Aviation battalions were to be reorganized as part of the Army's 2000 Aviation Force Modernization Plan. AH-1 Cobras were divested by October 2001, and A and C model OH-58 Kiowas will be retired by 2004. The Cobras and Kiowas will be replaced by AH-64D Apaches and eventually by RAH-66 Comanches, the new reconnaissance and attack helicopter scheduled to begin joining the Army in 2008. Later-model Kiowas are scheduled for retirement in fiscal year 2013, according to the plan.
The multi-functional battalion structure is made up of 10 AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, 10 UH-60 Blackhawk utility helicopters and will eventually include 10 RAH-66 Comanche reconnaissance and attack helicopters. The Army will begin structuring battalions in this manner soon, although the Comanche requirement will have to be filled with Apaches and Kiowas until Comanche fully comes on-line.
As of late 2002 Army plans called for fielding detachments of 12 Comanche aircraft to the Objective Force brigade-strength 'units of action', accompanied by eight UAVs. Despite the cut to 650 systems, the Army still had a requirement for at least 819 Comanche helicopters. The reduced number provides systems for the 'unit of action', but did not provide enough to field the system to higher echelons of the Objective Force.
|Army Aircraft Density for FY98 -- FY04|
|Note: Airframe Density Forcast as of: 05 September 1997|
|RA = Active Army, NG = National Guard, AR = Army Reserve|
|Aircraft||Installation||Unit||RA||NG||AR||FY 98||FY 99||FY 00||FY 01||FY 02||FY 03||FY 04|
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