Some Recent U.S. Defense Programs in Trouble

Some Recent U.S. Defense Programs in Trouble

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's Special Report on What's Wrong with Weapons Acquisitions?

KC-X Aerial Refueling Tanker Status: Recompete
DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyerThe U.S. Air Force originally proposed leasing 100 tanker aircraft from Boeing in 2002, but that effort was halted because of the lease’s high cost and a Department of Defense/Boeing ethics scandal. The contract competition was restarted, and this time a Northrop Grumman/EADS team got the contract, which Boeing protested. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) later upheld Boeing’s protest. Defense Secretary Robert Gates terminated the program this September to allow the next administration to make the selection.
DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer Status: Canceled
DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyerThe U.S. Navy spent more than US $10 billion over a 10-year period on the destroyer program, which was originally slated to field up to 24 ships and was later cut to just three. Problems during development included insufficient missile and air-defense capabilities and inadequate defenses against submarines. The Navy announced in July that it will terminate the program once the first three ships are constructed, at an estimated per-ship cost of $3.2 billion to $5 billion.
Army Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Status: Canceled
Army Armed Reconnaissance HelicopterThis $6.2 billion helicopter program, begun in 2005 and led by Bell-Textron, was intended to build a replacement for the Kiowa helicopter, introduced in 1968. The U.S. Army terminated the program in October as development costs more than doubled from $359 million to $942 million, and the delivery date slipped from 2009 to 2013.
Presidential Helicopter Status: Under development
Presidential HelicopterThe U.S. Navy’s effort to develop a replacement for the current fleet of presidential helicopters continues to experience problems. The Lockheed Martin–led program has seen development costs rise from $6.1 billion to over $11.2 billion since 2005 for the 28 helicopters, which could end up costing more than $400 million apiece (almost three times the list price of a new Boeing 787).

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