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AH-64D Longbow Upgrades

The Army's plan to activate and field eight Longbow Apache battalions since fielding began in FY98 was on schedule. As aircraft were being fielded, configuration changes were being planned to improve system effectiveness, reliability, and survivability. The changes included a modernized target acquisition designation system (M-TADS), the possible integration of the Suite of Integrated Infrared Countermeasures (with a focus on the advanced flare dispenser and the advanced flares), and the integration of the internal auxiliary fuel system (IAFS; a new crash-worthy and ballistically tolerant fuel tank and ammunition magazine located internal to the aircraft). DOT&E continued to monitor development and testing of these, and other, configuration changes.

A total of 501 AH-64A Apaches were to be remanufactured to the AH-64D configuration, with 227 Longbows being equipped with the Fire Control Radar (FCR) mission kit and T700-GE-701C engines. Two hundred twenty-seven AH-64DW aircraft incorporate the General Electric T700-GE-701C engines for improved performance when carrying the FCR mission kits. The AH-64DW Apache Longbow aircraft, FCR, and Longbow Hellfire Modular Missile System (LBHMMS) were fielded starting with the 1/227 Attack Helicopter Battalion in July 1998. Those AH-64D aircraft fielded without the FCR mission kits will have the T700-GE-701 engines, but can accept the FCR mission kit with the addition of T700-GE-701C engines.

The AH-64D Apache Longbow aircraft, FCR, and Longbow Hellfire Modular Missile System (LBHMMS) were fielded starting with the 1/227 Attack Helicopter Battalion. As this was a FORSCOM unit, the first MFP was published for FORSCOM. Other MFPs, each tailored to the specific Major Command (MACOM) receiving the AH-64D, would be published at the appropriate time. Therefore, FORSCOM, TRADOC, USAREUR, EUSA, USAR, and the ARNG would each receive their own version of the MFP. Distribution would vary with each subsequent draft prepared.

The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (ODCSOPS) was responsible for making the decision as to what units received the AH-64D and in what order. The AAH PMO published and distributes MFPs based on ODCSOPS' schedule. The fielding schedules changed from time to time, and the schedule in the MFP was, therefore, current as of the publishing date. The First Draft for each MACOM's MFP was published approximately 26 months before the first aircraft and equipment were fielded to a MACOM. A MACOM's Final MFP was published approximately 8 months prior to its first-unit fielding. The fielding schedule as of 1 June 1997, did not include the aircraft destined for the TRADOC training fleet at Ft. Rucker. Ft. Rucker began receiving its AH-64Ds in June 1999. The TRADOC First Draft MFP left the AAH PMO in May.

Operational, and logistical improvement provides system upgrade through new/updated hardware integration into Lots III thru XIII TADS/PNVS systems. This is a critical stage in the Longbow remanufacturing effort as it produces a single configuration TADS/PNVS to the AH-64D through the end of MY II (501 aircraft) and AH64 Extended Block II Upgrade (120 aircraft). This mod facilitates maintainers' access to TADS/PNVS systems thereby allowing for accelerated application of outstanding ECPs. Additionally, satisfies program growth and life extension requirements and provides for offsite contractor support for upgrade/integration of hardware in the TADS/PNVS. Starting in FY09 funding will satisfy emerging requirements for zero timing all Apache Sensors to include TADS/PNVS, MTADS, FCR, RFI, and TEDAC.

The Modernized TADS/PNVS was under a developmental contract signed in October 2000 and was on schedule. The schedule for the program was very aggressive. Following a 27-month EMD effort, the Army expected to start production in the FY03 timeframe. First deliveries would occur around April 2004. The upgrade would be a field retrofit kit that would take about 8 hours to install. The schedule would allow battalion size units to begin being retrofitted in the 2005 timeframe. There was an effort to accelerate the fielding of a limited quantity to Longbow units. The last Modernized TADS/PNVS IPT was conducted in Orlando, Florida between 14-16 November 2001. Representatives from the Apache Program Manager, AMCOM Engineering, TRADOC System Manager, Army Test and Evaluation Command and other agencies reviewed the current schedule and requirements for prototypes to be used in various test beds. Additionally, the training working group met in order to address strategies for: Documentation, Training Support Packages, Integration into LCT, Maintenance training devices and other lesser issues.

