Warplanes: October 14, 2003


The twenty year effort to get the U.S. Army's Comanche recon helicopter into service has hit another snag. The bird is overweight. By 200 pounds. So heads were huddled and brains stormed and hundreds of ideas have been brought forth to get the Comanches down to its fighting weight of 9,950 pounds. That's still about five tons, which is pretty heavy for a reconnaissance helicopter. But the Comanche is expected to fight as well, and one suggestion was to save fifteen pounds by rearranging the weapons launchers. There is still fifty million dollars left in the Comanche development budget for weight reduction. The Comanche has often been accused of being a Cold War project that is no longer needed. But the army insists it is needed, and wants 819 of them. So far, Congress is only willing to pay for 650. Originally the army wanted to buy 6,000 Comanches, but that was whittled down to 1,213, and then to 650 last year. As the army has shrunk after 1991, so has the need for a new attack helicopter. The AH-64 Apache has been upgraded in the last ten years, and the Comanche design has been upgraded as well, to take advantage of new technologies. If all goes well, the Comanche will enter service in the next three years. Maybe.


Article Archive

Warplanes: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close