely no give in the 420 aircraft requisition. The only thing that can be changed according to the leaders is how quickly the Marine Corps get the 420 aircraft.
Trautman said, "There is not a lot of flexibility in the Marine Corps aviation portfolio because a lot of money is tied up in platforms. They are 100 percent committed to these platforms."
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