Advanced version ushers in new era for military rotorcraft
MESA, Ariz., Nov. 2, 2011 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] celebrated delivery of the first AH-64D Apache Block III multi-role attack helicopter to the U.S. Army today in Mesa. The Block III Apache begins a new era in combat aviation by delivering advanced technologies and capabilities to benefit soldiers and battlefield commanders.
"This is a remarkable achievement by a great Army-industry team, a giant leap for U.S. Army aviation, and a signal to aggressors around the world that the Apache continues its legacy as a formidable and highly effective weapon system," said Col. Shane Openshaw, U.S. Army Apache project manager. "I am proud to witness this program milestone achievement and honored to be part of the team that designs and builds the Apache attack helicopter. I know the value this aircraft brings to soldiers on the ground and in the air who defend freedom daily in combat zones and during peacekeeping missions around the globe."
Boeing will produce 51 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters for the Army under Low Rate Initial Production. The Army's acquisition objective stands at 690 Apache Block III aircraft. In addition, a growing number of defense forces worldwide have contracted for, or are considering, upgrading to or adding the Apache Block III to their rotorcraft fleets.
The Apache Block III incorporates 26 new technologies designed to enhance the aircraft's capabilities. The improved drive system features a new split-torque face gear transmission that increases power capability to 3,400 shaft horsepower. The new composite main rotor blade accommodates that power increase, resulting in improved aircraft performance with increased payload. Integrating the T700-GE-701D engine with the enhanced digital electronic control unit and other drive system technologies results in an increase in hover ceiling altitude at greater gross weight on a 95 degrees Fahrenheit day.
"The Apache team worldwide has done a remarkable job of producing a phenomenal helicopter and delivering it to the Army customer on cost and ahead of schedule," said David Koopersmith, Boeing vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs. “We pledge to continue our efforts to ensure that our customers have enduring capabilities today and tomorrow."
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