Fri, May 08, 2009
$17 Billion Cut... But Trillions More Spent Elsewhere
The Obama Administration, in the process of spending trillions
of dollars for all manner of programs and projects, is trumpeted
the 17 Billion dollars it is trying to cut from the Federal Budget.
Rather than try to digest them all en masse, we'll look at each of
them one at a time and allow you to make up YOUR mind as to the
rationale and wisdom for the decisions included below. Herewith;
another of the programs on the chopping block that has an aviation
or aerospace connotation.
From the 'Terminations, Reductions, and Savings' document
published this week by the OMB, as part of the FY 2010 US
Proposal: The Administration proposes to
terminate the Air Force Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR-X)
Helicopter Program because of problems with contracting, high
costs, and questions about the need for an aircraft solely devoted
to this purpose when multi-purpose aircraft are available.
Justification: The Department of Defense is
questioning the need for a single-purpose helicopter. Unlike the
other services, which carry out this mission with multiple-purpose
helicopters, the Air Force has traditionally carried out this
mission with single-purpose aircraft. The Department will review
the combat search and rescue mission in the context of
multi-service requirements and capabilities.
Further, this program has experienced contracting problems that
have led to delays and higher costs. A prime contractor was
selected but, because of multiple protests by the losing
contractors, the program has not begun development. The
Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office, and
the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) all
reported that faulty contracting actions would result in costly
delays with no clear resolution. The original estimate for the
program was approximately $11.5 billion. Funding in 2010 will be
used for a requirements review and in support of the CSAR mission
as determined in the Quadrennial Defense Review.
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