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Presidential Helicopter

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  • Presidential Helicopter

    Apparently LtGen. McCorkle is a supporter of the US101 bird. With his background and experience, we should listen, in my opinion. I wonder if all of this means it's a done deal and we can move on.
    Semper FI
    Joe
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This is from HMM262 newsletter


    Submitted by LtGen. Fred McCorkle


    AS A CLOSE FRIEND (FROM THE SIKORSKY COMMUNITY OF HELICOPTERS) SAYS: "NICE SHOT ACROSS THE BOW"... I HAVE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE AT THE CONTROLS OF BOTH THE "EH-101" AND THE "S-92" AIRCRAFT (ALONG WITH THE CH-53A/D/E; AH-IJ/S/T/W/Z; UH-1E/N; UH-60ARMY AND NAVY VERSIONS; AND ALL CH-46 SERIES...AS WELL AS MANY OTHER USA AND FOREIGN MODELS). WHILE I CONSIDER ALL OF THESE HELICOPTERS TO BE SUPERIOR MACHINES, I WOULD HAVE TO RATE THE EH-101 AS THE "BEST HELICOPTER" THAT I HAVE "EVER" (BIG WORD) FLOWN...SO WHEN THE SELECTION OF THE "BEST" HELICOPTER FOR THE PRESIDENT OF OUR UNITED STATES IS MADE...THIS IS ONE DECISION THAT SHOULD "NOT" BE DECIDED ON "POLITICS" NOR BY SOMEONE WHO HAS NEVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THEIR AERONAUTICAL QUALITIES"...BUT RATHER ON THE AIRCRAFT'S "CAPABILITIES". SEMPER FI, FRED

    AND...AS A FOOTNOTE...FOR FIFTEEN YEARS "PRIOR" TO FLYING THE "101", I CONSIDERED THE "BLACKHAWK" (WHICH HAPPENS TO BE A SIKORSKY PRODUCT)...TO BE THE "BEST" HELICOPTER THAT I HAD FLOWN... AND...THE SH-3 RATES "VERY NEAR" THE BOTTOM!

    Washington Times
    September 24, 2004
    Pg. 20

    The President's Helicopter

    Malcolm Wallop's commentary ("Protect America's pride," Op-Ed, Tuesday) raises a number of previously discredited myths or half-truths about the presidential helicopter competition, but never once discusses the central issue — whether Lockheed Martin or Sikorsky is offering the best helicopter for the president.

    The commentary incorrectly asserts that "Italy's AgustaWestland (will) design, build and maintain" the presidential helicopter fleet. As the author well knows, Lockheed Martin, which has proudly served our nation for more than 90 years, is the prime contractor for Team US101. Bell Helicopter will build the US101 in Texas, and Lockheed Martin will integrate the helicopters in New York, creating about 1,000 new jobs in the process. While Team US101 actually would generate new jobs for Americans by insourcing to the United States production of a helicopter that currently is produced abroad, Sikorsky's corporate parent, United Technologies, is among the most aggressive outsourcers of jobs, sending some 3,000 American jobs to places such as China and Brazil last year alone. Today, in fact, more than half of the United Technologies work force is based overseas.

    The commentary also misses the mark in raising fears that selecting the US101 over Sikorsky would somehow damage the U.S. helicopter industrial base. A July Department of Defense report on the U.S. rotorcraft industry noted that Sikorsky and other firms put themselves at a competitive disadvantage by failing to invest in new technologies or modern management systems, preferring instead to reap "the relative consistency and profitability" of the aftermarket and support business. The report also noted that systems integrators such as Lockheed Martin, as well as small businesses and international suppliers, have entered the market and may "offer the Department robust options that today's prime contractors may not be motivated to pursue."

    In the Sept. 13 issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Suzanne Patrick declared that the concern raised by Mr. Wallop is "simply not true." She went on to say: "If the military services continue to fill 21st century capability requirements with 20th century designs from legacy suppliers, neither the industry nor the government will be inspired to invest in important vertical lift concepts beyond current capabilities." As Miss Patrick notes, vigorous competition open to all qualified players is the best way to ensure that the U.S. government obtains the best solutions to its mission requirements, whether they be supporting war fighters or transporting the president.

    Although it asserts that Sikorsky's helicopter is the safest, the commentary neglects to point out that it has yet to see operational service with any paying customer and has less than 10 percent of the flight hours amassed by the US101. Moreover, the US101 has demonstrated its mettle in actual combat conditions and has three engines, compared to just two on the Sikorsky helicopter, offering 50 percent more power and an added margin of safety that our president deserves. Just as important, the US101's proven performance and the fact that it can demonstrate today many capabilities that are merely promised by Sikorsky significantly reduces risks for the government, taxpayers and the president.

    Finally, the commentary knowingly stretches the truth in suggesting that security would somehow be compromised because some US101 components would be manufactured abroad. As a paid advocate for Sikorsky, the author should know that the current Marine One helicopter,
    built by Sikorsky, contains components from international suppliers, as does the Air Force One aircraft. The US101 will be built consistent with all U.S. government security regulations.

    Incidentally, it is interesting to note that, despite raising concerns about international participation in the presidential helicopter program, the commentary conveniently neglects to mention that Sikorsky's offering was designed with the assistance of partners in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Brazil, or that its engines will contain components from international suppliers.

    Team US101 believes that our helicopter is superior to Sikorsky's offering. It is combat-proven, more powerful, and better suited to the presidential mission because its cabin is one-third larger. It continues to prove itself while in service with four nations worldwide. Perhaps this is why Sikorsky and its supporters prefer to dwell on nonissues rather than discuss the relative merits of the competing helicopters. It is a shame to see someone of Mr. Wallop's stature participate in a campaign that essentially questions the ability of the Navy, and the many patriotic professionals supporting it, to select the best helicopter for the president.

    Robert H. Trice, Senior vice president, business development, Lockheed Martin Corp., Bethesda
    Semper Fidelis
    Joe


    Phu Bai tower:
    YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
    Remember, These are "A" models!
    YW-11 BuNo-151939
    '65 Model CH-46A
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