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Army receives 100th E model Apache

April 7, 2015
By Sofia Bledsoe

The Army marked another milestone and accepted delivery of the 100th AH-64E Apache attack helicopter from Boeing on March 20.

'The AH-64E Apache continues to be the backbone of the Army's attack helicopter fleet,' said Col. Jeff Hager, project manager for Apache helicopters. 'From the very beginning the E model Apache has exceeded all expectations with superior performances in theater deployments.'

The Army's only heavy attack helicopter, the AH-64E is currently fully digitized with the latest technologies including a new improved drive system, composite rotor blades and level 4 manned-unmanned teaming. With level 4 MUMT, Apache pilots now have control of the flight path and payloads of an unmanned aircraft system such as the Gray Eagle UAS.

'This is an extremely important milestone for the Apache community,' said Lt. Col. Tal Sheppard, product manager for the AH-64E production and fielding. 'Years of work and dedication has culminated in delivering the world's most lethal attack helicopter. One hundred AH-64Es! That's a significant amount of combat power.'

The Army successfully conducted its Initial Operational Test and Evaluation of the AH-64 Block III in March 2012. Full rate production began in August 2012. It was redesignated as the E model Apache in January 2013.

The 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, became the first unit equipped with the E model Apache in May 2013. Since then, three units have been fielded including 1-25th ARB at Fort Carson, Colorado, and 1-101st ARB at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Training coordination has begun for the fourth unit equipped with the 3-101st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion at Fort Campbell.

'Army Soldiers defend our freedom and for that important mission they must have the very best equipment,' Kim Smith, Boeing vice president of attack helicopter programs, said. 'Boeing is proud to continue to deliver Apache helicopters and provide the most network-centric platform on the battlefield.'

The next step in modernization is the completion of the version 6 capability set which will focus on improving the aircraft's sensor suite to include the Fire Control Radar, Maritime Targeting Mode, Multi-Mode laser and upgrading the Interactive Maintenance Support System Ground Analysis Software.

The Army's acquisition objective remains at 690 aircraft which is scheduled to be completed by 2025.The AH-64E Apache has flown approximately 30,000 hours, 11,000 of which have been in combat.

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