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Obama administration to spend $20 BILLION on helicopter program...

•, By David Martosko
 The contract, given to Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, will cost an initial $1,244,677,064 'for the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Presidential Helicopter Replacement program.' For that price the U.S. Navy will get six test aircraft and all the necessary research & development.

The Pentagon made a similar attempt to replace the aging fleet of Sikorsky choppers, spending $3.2 billion on a landing pad to nowhere.

Adding in the likely $17 billion price tag for the new project – a number estimated by the Congressional Budget Office – the $20 billion total makes the fleet the most expensive helicopters ever built.

The CBO reports that the projected cost also 'does not include costs to keep the 19 existing presidential helicopters in operation until they are replaced by new helicopters.'

During a White House fiscal responsibility summit a month after President Barack Obama took office, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain mocked the boondoggle helicopter upgrade project that was later shelved.

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