Obama Faces Costly Choice on $11B Marine One Fleet

Project for more secure fleet has already doubled in cost
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2009 5:02 AM CST
Obama Faces Costly Choice on $11B Marine One Fleet
President Barack Obama arrives with his family on Marine One in Chicago. A contract to replace the fleet has doubled in cost to $11 billion.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama has to decide whether to continue a Pentagon contract that pits wartime security against his principles of government accountability and frugality, the New York Times reports. The 2003 project to replace the decades-old Marine One fleet has nearly doubled in price to $11 billion, pushing the cost of each VH-71 helicopter to almost that of Air Force One. Marine One is most often used to shuttle the president to Camp David or Andrews Air Force Base.

Under the current contract, 28 new copters would be designed to deflect missile attacks and wage war from the air—which could prove useful in a terrorist attack.  But now, in the face of a staggering economy, the administration is "prepared to make some hard choices" on the fleet's future, said a Pentagon spokesman.
(Read more Marine One stories.)

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