AUSA 2018: AH-64E shakes off strap pack nut issues (video)
Boeing expects to have a fix provided for a major structural risk discovered in Apache AH-64E attack helicopters to all platforms by the end of 2020 and to have a temporary safety fix provided to all customers before the end of 2018.
Earlier this year the US Army stopped accepting deliveries of the Apache AH-64E after corrosion was found in the strap pack nut assembly — a large bolt designed to hold the rotor blades onto the helicopter.
After a period of disruption to the AH-64E programme, Boeing is continuing to redistribute a remade strap pack nut to US Army units across America.
Bill Phillips, VP army and special operation forces at Boeing, explained that a manufacturing and engineering effort was undertaken to successfully deal with issues that are thought to have resulted from the original strap pack component degrading in saltwater conditions.
Failsafe collars are being fitted until the new strap packs can be delivered. All required collars have been delivered to the US Army and 50% to international customers with manufacture of all collars expected to be completed soon. The collars prevent total failure and allow the aircraft to land safely.
The US Army put a temporary halt on deliveries when the problems were discovered. The need for Boeing to commit time and capability to the implementation of the solutions means only 34 aircraft will be delivered this year rather than 48 but the company is confident this deficit can be made up next year.