View Full Version : USMC Helos Breach Cost Overrun Law

01-24-09, 07:57 AM
USMC Helos Breach Cost Overrun Law

Jan 23, 2009
Bettina H. Chavanne chavanne@aviationweek.com

The U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1Z and UH-1Y have run afoul of the Nunn-McCurdy law again.

Military sources tell Aviation Week that for the past couple of days, program manager Col. Harry Hewson has begun the notification process by briefing congressional staffers on the cost overruns.

Unlike in 2002, however, this Nunn-McCurdy breach apparently has little to do with program issues, sources say. The original requirement for 100 UH-1Ys has grown to 123 and the request for 180 AH-1Zs has risen to 226 as part of the Marine Corps growth plan, which will see 27,000 new Marines enrolled in the end.

More helicopters cost more money, the sources note, surpassing what was previously in the budget for the Cobra and Huey upgrades. "It's not mismanagement of funds and it's not requirements creep," a defense official said. "It's a paperwork drill."

Passed in 1982, Nunn-McCurdy requires a report to Congress when a major acquisition program overruns its projected unit cost at certain trigger points. The law was amended in 2006 to broaden its reach and deal with rebaselining, where a program is restructured and reset to a new baseline, after some lawmakers complained of wider use of rebaselining as acquisition problems mushroomed across the Defense Department. Significant cost growth put the program in violation of Nunn-McCurdy earlier this decade.

Photo: U.S. Marine Corps