Canada buys nine US-101s from suspended VH-71 program

Canada buys nine US-101s from suspended VH-71 program

27-Jun-2011 Source:

One of the pledges made by Barack Obama prior to being elected President was to was to cancel the presidential VH-71 Kestrel helicopter program – which had been awarded by his predessor George Bush after British prime minister Tony Blair had cosied up to him on behalf of AgustaWestland.  However, Bush’s administration then changed the specification so often that the the projected cost of the fleet doubled from $6.5 billion to $13 billion.  One ridiculous example was the upgrading of the requirement that each helicopter needed not one but two safes, and we can all imagine the changes in CofG calculation that would need to follow there.  Little wonder then that Obama used it to political advantage as the recession widenedx by saying that he’d stick with what he had for the time being.

At the point of cancellation, the US DoD had reputedly spent over $3 billion on the program, and nine airframes were built.  These have now been sold as a single lot to Canada to be stripped down for parts to support their Cormorant SAR fleet.  “This package is considered an excellent one-time opportunity for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces to address long-standing CH-149 Cormorant fleet availability issues related to the availability of spare parts,” noted Defence Department spokesperson Kim Tulipan.   The first shipment of spares arriv

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