The US Army's decision to cancel the $39 billion Comanche scout helicopter programme, revealed exclusively in yesterday's Flight Daily News, casts an unwelcome shadow over Boeing and Sikorsky's presence here in Singapore.

Although outwardly upbeat, there is a deep sense of disappointment among executives of both companies at the move, which spells the end of a one of the largest technological development programmes within the army over the last two decades.


Boeing stressed that the programme was "on budget, on schedule and meeting all programme milestones", a clear indication that it felt the Boeing/Sikorsky team had done everything in its power to save Comanche from the axe.

The joint programme team said they were "surprised and disappointed" by the decision and that Comanche was "on plan".

News of the contract cancellation was given at a Washington press conference yesterday by Les Brownlee, acting secretary of the US Army and army chief of staff Gen Peter Schoomaker.

They confirmed that the $14 billion allocated to Comanche through to 2011 will be reallocated to other army aviation programmes. It will secure the development and fielding of 303 light utility helicopters, 368 light armed rotorcraft and 25 fixed-wing, intra-theatre cargo aircraft. The money will also be used to fully fund the Block 3 upgrade of the Boeing AH-64 Apache.

Source: Flight Daily News