The Modernized Target Acquisition & Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) modification program is the Army initiative to provide 2nd Generation Forward Looking Infrared (SGF) (FLIR) sensors for the Apache fleet. Suite modifications encompass: M-TADS/PNVS Line Replaceable Units (LRU), TADS Electronic Display and Control (TEDAC) assemblies, and the Integrated Helmet Display Sight System (IHDSS) assemblies. The SGF system improves overall pilotage and enhances the pilot's ability to engage targets during night and bad weather. Specifically: increased detection range, enhanced recognition and target identification; higher resolution and sensitivity for safety and pilotage performance (especially in adverse weather); better identifying of friend/foe during hostilities; and increased reliability and reduction in O&S costs. The complementary TEDAC and IHDSS upgrade reduces operating costs, increases cockpit space, and exploits the expanded capability of the M-TADS/PNVS. This exhibit identifies funding for 470 of a total of 634 M-TADS production units and associated displays. The Longbow budget line augmented funding for 141 M-TADS production units (FY04-FY06). In FY07 23 M-TADS, towards the fleet requirement of 634, were authorized to be funded from War Time Replacement (WRA) funding. Funding for other MTADS required for WRA is not included in this display. M-TADS installation costs are not separately priced. Other Support procures TDA Salaries, In-house Matrix and Contractor Support, TEDAC, and IHDSS output schedule planning is based on aircraft availability and deployment schedules.

Funding will be used to procure improved IR/Thermal suppressor system enhancements for Apache aircraft (18 Battalion sets, toward a fleet requirement of 21). IR suppression modifications would reduce IR thermal signature from hot metal components (e.g., engine, exhaust, de-rotation unit, nose gear box, transmission bay door, chain-gun turret, etc.). This modification will enable the Apache aircraft to be much less susceptible to IR signature threat weapons. This initiative significantly improves war-fighter and aircraft survivability in combat operations. Mod installation costs are included in the contract for 360 kits and are not separately identifiable.

Apache Mods and Recap provides near term improvements to the Apache fleet, focusing on reliability & safety (R&S) upgrades and operational deficiencies. The R&S mods and selected component recapitalization are being accomplished by the reman line, field retrofits, and through spares. Improvements focus on: main transmission, rotor blades, gear boxes, and hydraulic systems. Funding also provides for selected component recap and insertion of R&S mods for the Apache fleet. The program also includes select Task Force Hawk initiatives (i.e., HF Radio and New Digital Video Recorder). The selected component recap fixes were identified through a Sandia National Lab analysis of components coupled with the results of a nonrecurring engineering analysis of components. These assessments ensure that the recap resources are focused on the highest payoff components. In summary, the goal of this program is to improve safety, maximize marginal return on recapped components, enhance aircraft performance by increasing unscheduled mean time between removal (MTBR) for selected components, and reduce the average fleet age. In-house support procures TDA Salaries, In-house Matrix and Contractor Support for the Apache Project Manager's Office. Beginning FY 2007, Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) was programmed to begin for fleet retrofit of the AH-64D to incorporate a Modernized Signal Processing Unit (MSPU). Inputs/Outputs in FY 07 thru FY 09 represents the installation of both R&S and CBM kits.

FY09-10 funding will procure 180 Internal Auxiliary Fuel System (IAFS) Combo-paks (B-Kits), A-kit installation (FY08 only, 48 each), and IAFS support equipment (including one battalion's of spares). This program meets the requirements established by Task Force Hawk, as approved for incorporation by the VCSA. The IAFS is ballistically tolerant, crashworthy, self sealing and increases aircraft mission endurance by increasing fuel capacity by 100 gallons. During ongoing OIF/OEF missions the AH-64, in the Quick Reaction Force (QRF) and in support of Close Combat operations, is required to remain on station longer to protect ground troops with immediate suppression by the 30mm weapon. The additional capacity provided by IAFS increases mission time by 30-45 minutes and enables the Apache aircraft to remain in fight longer and reduce Forward Area Refuel Point (FARP) iterations. The Combo-pak also has a 246 round 30mm capacity which meets critical operational needs associated with current operations in OIF/OEF as well as future contingencies. IAFS is designated as a threshold Mission Equipment Package (MEP) requirement in support of OEF/OIF FY09-10 procured B-kits will be installed by operating units. The total IAFS program will procure 746 A Kits and 718 B Kits which includes spares. (Prior Apache funding lines, AA6670 SSN, procured 698 A Kits and 327 B Kits.)

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:26:57 ZULU