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Replacing Sgt. York Gun Will Be Costly for Army

Associated Press

The Army intends to replace the ill-fated Sgt. York air-defense gun with a combination of missiles and guns that will likely cost more than the $4.8 billion the Army had initially planned to spend on the Sgt. York, the chief of staff conceded today.

Gen. John A. Wickham Jr. said the new program envisions using “off-the-shelf” weaponry to the greatest extent possible, including a new type of guided missile the Army already has developed, on a variety of vehicles.

In a meeting with reporters, Wickham acknowledged that the new “forward area air defense system” will be a costly about-face.

The service has no choice but to develop an admittedly complicated system, Wickham said, because the Soviet Union has developed helicopters that can hover out of range of existing guns and still launch missiles at U.S. tanks.

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Wickham declined to offer an estimate of how much the new system would cost, beyond saying “it probably will cost more” than the Sgt. York.


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