Air Transportation: February 22, 2002

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The Navy and Marines are struggling to get the V-22 Osprey working, and will have to spend $85 million keeping the old MH-53 helicopters flying until the V-22 actually works. Even so, the problems are expected to be solved and the new kind of war being fought in Afghanistan has inspired the Pentagon to schedule an increase in production rates. The Marines have also seen their AH-1Z and UH-1Y programs delayed a year and cut back due to an "overly optimistic development effort" that could not deliver the promised performance on time. The Pentagon is paying an extra $161 million to get these development programs back on track. The Air Force is going to get its first Boeing-767 in 2003; this will be used as a testbed to develop an entirely new family of tanker, AWACS, intelligence gathering, and surveillance aircraft. This will replace the entire family of such aircraft built on Boeing-707 airframes.--Stephen V Cole

 


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