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Old 01-29-2005, 08:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Bush spends $6.1 billion on 23 helicopters

Ok do people think this is good value for money, or is Bush just going crazy with other peoples money ?

ASHINGTON - Lockheed Martin Corp. is celebrating its victory in a fierce competition to build the new fleet of presidential helicopters.

The Navy announced Friday that the $6.1 billion contract for 23 high-tech, high-security aircraft would go to Lockheed and its international partners.

"We are honored that trust has been placed in Lockheed Martin and Team US101 for this vital and highly visible mission," said Robert J. Stevens, president and chief executive office of Lockheed.

The decision was a blow to Connecticut-based Sikorsky Aircraft, which has built the presidential helicopter, known as Marine One, since 1957 and saw the contract as a point of pride.

Saying the president "needs a more survivable helicopter while the nation engages in the global war on terrorism," John Young, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said Lockheed met all of the security and technology requirements at the best price.

Stevens said his team will being work immediately to set up a secure new manufacturing plant in Owego, N.Y., and an assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas.

Maryland-based Lockheed and its European partners waged a major public relations campaign, with the help of political leaders from Britain and Italy. The British government welcomed the decision, saying it would benefit both the United States and Britain. There was no immediate reaction from Italy.

Lockheed's winning entry, the US101, is based on a British-Italian AgustaWestland aircraft, now owned by Finmeccanica. The helicopter has several key components, including the main transmission and rotor blades, that will be built overseas.

Sikorsky, a unit of United Technologies Corp., and its backers argued that the VH-92 Super Hawk's all-American parts provided greater security than a helicopter built in part in other countries.

But the Navy went with the longer, wider, more powerful aircraft, with its three engines, built by General Electric in Lynn, Mass. Sikorsky's Super Hawk has two engines.

The $6.1 billion program includes $2.5 billion for development and $3.6 billion to buy the aircraft. Lockheed will receive an initial installment of $1.6 billion.
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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so is this for 23 seperate machines? or just 1?

1 seems a little high.. 23 seems much more reasonable.

i dont think hes going crazzy...
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I hate this crap

I think it is definitely a waste of money. Why do you need six to get one person around? Do all of his secret service men and aides need the same level of protection that he gets? I AM SICK OF THIS CRAP!
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Old 01-29-2005, 09:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Meanwhile the road in front of my apt. _still_ hasnt been repaired.

But seriously, what the fuck does he think he's doing? If he really wanted to win public trust, which he needs badly, he would start fixing up things at home, not spending 6 billion dollars on some fuckin' helicopters!
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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and if terrorists were easily able to shoot him down becuase he was bombing around in some old huey, we'd all be talking about how stupid he was to not get a half way decent helicopter....
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well the roads are your states problem. Keeping the United States a Country is Bush's problem.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Face it! Military equipment is big business, and to it looks like bribing has becom legal in the states and Bush got some favours to pay back for.

Do the US need it?!
Of course not...
Do people get rich of it?!
Of course...
Do they care it's about killing people?!
Of course not...
Is this news?
Hardly...
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The "Hummer" of helicopters.
Quote:
Vibration-damping technology will ensure for the president an extremely smooth ride, prolonging the life of avionics and other "office in the sky" systems and equipment


Quote:
The 101 cabin is one-third larger than the closest competitor's cabin, comfortably seating 14 passengers in executive configuration.

A cabin of unmatchable dimensions and comfort configured with the latest "office in the sky" technology will allow America's commander in chief to stay linked with the world while airborne.


http://www.teamus101.com

Of course Bush believes that he has every right to spend our childrens money on this. To Bush and company -the US is one big credit card free-for-all.



Of course if you track the sum of money donated to Bush during his presidential campaign he received a total of $108,330 from Lockheed donors and a pittance of $18,500 from Sikorsky. I'm sure that never tainted his decision to buy new helicopters from Lockheed martin.

http://www.opensecrets.org/president...K&amt=a&sort=A

http://www.opensecrets.org/president...K&amt=a&sort=A
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermopyle
Face it! Military equipment is big business, and to it looks like bribing has becom legal in the states and Bush got some favours to pay back for.

