New Marine One Axed

 - May 1, 2009, 11:18 AM

he Obama Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2010 defense budget ends funding for the controversial Presidential helicopter replacement program, the cost of which had ballooned to $13 billion for 28 VH-71 Kestrels. The VH-71 was based on a highly modified version of the three-engine AgustaWestland EH101, with Lockheed Martin serving as the prime contractor and system integrator and Bell as a maintenance subcontractor. Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that the current fleet of 30-year-old Sikorsky VH-3s that fly the President and other VIPs must be replaced, and he promised that the Pentagon would develop options for the FY11 budget.