US Army wants firms to show off armed helicopters | Reuters

The U.S. Army, under mounting pressure to generate budget savings, says it will defer work on a broad new multi-role helicopter until around 2030, but still expects to upgrade or replace its workhorse OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters in coming years.

Army Major General Tim Crosby, the Army’s top helicopter buyer, wants to stage a demonstration next April of armed light helicopters that are already available from the industry that could be used to replace the aging Kiowa Warrior.

via US Army wants firms to show off armed helicopters | Reuters.

Evolution versus revolution.

Still, it’s amazing that one of the leading contenders, the AH-6, is based on a 50 year old airframe.

And the fact that the Army couldn’t get the ARH-70 program under control (which was based on another 50 year old airframe!) is pretty depressing.

Yes, I know, the trouble with ARH-70 wasn’t the airframe, but the integration of the electronics. But still… it’s not that complex an aircraft.

4 thoughts on “US Army wants firms to show off armed helicopters | Reuters”

  1. The other problem with the ARH-70 was the refusal by the Army to freeze the design. When you keep moving the goal posts of course the price is going to go up.

    I don’t the airframe design being over 50 years old is really that big of a deal, it all the other stuff attached to it, that makes the difference.

    I think the Army need to learn that perfection is the enemy of good enough.

  2. All the services have the same problem in acquisition programs. It makes me think of the semi-joke from “Chickenhawk” when a UH-1 went down and they were trying to come up with a manifest so they could account for what was lost (the Helo wasn’t found). They asked around to see if anyone had anything on board and what it was. After they tallied the score some wag came to the conclusion “no wonder it went down. It was 50 tons overweight.”

    That pretty much describes what happens in acquisition programs. Everyone puts in their $0.02 and the system pretty much becomes unbuildable. Evolution is the way to go, not revolution, and you have to be willing to draw a line and freeze the program so development can be completed in a reasonable time, at a reasonable cost.

    1. Amazingly, that story transcends arrmies, world-wide. i have a series of books by “Viktor Suvorov,” a defector from the Soviet Union. In one of them, he is describing army operations in Prague, if I recall correctly, and says that they lost a motorcycle in an accident, and pretty soon, it was “carrying” every missing item in the platoon.

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