The Army’s Comanche helicopter was envisioned as “the quarterback of the digital battlefield,” a technologically superior aircraft that could hide from enemies, operate at night and in bad weather, and travel farther than any other helicopter.
Gen. Richard Cody, a former vice chief of staff of the Army, called it the “most flexible, most agile” aircraft the country had ever produced.
In 2000, it ranked as the most important planned buy for the Army. Four years later, the program — which had consumed close to 20 years of work and nearly $6 billion — was abruptly shuttered.
It is one of 22 major Army weapons programs canceled since 1995, ringing up a price tag of more than $32 billion for equipment that was never built. A new study, commissioned by the Army and obtained by The Washington Post, condemns the service’s efforts as “unacceptable.”