Boeing recently delivered its 2,500th AH-64 Apache helicopter, an E-model Apache for the US Army, from the company’s production line in Mesa, Arizona. The first production AH-64, an A-model Apache, rolled off the assembly line on September 30, 1983, and was delivered by Boeing heritage company McDonnell Douglas to the US Army in January 1984. Today, Boeing is producing and delivering AH-64E helicopters to a growing list of customers world-wide.
Kathleen Jolivette, vice president of Attack Helicopter programs and senior Mesa site executive, said: “The Apache has built an impressive legacy of success and is well-positioned to bring relevant technologies and capabilities that defense forces require today and in the future.
“Company teammates and suppliers world-wide are focused on assembling, delivering and supporting U.S. and global customers working to deter aggression and defend freedom. Apache is ready to have a key role in the future of multi-domain operations.”
Today’s E-model Apache features integrated technologies including communications and navigation capabilities to enhance situational awareness and coordination; a new, faster multi-core mission processor for advanced systems integration; and maritime capability in the Fire Control Radar for watercraft detection and identification along with a shorter engagement timeline.
The helicopter’s improved drive system includes a split-torque face gear transmission, a 701D engine and composite main rotor blades that ensure the Apache succeeds as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform.
Planned modernisation has ensured that Apaches have evolved with revolutionary technologies. Today’s helicopters have been selected by, or are in service today with the US Army and the defence forces of 15 countries.
Dave Guthrie, Boeing’s chief pilot for Apache programs, said: “As a former Army aviator with military service dating back to October 1978 and later selected to fly the first AH-64A and later the AH-64D model Apaches, it is a thrill today to be a part of the crews who complete flight testing on aircraft during development and prior to delivery to customers. I know that I am part of this helicopter’s history and its future.”
Legacy Apache deliveries, including new-build and remanufactured helicopters, include 937 A-models through 1997, more than 1,000 AH-64Ds between 1997 and 2013, and more than 500 E-models since 2011.