Do the US need it?!
Of course not...
Do people get rich of it?!
Of course...
Do they care it's about killing people?!
Of course not...
Is this news?
Hardly...

ya know, it might be worth mentioning, that people like me are able to make a decent living because things like that need to be built....

military contracts are the bread and butter of a lot of blue collar workers in this country...

so when you think about that 6billion, its not just being thrown into the void, its going to an american company, who will pay american workers to make a product...

the american company will pay taxes on that 6 billion, and the workers will pay taxes on whatever they get paid, so its not like Bush just set fire to 6 billion dollars here..

I may be going to work for the Watervliet Arsenal Tig welding armor plating onto Humvees....
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Last edited by ziadel; 01-29-2005 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's safe to assume that the money is coming from money already allocated for defense. I highly doubt Bush is putting his hands in the collective "cookie jar" and walking off with money.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:20 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yes I think 6 billion is way too much for helicopters. But face it he can do it because the loss of a president would be devestating to the country. Just look at JFK...
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm all for our President spending the money he feels he needs to run our government. It's a big deal - and that is the job we gave him. $6 billion sadly isn't that much compared to the additional $80 billion he is currently pushing through congress for Iraq/Iran. That's $80,000,000,000 he said he wouldn't need this time last year, so unfortunately MoJo, taking money from the "cookie jar" is exactly what he is doing. Education, agriculture, healthcare, states, you name it are losing budgetary allocations promised to them every day. A friend of mine who is a lobbyist for the state education department had federal grants cut by 22% Jan 1. without notice. They had already broken ground on 2 schools that won't be built. This shit is real.

To feel it's ok to finance continued programs through our runaway defecit is ignorant - to continue to give tax breaks and shelters in the neighborhood of $200 billion to your campanign donors when we need money the most is just criminal.

Triple spending and slash revenue 20% - we have become the Texas Rangers of world countries. Only I wouldn't count on the Bin Ladin's to give us a loan to keep us out of bankruptcy like they did with the baseball team. Sorry - longer post than I intended.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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i don't mind it... without protection, the worst thing that can happen in a time of conflict is a dead president killed by the enemy... this has allways been going on, even before kennedy, the only difference now is that they been needing bigger and costly forms of transporatation to meet up with the demand of the president... he needs mobility, speed, and security.... and this helicopter will help
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Big waste of money if you ask me.

Only 51% of the country would really mourne if Bush got assasinated. I wouldn't be happy that a fellow human got killed, I would be happy that Bush was no longer president. But then again Cheyney would be president, so I guess it would be really bad.

So yet lets spend money on these hellicopterers!!
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The_wall
Big waste of money if you ask me.

Only 51% of the country would really mourne if Bush got assasinated.

only 51% whats that? oh, thats right, thats the majority of this country...


I mean really, come on now...
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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First of all my post was half joking, I don't like it when anyone dies, I would much rather see Bush impeached then killed. Second of all 49% of the us population is what? Close to 150 million people or something? Just because more people voted for bush doesn't mean a shitload of people don't strongly dislike or even hate the man.
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:28 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I think pretty much everyone here is missing the point. George Bush didn't just wake up one morning and decide that he really wanted 23 new helicopters and decide to buy them. It's even possible that he didn't even know about the new contract until we did.

The Navy is in charge of providing the President's transportation and security, they are the ones who decided what was needed and where to get it. Trying to lay this purchase solely at the feet of Bush is ludicrous. I suspect that if you look into it more closely you'll even find out that some kind of congressional oversight committee had to approve the purchase.
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:33 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_wall
Big waste of money if you ask me.

Only 51% of the country would really mourne if Bush got assasinated. I wouldn't be happy that a fellow human got killed, I would be happy that Bush was no longer president. But then again Cheyney would be president, so I guess it would be really bad.

