VH-71/VXX Presidential Helicopter Program: Background and Issues for Congress
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The VH-71 program is intended to provide 23 new presidential helicopters to replace the current fleet of 19 aging presidential helicopters. As part of its proposed FY2010 Department of Defense DOD budget, the Administration is proposing to terminate the VH-71 program in response to substantial cost growth and schedule delays in the program. As a successor to the VH-71 program, the Administration is proposing to begin a new presidential helicopter program in FY2010 called the VXX Presidential Helicopter Program. The Administrations proposed FY2010 budget requests 85.2 million in Navy research and development funding for the VH-71 program. Of this total, 55.2 million is for terminating the VH-71 program and 30 million is for initial studies on the proposed successor VXX program. The issue for Congress is whether to approve the Administrations proposal to terminate the VH- 71 program and initiate a successor VXX program, or pursue another course, such as continuing the VH-71 program in some restructured form. Congresss decision on the issue could affect DOD funding requirements, the schedule for replacing the 19 older helicopters, and the helicopter industrial base. This report will be updated as events warrant.