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Did the U.S. waste $7B on cancelled helicopter program?

Tweet: In 2004, the US Government wasted $7 Billion dollars on a new army helicopter program that was cancelled in the same year
Verdict: Partly True

By Dhabya Al Mehairi
Zayed University journalism student

This tweet appears to be grounded in reality. A 2004 article from Aviation Week, a trade publication for the airplane business, appears to refer to the program from the InjusticeFacts tweet.

The article states that the United States decided to cancel the RAH-66 Comanche reconnaissance/attack helicopter program in order to spend money for other aircrafts. The project cost $8 billion, not $7 billion.

The project was canceled in February 2004, according to the article. But, the  helicopter program began in the 1980’s, which means the program didn’t start and end in the same year, as InjusticeFacts said.

A academic study verified the dates of the Comanche helicopter program, but states that the total budget is $48 billion, not $7 billion. It does confirm that the project started in 1983 and ended in 2004.

The U.S.-based CNN news network also published an article on the cancelation of the RAH-66 Comanche. In the article, CNN states that the U.S spent $6.9 billion on the program, the closest figure to the InjusticeFacts tweet.

Our verdict

Given this evidence, we find this tweet Partly True. The U.S. government did cancel a helicopter program costing around $7 billion. However, the program had been running for two decades, making its characterization as a waste dubious.

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