So yet lets spend money on these hellicopterers!!


you just degraded half the country........ i'm sure that most democrats arn't that emotionless and rude



seriously, get over it, bush is the president, kerry lost, leave your bashing comments out of the thread
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:34 PM   #19 (permalink)
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This isnt just about Bush, these helicopters will be used for the next 20+ years. Long term its not that big of a deal.
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Old 01-29-2005, 01:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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moved to "Politics".
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:05 PM   #21 (permalink)
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When I saw this on the news last night, the story was about the fact that 1/3 of the manufacturing will be outside the US. The complaints were that this change in contract (previously Marine One was manufactured by Sikorsy, which I guess is all US) cost US jobs, and comprimised security because the President's helicopter will be manufactured in part by non-US manufacturers. Dealing with the second complaint first, that is the batshit craziest argument I've heard all week -- security and safety procedures on Marine One are, no doubt, the best that humanity has come up with. The first problem is nothing new, though I guess that it hits the military/defense industry is; I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Doing some belated research, I suspect the decision was made based on the appearance of the respective presidents:

Sikorsky's president, Steven Finger


Lockheed Martin's president/CEO, Robert Stevens


And, if for some reason you're into pasty defense tycoons with tiny mustaches, here's a HUGE pic of the latter.
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:39 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blaspheme
I think pretty much everyone here is missing the point. George Bush didn't just wake up one morning and decide that he really wanted 23 new helicopters and decide to buy them. It's even possible that he didn't even know about the new contract until we did.

The Navy is in charge of providing the President's transportation and security, they are the ones who decided what was needed and where to get it. Trying to lay this purchase solely at the feet of Bush is ludicrous. I suspect that if you look into it more closely you'll even find out that some kind of congressional oversight committee had to approve the purchase.
Understood, Blaspheme... However you better believe GW has the authority to say not right now, let's reign in the spending and prioritize what is important and show that we are responsible with the people's money. Who knows if he needed the helicopters? I'm sure he did. But I also know that instead of $6 billion it will actually be close to $8.5 - 9 B, because we are paying interest today, tomorrow, and best guesses put it at 12-15 years out with tight fiscal management. Give us a sign you weren't blowing smoke about fiscal conservatism and invest in America instead another bomb for Iraq/Iran.
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Old 01-29-2005, 05:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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the article says that marine-one has been built and in-service till 1957. i think the country has got its money's worth out of that airframe. updating 48 years later seems like a reasonable thing to do.
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Old 01-29-2005, 05:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roderickpsu
I think it is definitely a waste of money. Why do you need six to get one person around? Do all of his secret service men and aides need the same level of protection that he gets? I AM SICK OF THIS CRAP!

Oh calm down. With all the things Bush is doing that are patently wrong, this should be low on your priority list. First off, Bush isn't building them. They're not going to be his, they're going to be presidential helicopters. Many more will use them. The ones we have now were in use during the Nixon administration. I'd say it's about time to replace them wouldn't you?

He needs six because you need backups, you need choppers to get others around (vice president, etc), and because it just makes sense. If you do all your flying in 1 helicopter it wears out much faster, it's harder to schedule maintenance (sorry Mr. President, you can't go to the summit meeting today, your helicopter's in for an oil change).


We're talking about 260 mil a helicopter. It's $120 million for a Boeing 7e7, and that's stripped down, no seats, no communications sets like presidential aircraft have to have, and no defense systems. I say the price isn't bad at all.
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
(sorry Mr. President, you can't go to the summit meeting today, your helicopter's in for an oil change).

We're talking about 260 mil a helicopter. It's $120 million for a Boeing 7e7, and that's stripped down, no seats, no communications sets like presidential aircraft have to have, and no defense systems. I say the price isn't bad at all.
Summit meetings? When did he decide to start something radical like those - and just what do he and Tony Blair sit around and talk about all day? (Baseball? Cricket?)
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:14 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Also the money has already been allocated through defense spending! He's not pushing through new legislation that is asking for the money, it's coming out of the defense budget that had already been set well before these contracts ever got signed.

Bush haters are really starting to nitpick, it's getting quite ridiculous. Shakran, I think it's safe to assume that you of all people are not exactly a fan of Bush. That having been said I applaud you and you post for it's logic and grounding in reality.
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:04 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I agree, it's part and parcel to the "Office of the Presidency". Not a big deal really. As much as I would like an opportunity to Bush-bash (fun!), it really isn't his doing nor is it a big deal.

