Home » Planes, Copters, Blimps » MAG: COMANCHE = TURKEY


The Army’s helicopter of the future, the RAH-66 Comanche, is a turkey, according to Aviation Week.
“In its initial inccarnation, it will be unable to communicate with other services or command-and-control aircraft, have no active protection against anti-aircraft missiles and no blast wall between the two crewmen,” the magazine says. “Any hit in the cockpit… will likely disable or kill both.“
“‘Will the Army risk a $47-million helicopter in a mission over Baghdad?’ asked an Army program official. ‘It’s not likely, yet the Comanche is eating up 39% of the Army aviation budget. All the other small aviation programs have been killed.’”
The Army’s array of copters, drones, and planes have been under intense scrutiny since Gulf War II. On a single day during the conflict, two Apache helicopters were shot down, and thirty more were turned back by rocket-propelled grenades. Since then, a handful of Army Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters have been downed by insurgents armed with shoulder-fired missiles.
THERE’S MORE: Another Apache just went down west of Baghdad, the Times reports. Luckily, the both crew members survived.
AND MORE: “I’m not sure about calling the fate of an aircraft before it’s fought,” e-mails Defense Tech reader Wyatt Earp.
What’s more, he says, “Aviation Week and other aerospace-related magazines haven’t been making accurate calls on new systems in the last 15–20 years.“
The F-117A was called the “Wobbly Goblin” when it first appeared in public view, he notes. The B-2A was labelled a “relic of the Cold War.” Yet both have done well since their initial bad reviews.
AND MORE: National Defense has more on the Comanche debate, noting that the original order for 1200 copters has been cut in half.
AND MORE: “What the future of Comanche is as we look down the road is still an open question,” Gen. Peter Schoomaker tells Army Times.

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