The U.S. Defense Department has bungled the managing a fleet of Russian-built Mil Mi-17 Hip helicopters, the Pentagon's inspector general said in a report released Jan. 5.
The Pentagon has spent $1.6 billion over the last five years on what it calls non-standard rotary wing aircraft (NSRWA) and plans to spend an additional $1 billion in the future.
"DoD officials did not adequately manage the acquisition and support of NSRWA," the report reads. "Specifically, DoD officials were unable to identify a comprehensive list of all DoD-owned and supported Mi-17s, their total ownership costs, and all planned requirements in support of these aircraft."
That happened because the Pentagon didn't treat the program as a major procurement effort and instead took an ad hoc approach to managing the buy, the report says, and as a result DoD didn't get the most for its money.
The report recommends the Pentagon establish the NSRWA effort as a formal program, draw up proper documentation, consolidate various offices to which the program reports and designate the U.S. Army as executive agent for the aircraft.