During the Singapore Airshow in 2004, the Pentagon pulled the plug on the U.S. Army's RAH-66 Comanche stealth reconnaissance and attack helicopter. Eight years on the Army's efforts to put in place a replacement program have failed.
First it sought to acquire a replacement Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter from Bell, but the ARH-70 was cancelled, too. Today's release of the Pentagon's Fiscal 2013 budget proposal will spell out whether the Comanche follow-on’s follow-on, the Armed Aerial Scout, will now be kicked down the road, leaving the requirement unmet. [See Pentagon summary of fiscal 2013 weapon systems request here.]
There is more than a tenuous link to that decision and this year’s Singapore Airshow. Boeing was going to bring its AH-6i attack helicopter to the event, but returned it to the U.S., instead, for upgrades in preparation for a fly-off this year as part of the AAS program.
Meanwhile, the AH-6i program has just gotten a big boost, with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia agreeing on the terms for the first sale of the helicopter.