Some stories over at Aviation Week's defense channel that you should check out today:
Rocked by the U.S. Army’s 2008 cancellation of its over-budget ARH-70 armed reconnaissance helicopter program to replace the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior, Bell Helicopter hatched a plan to recapture its customer by capitalizing on perhaps its most successful product, the OH-58D itself.
That approach has moved forward with delivery of the cabin for the first of 19 wartime replacement rotorcraft and hot-and-high performance testing of the company-funded OH-58D Block 2 demonstrator. The two milestones are key to Bell’s strategy to re-establish OH-58D production and demonstrate that an upgraded Kiowa Warrior can meet the Army’s Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) requirement.
War-cost reductions could represent between $400-$500 billion over the next 10 years, according to Peter Huessy, president of GeoStrategic Analysis.
Other industry sources caution against putting too much stock in any of the current details, which in any budget plan that lasts 10 years can be highly unreliable and subject to change, particularly in the out years. That is driven in part by the difficulty in securing sustained agreement among the 535 members of Congress. Last week, the House voted against a proposal to keep the Pentagon’s top line level with 2011. And Conrad’s plan for cutting $886 billion from defense is too steep for some Senate Republicans.
They include Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. “Obviously, it’s way too much,” McCain says.
U.S. congressional budget cutters are once again taking direct aim at new aircraft carrier construction as the U.S. Navy struggles to fund its future shipbuilding plan.
Analyst and media reports include a range of recommendations, from delaying the Ford-class carrier acquisition work to sinking the planned second carrier of the class, the CVN-79 John F. Kennedy.