Army Helicopter Improvement Program's Future May Depend on Success in Controlling Cost

MASAD-83-2: Published: Jan 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 26, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the Army Helicopter Improvement Program (AHIP) to assist Congress in its review of the fiscal year 1984 budget.

If successfully developed, the AHIP will provide a capability to overcome major deficiencies in existing scout helicopters. However, the program's cost growth has been dramatic: its cost has more than doubled in less than 3 years. The program is still in an early stage of development, and the helicopter's capabilities have not been tested or demonstrated. Coupled with other uncertainties that exist in the program, some additional cost increases can be anticipated. GAO concluded that how well the Army can control the program's cost will likely determine its future, because past Army efforts to develop a new scout helicopter were halted early in development due to congressional displeasure with its high costs.