US Army receives first Block III Apache
Boeing delivered the first AH-64D Apache Block III multi-role attack helicopter to the US Army on 2 November.
According to a statement by the company, the Block III Apache begins a ‘new era in combat aviation’ by delivering advanced technologies and capabilities.
Col Shane Openshaw, US Army Apache project manager said the delivery was a remarkable achievement by the army-industry team and a ‘giant leap’ for US Army aviation.
‘I am proud to witness this programme milestone achievement and honoured to be part of the team that designs and builds the Apache attack helicopter. I know the value this aircraft brings to soldiers on the ground and in the air who defend freedom daily in combat zones and during peacekeeping missions around the globe.’
Boeing will produce 51 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters for the army under low rate initial production. The army's acquisition objective stands at 690 Apache Block III aircraft.
The company stated that a growing number of defence forces worldwide have contracted for, or are considering, upgrading to or adding the Apache Block III to their rotorcraft fleets.
The Apache Block III incorporates 26 new technologies designed to enhance the aircraft's capabilities. The improved drive system features a new split-torque face gear transmission that increases power capability to 3,400 shaft horsepower.
The new composite main rotor blade accommodates that power increase, resulting in improved aircraft performance with increased payload. Integrating the T700-GE-701D engine with the enhanced digital electronic control unit and other drive system technologies results in an increase in hover ceiling altitude at greater gross weight.
More from Defence Helicopter
Much has been said of Germany's indecision over the European Tiger MkIII attack helicopter programme, but an option to join the upgrade remains.
Brazilian armed forces training has been given a significant boost with a new order for Airbus H125 helicopters.
Poland aims to order three times as many AH-64E attack helicopters as previously expected.
Leonardo hopes to persuade the UK MoD that a range of AW149 survivability-related items makes the helicopter the best fit for the New Medium Helicopter programme.
Lockheed Martin is providing additional M-TADS/PNVS components and hardware for the AH-64 Apache.
The USAF has taken acceptance of four MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters for developmental testing following earlier trials after Military Flight Release.