The U.S. Army today accepted two milestone AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters in a ceremony held at Boeing in Mesa, Ariz.
The ceremony, attended by U.S. Army, industry and government officials, included delivery of the final Apache Longbow from the first five-year, multi-year production effort, known as multi-year I, and the first Apache Longbow for the Army's newest production effort, known as multi-year II. The aircraft were the 232nd and 233rd Apache Longbows to be delivered to the U.S. Army.
"Uninterrupted delivery of these milestone Apache Longbows to our number one customer continues to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to equip the U.S. Army with the finest multi-role helicopter in the world," said Al Winn, vice president of Apache programs. "Apache helicopters continue to play a key role in global defense."
Multi-year II, which will provide 269 Apache Longbows for the Army through 2006, was signed in September 2000. Multi-year I, which provided 232 Apache Longbows to the Army, authorized production of the next-generation Apache in 1995. In all, the Army has ordered 501 Apache Longbows for its 21st century combat needs.
Boeing has delivered more than 1,000 Apaches to customers around the world, with plans to deliver 1,000 more to customers worldwide through the end of the decade.
The company is under contract to produce 30 AH-64D Apaches for The Netherlands, and 67 WAH-64 Apaches with AgustaWestland for the United Kingdom. Boeing will produce additional AH-64Ds for Egypt, Israel, Singapore and Japan and is competing for additional sales around the world.
Boeing began Apache Longbow production in 1996. The first Apache Longbows were delivered in 1997. To date, the Army has fielded five fully equipped Apache Longbow battalions, and two additional battalions are completing training this year.
Apache Longbow fulfills a wide range of reconnaissance and combat missions, most without the need to reconfigure ordnance loads and electronic systems between missions.
The advanced, multi-mission AH-64D Apache Longbow features fully integrated avionics and weapons plus state-of-the-art digital communications capabilities that enable real-time, secure transfer of battlefield information to air and ground forces. The Apache Longbow incorporates a series of enhancements that make it more survivable in combat, readily deployable and easier to maintain.