ST. LOUIS, Jan. 09, 2009 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced today that its Integrated Defense Systems Training Systems and Services organization has completed a six-year U.S. Army contract to retrofit and upgrade 22 Apache Longbow Crew Trainers, 22 Maintenance Training Devices and a Longbow Collective Training System. The suite of Boeing-produced training devices provides comprehensive, high-fidelity training for Longbow aircrews and maintenance personnel.
"The Boeing team developed significant simulation solutions for the Longbow attack helicopter," said Randy Nielson, contractor for the Army's Apache Project Management Office. "There's a lot of satisfaction in watching a needed capability evolve into a functional, relevant product. It's a privilege to work with the kind of people who make it happen."
Under the contract, hundreds of individual upgrades were performed on the trainers to ensure concurrency with the Apache Longbow helicopter. Boeing delivered and supported Longbow training devices around the world, including Army posts throughout the United States and in South Korea, Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Boeing's work included several major retrofits and upgrades to match the evolution of the Apache Longbow, allowing for improved individual and collective crew training and mission rehearsal. Database improvements included adding virtual visual systems for South Korea, Iraq and Kosovo. These upgraded tactical environments also include new modeling options: Light trucks, civilian vehicles and improvised explosive devices have been added to the possible scenarios.
"This is a very successful contract for Boeing and the customer. We were able to keep up with a very dynamic configuration of helicopters in the trainers and stayed as current as possible to the configurations of the aircraft in the field," said Kathy Bailey, Multi-Year II Apache Training Program project manager for Boeing. "The Army had never done a training device retrofit program of this magnitude, and we were able to work together to meet the warfighters' needs."
The Army's Apache Project Management Office earlier this year presented Bailey with its Cheyenne Award for her contributions to the Unit Fielding and Training Program as well as to the Apache Longbow community.
Next on the Apache training device schedule is the Extended Block 2 bridge contract, which will resume the cycle of retrofitting the existing trainers to match future Longbow helicopter upgrades. The Block 3 redesign of the Apache Longbow is expected to be fielded starting in 2011 and will bring significant modifications to the aircraft as well as to the training devices.