Special Operations Forces:

Army Plans to Buy More MH-47E Helicopters Than Needed

NSIAD-90-118: Published: Feb 14, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Army's special operations forces (SOF) aircraft program, focusing on its plans to buy additional SOF helicopters during fiscal years 1990 to 1994.

GAO found that: (1) Congress approved the Army's budget, which included the $532 million for procurement and support for the additional helicopters; (2) the Army inappropriately believed that an additional 34 MH-47E helicopters were needed to implement an agreement between it and the Air Force; and (3) since the Army and Air Force had already contracted for the needed quantities of helicopters, there was no reason to procure the additional helicopters.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with the recommendation to terminate the buy of 34 MH-47E helicopters. It cited the need to apply these medium-range helicopters to fill the long-range void created by the CV-22 cancellation. However, the size of the buy was reduced from 51 helicopters to 26 due to afforability.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to terminate the planned procurement of the additional 34 MH-47E aircraft, including the $107.5 million already approved for fiscal year (FY) 1990.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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