Here's what Bogosian said about why a new helicopter is needed:
There have been a number of studies that have surfaced over the years that have pointed to the disparity of technology investment of rotory wing in the Department of Defense relative to TACAIR aviation. They go back to the
era and compare the forces relative to the number of incidents and losses and injuries. And you see where significant investments in fixed wing tactical fighters have put them at a much better posture relative to those issues than rotory wing aviation. Vietnam
We still experience for the most part the same conditions that we experienced coming out of
. Now, we have more sophisticated platforms. [Current helicopters] have more power, they have more capability, but essentially they operate down in a dirty environment close to the fight and they haven't brought any great new technologies relative to speed and range. Vietnam
We're always limited by the fact that conventional rotory wing technology, which is centered around the ability to hover and to have vertical flight, brings technical limitations to those other considerations of speed and range.
Now, one of the things that TACAIR has done is, by investing in the ability to fly faster and higher, they have brought a level of survivability to the force that they didn't have during the
era. We have not made that same transition yet in rotary wing aviation. Vietnam