The Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche Joint Program Office (JPO) officially opened today in Huntsville, Ala. Officials from Boeing, Sikorsky and the U.S. Army's Aviation and Missile Command joined representatives from the city, county and state, Comanche team members and the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication to mark the opening.
Charles Allen, Boeing Sikorsky Joint Program Director, said the new office location will provide a closer working relationship with the U.S. Army.
"We are just minutes away from our customer, the Army's Comanche Program Management Office," Allen said. "Now that we have begun the Comanche program's engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, it is essential that we communicate efficiently with the Army. Our new location provides that efficiency."
The Comanche JPO, which manages RAH-66 development for Boeing and Sikorsky, previously alternated between sites near Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, Conn., and Boeing in Philadelphia. About 30 management, technical and administrative employees from Boeing and Sikorsky will work at the JPO.
Currently, the program conducts flight test activities with two Comanche prototypes at the Comanche Team's Development Flight Test Facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. During the program's $3.1 billion, six-year EMD phase, the Comanche team will continue flight tests; validate Comanche's fully integrated digital navigation, communication and target acquisition and detection systems; and produce five new Comanches for development test and eight aircraft for U.S. Army training and operational test and evaluation.
The new office is located at 5030 Bradford Drive NW, Bldg. 48-99, Suite 100, Mailstop JE-01, Huntsville, AL 35805.
The RAH-66 Comanche, the U.S. Army's 21st Century combat helicopter, is being developed by U.S. Army Aviation and a team of leading aerospace companies headed by The Boeing Company and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.