U.S. Army Chief of Staff plans to push out Black Hawk deliveries

Defense News is reporting today that U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has signed a plan to deal with sequestration that would include extending the Black Hawk fleet modernization program by three to five years.

Sikorsky is currently sitting on a five year, $8.5 billion contract to build the new fleet of Black Hawks. Extending delivery dates would mean fewer helicopters per year for the Stratford helicopter maker, though analysts have pointed out changing the contract terms could force the Pentagon to pay penalties.

The plan is not yet official, but appears to be the one the Pentagon is prepared to follow if it must.

Automatic spending cuts, called sequestration are set to begin being phased in next month. Pentagon spending under sequestration would be trimmed by $500 billion during the next 10 years.

However, there is some expectation that the full force of sequestration will not be unleashed as Congress will eventually do something to stop full implementation later this year.

For more on the situation, visit http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130222/DEFREG02/302220018?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Rob Varnon