Weapon Systems:

Effects of Army Decision To Reduce Helicopter Procurement

NSIAD-87-207BR: Published: Sep 8, 1987. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's decision to reduce the procurement of attack, scout, and utility helicopters to determine its impact on the U.S. defense posture and helicopter base.

GAO found that: (1) the Army will have to rely longer on older and less capable helicopters; (2) the decision will create a gap of 6 to 9 years between the production of the last attack, scout, and utility helicopters and the initial production of the next generation helicopters; (3) the Army plans to deploy the newer helicopters with its higher priority combat units and improve its older existing helicopters; (4) a production break would only become significant to the defense posture in the event of hostilities; and (5) although the Army recognizes that there are risks, it believes that its decision is justified, since the new helicopters' capabilities far exceed those of the older helicopters.

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