The multi-role AH-64D Apache Longbow combat helicopter will be in the spotlight this week at Australian International Airshow 2001, performing a series of loops and rolls designed to demonstrate the aircraft's aerobatic prowess.
The Apache Longbow, produced by The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz., is competing for the Australian Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program, an effort known as Air 87, which will enhance Australian Army and Australian Defence Force capabilities. Apache Longbow offers Australia a low-risk, cost-effective and off-the-shelf solution to its defense needs.
The AH-64D Apache Longbow is the newest version of the combat-proven AH-64A Apache. It is a candidate to fulfill the attack helicopter and reconnaissance requirements of numerous armed forces. Defense forces worldwide have selected the Apache Longbow because of its multi-mission effectiveness and its peacetime cost of ownership.
Boeing is producing the world's most advanced combat helicopter for the U.S. Army and defense forces in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom at a rate of more than five helicopters a month. Production will increase to six a month in late 2001 for the U.S. Army and, with international deliveries in progress, exceed six a month overall in 2001.
While Apache Longbow is fully aerobatic, it doesn't need to be. The radar is capable of picking up all ground and airborne targets within an area of more than 50 square kilometers - all with a single scan. And the weapons can be aimed and fired by the crew's simply looking at the target.
Key to the Apache Longbow's world dominance continues to be its technical superiority, which translates to technical overmatch when compared to threat systems that it might encounter. The Apache Longbow is designed to be the most capable, survivable, maintainable and available attack helicopter in the world. Boeing and the U.S. Army continue to integrate new technology to maintain that technical edge and to keep the aircraft relevant well into the future.
"Apache is a proven performer," said Martin Stieglitz, Apache program manager. "And the next-generation Apache Longbow " currently in production - features fully integrated avionics and systems and provides a force-multiplier effect, enabling operators to pit fewer Apaches against larger numbers of opponents than would be possible with lesser aircraft."
Stieglitz added, "Apache has continued to evolve over the years and represents a cost-effective, proven way to meet program objectives. With its planned upgrades, no one will ever view Apache as 'old technology.' It's on the leading edge now and will be there for decades to come."
U.S. Army Apache Longbow aircraft will further demonstrate the aircraft's advanced capabilities in early 2001 during the Army's Division Capstone Exercise at Fort Irwin, Calif. During the field test, 16 Apache Longbows will participate in the exercise.
Boeing recently signed a second five-year, multi-year contract with the U.S. Army for 269 Apache Longbow aircraft. Combined with the first multi-year agreement, Boeing is under contract to produce 501 Apache Longbows for the Army through 2006.