Behind The Story: They Need Choppers, Don't They?

Talk about synergy. The coca-hunting Bell and Sikorsky helicopters that the Clinton Administration wants to ship to Colombia to help wipe out cocaine and heroin just happen to be needed at exactly the same time that U.S. helicopter builders are looking for new customers. It is a neat fit: Colombia and other Latin American nations can use the aircraft; U.S. helicopter builders can use the orders. The Administration's aid package calls for 30 new Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, at $10 million each, and 33 Vietnam-era Bell UH-1 Hueys, outfitted with new engines and other improvements, for $1.5 million each.

The mechanical...

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