I do agree that the price seems steep (politics aside, purely business sense). I always think there are ways to cut costs without compromising safety and quality). But, I am not a helicopter expert so I couldn't tell you if that price is "too high".

By the way, I think the chart above is inaccurate as it does not indicate relation to GDP.
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:49 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Also the money has already been allocated through defense spending! He's not pushing through new legislation that is asking for the money, it's coming out of the defense budget that had already been set well before these contracts ever got signed.
At the risk of nit-picking, I would mention that George hasn't delivered a balanced budget in the last four years of his administration. Not even close. And that Bill he put in front of Congress for $80 billion this past week, that's called legislation. Pushing or pulling I couldn't tell you. And his devil-may-care attitude (irony intended) with Federal monies has devalued the US dollar at a record setting pace in the last year which costs me whole lot more money. Just do the job, that's all I ask. And quit smirking. (ok - that was nit-picky)
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:05 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Ahh...Mother Martin, at it again. Anyone else notice that the two factories are in Upstate New York (home of Hillary Clinton) and Texas (home of George Bush)?

Anyone want to take bets on why they picked those two places?
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:21 PM   #30 (permalink)
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When I was in Washington, DC this summer I was standing outside the White House when Bush flew in and landed on the lawn. That was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. When he came in there were 3 helicopters, I guess 2 act as decoys or something. When they approached, the first swooped off to the east, then the second swooped off to the west, and the third landed on the lawn. It was really something incredible to see.

The helicopters looked super bad ass from what I could tell, but I bet they have a ton of miles on them, heh.
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Old 01-30-2005, 12:35 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Why on earth does he need 23 of them?
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:16 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Because were a military country, Bush's dick is small, and he is insecure about having a small army (oh wait that's wrong he just has a small dick).



This is NOT Fark.

We expect better posts than this in Politics.

So I'll leave it as an example of how NOT to post and as a warning to not do it again.

-lebell

Last edited by Lebell; 01-30-2005 at 06:26 PM..
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:17 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jorgelito
I agree, it's part and parcel to the "Office of the Presidency". Not a big deal really. As much as I would like an opportunity to Bush-bash (fun!), it really isn't his doing nor is it a big deal.

I do agree that the price seems steep (politics aside, purely business sense). I always think there are ways to cut costs without compromising safety and quality). But, I am not a helicopter expert so I couldn't tell you if that price is "too high".

By the way, I think the chart above is inaccurate as it does not indicate relation to GDP.


It doesn't really seem all that steep to me. These are ultra-specialized helicopters that not only have to have the ultimate in defensive gear (electronic countermeasures, heat-emission-reduction equipment to avoid IR missiles, the usual chaff/flare, armor up the wazoo), but also full communications gear (not just aircraft radios, but commo gear for the president too), and full luxury gear (foreign heads of state also ride in those choppers, it wouldn't do to have them sitting on vinyl ).

And considering the longevity they get out of these things, I'm not real concerned about it.


Start talking about budget items that Bush is actually responsible for, and you'll get a lot more bush-directed anger out of me.
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Old 01-30-2005, 09:23 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Yes I tend to agree, but I just can't help "shopping around for a bargain" you know what I mean. I guess it's the fiscal conservative in me. Old habits.

But you're right, with proper maintenance and common sense the choppers should last at least 20 years.
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Old 01-30-2005, 10:07 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Here's something to munch on.

Marine-One, the old 1957 helo is one of the most expensive airframes in the WORLD to service. Why? Because the navy stopped using the nicely dubbed Jolly Green Giant back in the '70s. So what does that mean? They havent been producing parts for it since about '68 (they stop once a new helo begins production).

So... highly up there in cost to service. Parts undoubtably running short. Survey says!.... get a new airframe.

Quote:
Why on earth does he need 23 of them?
Because helos need maintenance. And since they have short flight capabilities they need to be posted in advance wherever the president is going. They need to ship them all the way to China weeks in advance before the Pres. flies in. At LEAST one needs to be fueled up and GUARANTEED not to break (aka have a second one fueled and warmed up) and good to fly at a drop of a hat.

You can see how this issue stacks up fast.

