[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/24/art.prezchopper0224.gi.jpg caption="White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the President has put on hold an order for a new fleet of presidential helicopters orginally ordered by the previous administration."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama put on hold an order for a fleet of new helicopters that will cost at least $11 billion, his spokesman told CNN Tuesday.
"The president talked to the secretary of defense, and I think as he said yesterday to Sen. (John) McCain, we don't need any new helicopters at the White House," Robert Gibbs said on CNN's "American Morning."
Asked if that meant the order was being put on hold, Gibbs said: "That's exactly what he talked to the secretary about."
McCain, the Arizona Republican who was Obama's rival for the White House in last year's election, questioned the president about the cost of the new helicopter fleet on Monday.
"Your (proposed new) helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One," the presidential airplane, McCain said. "I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas ... have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money."
The price tag for the proposed new fleet of 28 helicopters has virtually doubled to more than $11 billion over the last six years. Each helicopter in the fleet would reportedly cost around $400 million.
President Bush put in the order for new high-security presidential helicopters in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
The president's helicopter is known as Marine One when he is flying on it.
Obama suggested Monday he would put the order on hold.
"I've already talked to (Defense Secretary Robert) Gates about a thorough review of the helicopter situation. The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me," a smiling Obama said to a room of laughing congressional, corporate and community leaders.
"I think it is ... an example of the procurement process gone amuck, and we're going to have to fix it," he added.