It was President Barack Obama who called the escalating costs of the program to procure a new series of presidential helicopters “an example of the procurement process gone amok.”
That process has finally ended with United Technology’s Sikorsky Aircraft winning a $1.24 billion Pentagon contract for as many as 21 helicopters to ferry the president and other top officials. Bloomberg’s Tony Capaccio has the scoop.
The Sikorsky team was the sole bidder — though several companies are involved in the project, including GE on the engines.
An earlier program managed by Lockheed Martin was cancelled in 2009 after the project’s cost mushroomed from $6.1 billion to $13 billion — about $3.1 billion already had been spent when the newly elected Obama, in February 2009, stepped in and said, enough.
The helicopter, known as Marine One when the president is on board, is expected to replace 11 Marine Corps choppers in service since 1974.
Yet Obama won’t get to enjoy the fruits of this procurement — as the first six choppers are expected to be delivered in 2019.