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The fleet of the AH-64 Apache helicopters of the U.S. Army has surpassed 3.5 million flight hours. Boeing and Apache suppliers all over the world are commending the impressive milestone.
The milestone is a proof of the endurance and reliability of the helicopter model. Apaches had been in service since 1984 and it had flown combat missions in Afganistan, involved in exercises in South Korea and trained alongside the new AH-64D Apache Block III.
“Achieving and surpassing 3.5 million flight hours is a very significant milestone for the Apache, and I am incredibly proud of the soldiers who fly and maintain this helicopter,” said Col. Jeff Hager, Apache project manager for the Army. “I am also pleased for the opportunity to work with dedicated and diligent men and women in government service and industry who design, build and continue to modernize an aircraft that delivers proven capabilities and cutting-edge technologies.”
Boeing is the manufacturer of the Apache helicopters in its Mesa facility. It had scheduled the first units of the helicopter two months advanced in 1983 and since then Apche have fulfilled the demands of battlefield commanders and soldiers effectively.
The newest variation of the Apache helicopter, AH-64D Apache Block III, has composite main rotor blades, a composite stabilator, 701D engines with an enhanced digital electronic control unit, and an improved drive system that enhances the rotorcraft’s performance.
Warplanes looks forward to the most advanced Apache helicopter to be part of our fleet of helicopter models. You can also order airplane models and aviation wall clocks from Warplanes.
News source: www.avionics-intelligence.com
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The US Army has confirmed that Taiwan will be the first customer for the AH-64D Apache Block III.
The deal for 30 Apache aircraft, which was the number confirmed by Col Shane Openshaw, PM Apache, could be worth some $2.5 billion according to the DCSA. The aircraft would be a major enhancement to Taiwanese capabilities.
The AH-64D Apache Block III is the most advanced variant of the attack helicopter. It has updated avionics and an improved dynamic system giving the aircraft better performance and greater interoperability with unmanned air systems and troops on the ground.
Overall, AH-64D Longbow Block III improvements incorporate 25 technology insertions as part of the Army’s future force plan. On July 14/06, Boeing and U.S. Army officials signed a $619.3 million contract for Block III upgrades to the current and future Apache fleet, via a virtual signing ceremony held in Washington, DC; Huntsville, AL; and Mesa, AZ. Previously signed and executed contracts for risk reduction engineering work were collectively valued at another $66.1 million, and there had also been some advance ordering and development of components like radar units.
The Apache for Taiwan will be part of the low-rate initial production batch. The first new build Apache Block III will be one of the aircraft for Taiwan and will go on the line in Mesa, Arizona, in October this year.
Openshaw said he expected the Taiwanese aircraft to be delivered in the 2012-2013 timeframe.
Source: shephard.co.uk, defenseindustrydaily.com