by Neville Dawson
DID has covered the unexpected procurement problems encountered by the US Marine Corps’ “H-1 helicopter program” to upgrade 100 of its UH-1N Hueys and 180 of its AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, as well as a recent low-rate production award for UH-1Ys. Air International has just published an article which says that the program’s remedial actions have put it back on track. Initial Operational Capability for the UH-1Y Venoms is now set for September 2008, while IOC for the AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters has been pushed back to FY 2011.
New-build airframes and equipment pools will keep the existing UH-1Ns in service on the front lines until they can be replaced, and cost curve and fixed price commitments have stabilized things on the contract front. DID’s previous article noted other issues as well, and we will continue to cover this program as it develops.