In 1982, in the midst of the Cold War, the Pentagon decided to launch the design of a new reconnaissance and light attack helicopter intended to replace the OH-58 Kiowa of the US Army, but also the AH-1 Cobra of the Marines. Corps, and number of armed UH-1 Huey, equipping the 3 armies. This was the RAH-66 Comanche program entrusted to Boeing and Sikorsky. Initially planned to be produced in 6000 copies, this revolutionary and stealth device saw its target shrink as a skin of grief with the collapse of the Soviet bloc, to finally target only 600 copies in early 2000. Delays, technological deadlocks and ambitions Excessive ultimately got the better of the program, which was abandoned in 2006, not without having already cost more than $ 14 billion.
In addition to the financial loss, the American armies found themselves above all without a solution to replace their fleet of aircraft dating, for many, from Vietnam or the early 70s. But budgetary tensions, and the lack of need for this type of aircraft in asymmetric conflicts as in Afghanistan and Iraq, resulted in successive postponements in the launch of a replacement program. Finally, in 2014, the last OH-58 Kiowas were withdrawn from service, without having a replacement. And it is obviously at this moment that the world tensions, in particular with Russia following the annexation of Crimea, and China following the seizure of the China Sea, began, and that these two countries accelerated, all at least publicly, the reconstruction and modernization of their forces.
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