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First Army WAH-64 Apache Arrives 100 Days Early


The first WAH-64 Apache to be delivered to the Army early next year, ZJ171, was delivered to GKN Westland Helicopters Yeovil, UK factory, one hundred days ahead of schedule.


First Army WAH-64 Apache Arrives 100 Days Early


GKN-Westland, December 13, 1999 - Tail number ZJ171 identifies the first WAH-64 Apache aircraft which will be delivered to the Army early next year.

Arriving air freight, ZJ171 was delivered to GKN Westland Helicopters' Yeovil, UK factory, one hundred days ahead of schedule. This coincides with the early completion of the WAH-64 Apache Logistic and Maintainability Demonstration (LD/MD) conducted at GKN Westland Yeovil Facility.

The aircraft, is one of 67 ordered by the UK Ministry of Defence for the British Army Air Corps. The first eight UK Apaches are being built by Boeing at their Mesa, Arizona facility and shipped to GKN Westland for final assembly and test. The second fuselage module, travelling with ZJ171, was delivered to GKN Westland's Yeovil Apache production line wharf. Full scale production at Yeovil will progressively ramp up over the next 12 months.

LD/MD has been successfully completed on schedule. The MoD selected a range of up to 300 tasks to perform in the field, including Preventative and Corrective maintenance and aspects of Flight Servicing, incorporating for the first time, the use of the Interactive Electronic Technical Publication System (IETPS).

The field servicing and maintenance task was successfully carried out by a team of Artificers and Technicians drawn from REME and front line Army Air Corps groundcrew. The MoD have now evaluated the GKN Westland Helicopters Integrated Logistic Support package and the maintainability characteristics of the WAH-64 Apache Weapons system, its Support Equipment and Logistics data.

GKN Westland's Apache Programme Director, Martin Fausset, remarked that "British Army pilots eagerly await the Attack Helicopter and are gearing up for the arrival of the first WAH-64 Apache in service, Pilot and Instructor training is progressing well in the USA and the integration of weapon and aircraft systems is on target." He re-affirmed the benefit of strong project management and praised the teamwork that had brought the Army Apache to the UK ahead of schedule. "There are more than 180 companies contributing to the UK Apache programme," he said. "It is a tribute to them, and to all the GKN Westland personnel working on the project, that this complex programme has met all its key milestones to date.

ZJ171 is the sixth aircraft to come off the Mesa line and is designated WAH#6 - WAH#1 is completing engine integration trials in the US to qualify the Rolls-Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines which will power the British aircraft in preference to the General Electric GE T-700 powerplants fitted to the US versions of the aircraft. WAH#2 & WAH#4 are being used to train GKN Westland test pilots and Army Air Corps instructor pilots prior to the commissioning of the UK Apache training centres in the second quarter of 2000.

GKN Westland Helicopters, as prime contractor, was awarded a contract valued at more than £2 billion ($3.2 billion) to supply 67 WAH-64 Apaches in 1996. The first aircraft will be delivered to the Army Air Corps in Spring 2000 with contract completion by end 2003.

Aviation Training International Limited (ATIL), a joint venture company of GKN Westland Helicopters and Boeing, was contracted in 1998 to provide the training service for the British Apaches under the UK government's public/private partnership arrangement. ATIL will undertake the initial capital investment in buildings, plant and equipment and the MoD will pay for training on an 'as provided' basis.

The WAH-64 Apache is a derivative of the US Army's AH-64D Apache Longbow, the next generation version of the combat-proven AH-64A Apache, the aircraft which is in service with defence forces around the world and currently deployed with the US forces in Albania. In addition to the RTM322 engines, the WAH-64 includes a number of systems unique to the UK. These, plus the enhancements incorporated in the AH-64D, make it more effective in combat, and more survivable, deployable and maintainable in the field than the AH-64A.

The Apache Longbow fire control radar and advanced avionics suite give pilots the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritise and engage stationary and moving targets at stand-off ranges in near all-weather environments. Its ability to communicate digitally with other aircraft and ground forces gives the WAH-64 significant advantage over current combat helicopters.

Aircraft mentioned in this article :
Westland WAH-64 Apache ZJ171     ( Army Air Corps )

This article is listed in :
Westland WAH-64 Apache

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