This article first appeared in AviationWeek.com.
The U.S. Marine Corps' AH-1Z and UH-1Y have run afoul of the Nunn-McCurdy law again.
Military sources tell Aviation Week that for the past couple of days, program manager Col. Harry Hewson has begun the notification process by briefing congressional staffers on the cost overruns.
Unlike in 2002, however, this Nunn-McCurdy breach apparently has little to do with program issues, sources say. The original requirement for 100 UH-1Ys has grown to 123 and the request for 180 AH-1Zs has risen to 226 as part of the Marine Corps growth plan, which will see 27,000 new Marines enrolled in the end.
More helicopters cost more money, the sources note, surpassing what was previously in the budget for the Cobra and Huey upgrades. "It's not mismanagement of funds and it's not requirements creep," a defense official said. "It's a paperwork drill."