The AH-64D Apache Block III program sustains and modernizes the Apache fleet through technology insertions implemented in Block configurations. The 2005 U.S. Army Modernization Plan calls for the Apache to remain a major weapons system in the Army's force structure until 2030 and beyond. Therefore, to maintain readiness, mission effectiveness, and operational relevance, Block III modernization is essential.
The AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter completed the Limited User Test in November 2009 and program objectives continue to me bet in anticipation of the beginning of Low-rate Initial Production in late 2010. "LUT involved two Block III avionics airplanes used by U.S. Army aviators in a users test to show the aircraft is accomplishing and operating the way it is supposed to," said Al Winn, vice president of Apache programs.
In October 2009, the Apache Block III program passed another U.S. Army benchmark, completing the Force Development Test and Evaluation (FDT&E) bringing the aircraft another step closer to production.
The U.S. Army’s Apache Block III program leaders are checking lists, reviewing data, testing technologies and proving capabilities in anticipation of successful completion of the program milestones that will lead to production of the first helicopter and ultimately 634 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters for the U.S. Army. One key capability of the Block III helicopters’ performance for aviators and soldiers is Level 4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) control.
Manned/unmanned teaming with two airborne Army combat platforms has been
conceptualized, strategized and realized – though with some limitations.
Back from commanding a squadron in Iraq that included 24 AH-64D Apache Longbows, LTC Kenneth “Todd” Royar praised the aircraft and its effectiveness in battle.
Awesome, and then some. This phrase was echoed routinely referencing the AH-64A Apache nearly three decades ago, when Apache technologies provided an integrated, day/night fighting platform that allowed the U.S. Army to coin the phrase “We own the night.” Owning the night applied then to the overwhelming technologies and capabilities Apache had over any other major weapons system on the battlefield.
As the Boeing Rotorcraft Chief Pilot, Mark Metzger leads a crew of men and women that put helicopters through their paces by testing new capabilities, validating flight information and data, and verifying that Boeing helicopters deliver the very best to its customers.
Testing is essential to ensure equipment operates functionally, as well as to demonstrate that it can perform properly and reliably in every environment anticipated over its planned life.
Understanding the intricacies of contract agreements and production scheduling, and coordinating customer deliveries are just a part of the challenges met by Boeing program managers. Working in a world of alphabet soup acronyms, the clear objective is to satisfy the customer with on time and on cost delivery of a quality product that meets – and exceeds – expectations. Just look at what it takes to keep Apache production moving ahead smoothly.
Securing America’s freedom, helicopters have been lost in battles during four wars, on three continents, in high altitudes over treacherous mountains, in sandstorms, ice storms and maelstroms of enemy fire.
The Boeing Company Apache Program leaders and teammates are proud to continue support all of our nation’s great aviation heroes. Seasoned and well-trained Army aviators and maintenance crews continue to be deployed to Afghanistan and to Iraq. Many soldiers serving in Apache battalions have bravely faced two, three or more tours of duty since late 2001/early 2002.
The Hellenic Army inducted its 12 AH-64DHA Apache Longbow aircraft into service during a ceremony in Feb. 2010 at the Hellenic Army’s rotorcraft base in Megara, Greece, about an hour west of Athens.
Ask Marco DiGabriele about Apache helicopter sales worldwide and he’ll tell you the market remains strong, with defense forces worldwide either looking to the Apache to enhance their capabilities or existing customers planning for upgrades.
Following a Chinook and Apache helicopter assault on the Babiji region of Helmand Province, troops from The Black Watch 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) and the Light Dragoons have linked up to continue flushing insurgents out of the area.
In February 2009, Boeing communications representatives visited Kandahar Base in Afghanistan and met with Col. Bas Pellemans of the Dutch Air Task Force, where Boeing-produced AH-64D Apaches and CH-47D Chinooks are based.
Training Systems and Services, a division of Integrated Defense System's Global Services & Support, delivered and declared "Ready for Training" the first Apache Avionics Maintenance Trainer (AMT) to the Japan Ministry of Defense at the Kasumigaura military base in mid-2009.
