Defense

November 7, 2012

Upgraded Apache helicopter OK’d for production

Army photograph
The Apache Block III helicopter, unveiled in October 2011, has been re-designated the E model. The Apache Project Office announced the name change during an Oct. 24, 2012, press conference in Washington, D.C.

The Defense Acquisition Board decision regarding full-rate production for the Apache Block III helicopter program was announced Oct. 24, by Army officials at a briefing in Washington, D.C.

Additionally, Apache project manager Col. Jeffrey Hager confirmed that the Apache Block III is being re-designated as an AH-64E model.

The announcement event was attended by 20 media members representing national and industry related publications.

According to the Apache Project Office, the Defense Acquisition Board, or DAB, granted approval for full-rate production, or FRP, in August and the Air Force communicated the model designation change in a September memo to the Army. Actions are under way to begin implementation of the E model designation for subsequent use by the military and industry.

“The DAB’s decision really secured Apache production for the next several years,” Hager said. “We’ve got fiscal requirements, but securing that production through a full-rate production decision was just huge for this program. It’s probably the single largest decision that we’ve had since Block I’s and Block II’s went into production. It’s that monumental.”

One of the other key components, Hager said, that resulted in the DAB decision is the fact that the Block III had been designated an ACAT C program.

“We’re no longer a D program and therefore don’t need DOD oversight. Our Army acquisition executive, Ms. Heidi Shyu, is in charge of the Apache program and the development production that we have for Block III as we go forward from this point. So that was a big designation for us,” Hager said.

The designation of the E model, he added, accurately recognizes the aircraft’s advancements including an Improved Drive System, increased engine capabilities, technologically advanced composite main rotor blades and sensor enhancements.

“At the end of the day, the only real measure of how well a system is performing falls to the user and how easy or difficult the aircraft is to maintain,” said Col. John Lynch, Attack/Reconnaissance TRADOC capabilities manager. “Basically, the Block III exceeded expectations that were laid out on the sustainment side.”

Upgrades to the aircraft over previous models include advanced rotor blades and significantly increased aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes. Situational awareness is enhanced with electro-optical and infrared sensors for the operational benefit of aviators and battlefield commanders.

“The Apache fleet continues to do very well in Afghanistan and Kuwait,” Lynch said. “It’s has maintained an over 80 percent readiness rate while averaging more than 60 flight hours per month. We’re almost at one million combat flight hours with the Apache.”

First delivered in October 2011, Apache Block III helicopters are in production at the Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz. Fielding of the AH-64E will occur over the next decade.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photograph

F-22 inaugural deployment to Europe

Courtesy photograph A pair of F-22 Raptors fly near the coastline of Panama City Beach, Fla. Four F-22 Raptors, one C-17 Globemaster III, and approximately 60 airmen arrived at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to train with allie...
 
 
ILS photograph

Boeing-built satellite will create first global high-speed broadband network

ILS photograph The Inmarsat-5 F3 satellite launched Aug. 28 aboard a International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–When the third Boeing-built [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 sat...
 
 

Civil Air Patrol joins total force ‘Airmen’

When conducting missions for the Air Force as the official Air Force auxiliary, the Civil Air Patrol is now included in the Air Force’s definition of the total force. CAP has provided 74 years of support to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. In August 2015, the Air Force updated Doctrine Volume 2, “Leadership,”...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 
 
LM-C130

U.S. Air Force receives additional MC-130J Commando II

MARIETTA, Ga., Aug. 27, 2015 – A crew from the U.S. Air Force Aug. 27 ferried a new MC-130J Commando II aircraft assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command to Cannon Air Force Base, N.., from the Lockheed Martin facilit...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>