Status of the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System Program

PSAD-77-31: Published: Feb 25, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1977.

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The Utility Tactical Transport System Program is a twin-engined helicopter scheduled to replace the Army's current utility helicopter, the UH-1, in air assault, air cavalry, and medical support units.

Improved reliability, maintainability, availability, survivability, and performance were primary factors in the justification for this development. A competitive development program has been substantially completed at a cost of about $463 million, and a production contract for 15 of the aircraft was awarded in December 1976. The reliability and maintainability results demonstrated during competitive testing are questionable and may not be valid. GAO is uncertain whether the Army has met the objective of developing an aircraft with major improvements in reliability and maintainability, as the UH-1 demonstrated much better reliability and maintainability than the competing prototypes during government competitive testing. Recent life cycle cost estimates indicate that the cost of a fleet of new aircraft will be more expensive than a comparable fleet of new UH-1 helicopters. This is contrary to the figures used to justify the development program.

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