Apaches of the Royal Netherlands Air Force passed a milestone of 5,000 operational flying hours in Afghanistan early in 2009. Five AH-64D Apaches from 301 Squadron, normally based at Gilze-Rijen have been in Afghanistan flying on operations for the International Security Assistance Force since 2006.
Community leaders in Huntsville, Ala., joined Boeing and Science Engineering Services, Inc., executives in January 2010 to celebrate the latest contract award for disassembly, inspection and repair work for the AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter program.
The U.S. Army relies on The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz., to provide the world’s most effective attack helicopter to support its troops who serve around the world. That’s very real.
Inspired by the architecture and system integration in the AH-64 Apache Block III helicopter, Boeing has designed a new cockpit for its AH-6i, a light attack reconnaissance helicopter the company is marketing to defense forces in several countries around the world.
The Boeing Apache program, together with hundreds of Team Apache suppliers, delivers unparalleled value to customers around the world. The commitment and performance of the people that are integral to each supplier organization is given to ensure that soldiers have the tool – the AH-64D Apache – to do the sometimes dirty and often dangerous jobs they’ve accepted in defense of freedom.
Training Systems and Services, a division of BDS Global Services & Support, delivered five Apache Longbow Crew trainers (LCT) in 2009 -- more than in any previous year.
The Apache program recently celebrated the delivery of the 100th fuselage from its supplier Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) in Korea. In June 2009, representatives from Boeing Supplier Management, the Apache Program Office, and the Apache Airframe IPT organization attended a ceremony in Sacheon, Korea.
Boeing announced in January 2009 that its Defense, Space & Security Training Systems and Services organization completed a six-year U.S. Army contract to retrofit and upgrade 22 Apache Longbow Crew Trainers, 22 Maintenance Training Devices and a Longbow Collective Training System.
Apache Vice President Al Winn presented an Apache combat pin and a framed picture to a former Apache pilot who lost his right arm during his tour in Afghanistan in 2006. The small ceremony at the Rotorcraft site in Mesa, Ariz., recognized retired CPT Daniel McConnell whose arm was severed just below the elbow during a wartime accident in an Apache helicopter.
The Apache helicopter fired the first Direct Attack Guided Rocket system (DAGR) from an airborne platform during tests at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.
The AH-64D Apache Block III achieved a significant technical capability on June 8, 2009 with the successful demonstration of Level IV unmanned aircraft system (UAS) control during a flight test over the Arizona desert. Level IV UAS control is one of the key technology enhancements being developed for the U.S. Army’s Apache Block III attack helicopter program. At level IV, the Apache crew can control the navigation and payload of a UAS.
An Engineering team from Arizona endured bone-chillingly cold temperatures in the summer and even created their own ice storms to make the Apache helicopter of the future more reliable in cold weather. The Airframe Integrated Product Team at the Rotorcraft site in Mesa, Ariz., reached a milestone in late 2008 by completing engine nose gearbox fairing anti-icing testing at the NASA Glenn Icing Research Wind Tunnel in Cleveland, Ohio.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) has begun using some environmentally friendly, chrome-free primer already being applied to AH-64D Apache helicopters. In August 2009, Boeing delivered a 777-300ER to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines with a chrome-free primer and chrome-free exterior decorative paint on the airplane. This offering is part of The Boeing Company’s lifecycle approach to reducing environmental impact.
More than two years of work by an Apache Engineering team culminated in early 2009 with the delivery and installation of two test stands that test main transmissions and engine nose gearboxes of the next generation Apache helicopters. The 27,000-pound engine nose gearbox and 97,000-pound main transmission test stands --transported by boat from Renk-Labeco Test Systems in Germany -- were installed at the Rotorcraft site in Mesa, Ariz.
The mission: Three AH-64D Apache helicopters sent into an undisclosed country to do a deep strike; they must seize the country’s nuclear plant using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to clear the route so a UH-60 can drop off infantry and secure the site.