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Old 01-30-2005, 11:14 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by drakers
Because were a military country, Bush's dick is small, and he is insecure about having a small army (oh wait that's wrong he just has a small dick).
What a worth while and classy post. Can't make a decent point that actually has merit, so you start insulting penis size...
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:12 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I would normally be among the first to point out things President Bush has done that I disagree with (another day, to be sure), but this is less than $14m per helicopter per year, for overdue modernization to continue to ensure the safety of presidents well after Bush. And I may be wrong, but wasn't it mentioned somewhere that delivery of the helicopters wouldnt begin until 2007? This is hardly Nero's Golden Palace.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:31 PM   #38 (permalink)
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I also saw the story on the evening news and the key fact that all the Bush bashers need to know is that he is not even going to use them !!!!

They will be put into service for the next president in 2009.
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Old 01-30-2005, 07:51 PM   #39 (permalink)
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^
Bush-bash:
1) It's not whether he's the one using them. It's about the fact that we have a huge budget deficit, and this falls under the category of frivolous spending.

Non-Bush-general-helicopter-bash:
2) 23 helocopters. 1 helicopter will cost $265,000,000. That's Two Hundred and Sixty Five Million Dollars. Per helicopter. Contrast this to the recent Airbus A380, which costs $280,000,000. The airbus seats eight hundred, and is a gajillion times bigger than the helicopters, and probably has a comprable avionics package.

3) Why the hell do we need 23 Helicopters? 5, 10, alright, I can see the need for maintainance and whatnot, but 23? Isn't that overdoing it a little?

4) It's not even a Helicopter built with American parts. A large portion of it is farmed off to overseas companies. The President of the United States is riding on a foreign made Helicopter. Wonderful.


Quote:
but this is less than $14m per helicopter per year,
Per year of what?


Quote:
It's $120 million for a Boeing 7e7, and that's stripped down, no seats, no communications sets like presidential aircraft have to have, and no defense systems. I say the price isn't bad at all.
The 7E7 doesn't actually exist yet.
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Old 01-30-2005, 08:07 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fckm
^
Bush-bash:
1) It's not whether he's the one using them. It's about the fact that we have a huge budget deficit, and this falls under the category of frivolous spending.
Got it. President of the United States should fly around in an ultralight. Check.

How is it frivolous spending? The current choppers are older than most of the people on this forum. They're wearing out, getting prohibitively expensive to maintain, and buying new ones just makes sense.


Quote:
Non-Bush-general-helicopter-bash:
2) 23 helocopters. 1 helicopter will cost $265,000,000. That's Two Hundred and Sixty Five Million Dollars. Per helicopter. Contrast this to the recent Airbus A380, which costs $280,000,000. The airbus seats eight hundred, and is a gajillion times bigger than the helicopters, and probably has a comprable avionics package.
1) its avionics package isn't the issue, it's the other packages. The airbus doesnt' have a direct mobile satellite link to the whitehouse communications room. These helicopters will. The airbus doesn't have chaff or flare dispensers. These helicopters will. The airbus doesn't have IR suppression engines or armor. These helicopters will.

2) the airbus is priced to sell hundreds of units. R&D costs, tooling up costs, and other manufacturing related costs can therefore be spread out among those hundreds of units which brings the final sticker price down a lot. Lockheed will build 23 of these helicopters. That's it. 23. That means much more of the build-cost is assigned to the price of each helicopter.

Quote:
3) Why the hell do we need 23 Helicopters? 5, 10, alright, I can see the need for maintainance and whatnot, but 23? Isn't that overdoing it a little?
We've already explained this many times.

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4) It's not even a Helicopter built with American parts. A large portion of it is farmed off to overseas companies. The President of the United States is riding on a foreign made Helicopter. Wonderful.
Exactly what is your point? They went with the best design. They gave Sikorsky a shot, and Sikorsky blew it. Sikorsky's big argument was "but ours is made in AMERICA!" which is the same full-of-crap argument GM uses to try and get people to buy inferior cars.



Quote:
The 7E7 doesn't actually exist yet.
Technically you are correct because the 7e7 has been renamed to 787. The prototypes and testbed aircraft already exist and sixty 787's have just been sold to China, so I'd say it pretty much exists.
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