The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has delivered the first AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopter for the Japanese government to Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the Japanese aerospace company teamed with Boeing to produce the Apache Longbow in Japan.
The milestone aircraft, delivered Dec. 15 in Mesa, Ariz., and designated the AH-64DJP Apache Longbow, is the first production Apache to be delivered with air-to-air Stinger missile launcher capabilities. Two AH-64DJP Apaches will be delivered to the Japanese government by FHI in March 2006.
"The Apache will be one of the first weapons platforms with 21st-century joint and interoperable capabilities deployed with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force," said Patricia Carson, program manager of the Japanese Apache program for Boeing. "Delivery of the new Apache Longbow for Japan ahead of schedule confirms the dedication and cooperation experienced between the Boeing and FHI teams in fulfilling Japan Ground Self Defense Force's fielding of its first two aircraft next year."
Boeing and FHI have been working closely for the last year to conclude qualification testing of the unique configuration for Japan that includes incorporation of an air-to-air Stinger launcher. Following the initial aircraft qualification, FHI will produce the Apache Longbow aircraft under a licensed production agreement with Boeing.
The Apache Longbow features fully integrated avionics and weapons plus a state-of-the-art modem transmitting real-time, secure digitized battlefield information to air and ground forces. It can rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage stationary or moving opposition targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather environments.