Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) today delivered the first AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopter to the Japanese government during a ceremony in Japan, signaling a new era in capabilities for the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.
FHI and The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] teamed for the production of the aircraft. The ceremony was held at the FHI production facility in Utsunomiya, Japan, where FHI will produce future Apaches.
The Japan Defense Agency (JDA) selected FHI to produce the AH-64D Apache Longbow with unique requirements for Japan. FHI is producing the aircraft under license from Boeing, which is supporting systems integration and aircraft production.
Japanese and international government, military and industry leaders attended the ceremony.
"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," said Patricia Carson, program manager of the Japanese Apache program for Boeing. "FHI has an outstanding record as an aircraft manufacturer that will ensure a high-quality product every time."
Carson said 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 in Japan.
Al Winn, vice president of Apache Programs at Boeing, said, "We are extremely pleased that the Apache will be one of the first weapons platforms with 21 st century joint and interoperable capabilities deployed with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force."
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.