The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has received the first 10 new fuselages designed specifically for the AH-64D Apache Block III attack helicopter from long-time supplier Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). This milestone paves the way for delivery of the first Apache Block III aircraft with new fuselages next year.
"KAI has been a key part of our ongoing effort to keep the Apache relevant and ahead of the competition," said Bill Elder, Boeing regional manager, Northeast Asia, Attack Helicopters Business Development. "The Apache's role has dramatically changed over the years, and it is vital for Boeing to give its customers the capabilities they need in a package that will perform for many years to come."
The new fuselage incorporates a variety of small but important modifications to accommodate Block III configuration changes, such as enhancements to the extended forward avionics bays and slots for new electronics.
Boeing will produce approximately 50 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters for the U.S. Army under Low Rate Initial Production. The Army's acquisition objective stands at 690 Apache Block III aircraft. In addition, a growing number of defense forces worldwide have contracted for or are considering upgrading to or adding the Apache Block III to their rotorcraft fleets.
"KAI began producing fuselages for the world’s most advanced combat helicopter nearly a decade ago at its facility in Sacheon," said Pat Gaines, president of Boeing Korea. "Today more than 1,000 AH-64D Apaches are in service, in production or under contract with 12 customers worldwide. This is just one example of the mutual benefits created by expanding the global reach of opportunities available to Korean industry."
Source: The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA)
Date: Jul 12, 2012