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Rotorcraft
 
U.S. SENATE WANTS INDEPENDENT COST ANALYSIS OF ARMY AVIATION RESTRUCTURE PLAN
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Source: U.S. Army

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee wants the Army to provide additional details on its proposal to divest hundreds of helicopters and restructure a number of existing fleets. As part of a massive aviation restructure plan, the Army wants to divest its OH-58 Kiowa fleet, and utilize existing Apaches as interim armed scouts. The plan includes transferring all National Guard Apaches to the active duty fleet, and moving a number of UH-60L Black Hawks from the active force to the National Guard. The TH-67 training helicopter fleet will also be divested, and the Army is buying additional UH-72 Lakotas to replace them.

"The [Senate Appropriations] Committee believes the Army has not considered the full fiscal implications of the proposal, and the Army has not provided the committee a comprehensive divestiture plan for retiring the helicopters," lawmakers wrote in a report accompanying their markup of the FY15 defense spending bill. The Army has said it will save $11.9 billion under the restructure plan, including $10.3 billion from divesting the Kiowa fleet. The committee, however, says this estimate doesn't account for the costs to procure and maintain additional Lakota helicopters, or to operate and maintain the Apache and Black Hawk fleets.

The legislation therefore includes a provision that would direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) to conduct an independent cost analysis of the Army's proposal. The assessment would be due 120 days after enactment of the legislation. The bill would also require the Army to submit a plan for divesting its unneeded helicopters, including an assessment of how the industrial base will be impacted by a large number of used airframes flooding the market. House appropriators have called for a similar study, but the House legislation also expressed concern about taking the Apaches away from the National Guard. The Senate, meanwhile, recommends accelerating the fielding of new UH-60M helicopters to the National Guard in order for the Guard fleet to remain "viable and mission capable."

Source:  Senate Appropriations Committee
Associated URL: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news/committee-approves-fy-2015-department-
Source Date: July 24, 2014
Author: S. McDougall, North America Analyst 
Posted: 07/24/2014
 

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