Apache on top of at­tack com­pe­ti­tion pack

SP's MAI - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

The In­dian Gov­ern­ment is expected shortly to of­fi­cially de­clare Boe­ing AH-64D Apache Block III the win­ner in the IAF’s 22 at­tack he­li­copter com­pe­ti­tion, beat­ing out the Rus­sian Mi-28NE Night Hunter. A for­mal $1.3 bil­lion con­tract will be an­nounced shortly, sources say. The de­ci­sion comes at a time when Boe­ing and Team Apache sup­pli­ers world­wide are wel­com­ing a new mile­stone for the US Army AH-64 Apache he­li­copter fleet that has just sur­passed 3.5 mil­lion flight hours. The Army’s avi­a­tion pro­gramme of­fice said that the mile­stone of en­durance and re­li­a­bil­ity was reached in June as Apache crews flew com­bat mis­sions in Afghanistan, par­tic­i­pated in ex­er­cises in South Korea, and trained with the new AH-64D Apache Block III—the vari­ant that was fielded in the In­dian com­pe­ti­tion. “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 US 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 mod­ernise an air­craft that de­liv­ers proven ca­pa­bil­i­ties and cut­ting-edge tech­nolo­gies.” Boe­ing assem­bles Apaches at its fa­cil­ity in Mesa. Since the first pro­duc­tion air­craft was de­liv­ered two months ahead of con­tract sched­ule in Septem­ber 1983, Apaches have ef­fec­tively ful­filled the de­mands of bat­tle­field com­man­ders. The new­est and most ad­vanced Apache, the AH-64D Apache Block III, fea­tures 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.

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