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Saturday October 2, 2000

Boeing Marks 25th Anniversary of Apache First Flight Sept. 30

MESA, Arizona, USA ( Boeing Company Aircraft & Missile Systems Press Release ) - With more than 1 million combined flight hours under its wing and a quarter century of technological advances behind it, the AH-64 Apache continues to be the world's most versatile multi-role combat helicopter.

And as The Boeing Company marks the 25th anniversary of Apache's first flight, Apache helicopters remain on duty around the globe, protecting the peace.

Hughes Model 77 YAH-64

Since that first flight on Sept. 30, 1975, The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz., has delivered more than 1,100 Apaches for the U.S. Army and seven international defense forces. Several other nations are considering adding the newest member of the Apache family -- the AH-64D Apache Longbow -- to their arsenals. Boeing has a goal of delivering 1,000 more Apaches in this decade.

In addition to producing six YAH-64 prototypes in the early 1970s, Boeing delivered more than 900 AH-64As between 1984-1997 before producing its first Apache Longbows in 1997.

``We're proud that we have been developing and modernizing the Apache since 1975, but this definitely is not a 25-year-old helicopter,'' said Martin Stieglitz, vicepresident and general manager of Boeing in Mesa. ``The Apache of today integrates the latest technologies, and we've been following a roadmap for technological growth that is designed to let us incorporate new systems as they emerge.''

For example, the Apache is about to get new-generation forward-looking-infrared and image-intensification television sensors that will provide Apache pilots with significantly greater night vision and targeting capabilities over the current on-board system.

``And other enhancements are in the works that will allow us to continue to improve this outstanding aircraft,'' he added.

When called into action over the years, Apaches have performed with distinction, Stieglitz said, noting that during Operation Desert Storm, Apaches logged thousands of combat hours while maintaining a readiness rate in excess of 85 percent. The Apache's advanced sensors proved effective in removing the cover of darkness from opposing forces.

``From Panama to Kuwait, the evolving capabilities of the Apache have given aircrews the ability to perform their missions with increasing precision,'' he said.

More recently, AH-64A Apaches have helped keep the peace in Bosnia and Kosovo. Units from several U.S. and international defense forces have flown their Apaches in allied combat and defense roles.

AH-64A units have been fielded around the world since the mid-1980s. Today, pilots and support teams already are learning how to fly and maintain the next-generation Apache Longbow and soon will be given international assignments. Two U.S. Army Apache Longbow battalions are certified as combat ready, a third unit is in training and a fourth unit is preparing to enter the training process and return to duty in Korea in 2001.

The U.S. Army and Boeing also are expected to sign a contract for the option to remanufacture 269 additional U.S. Army AH-64A Apaches into next-generation AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters. The five-year, multi-year contract, worth approximately $2.3 billion, would bring to 501 the total number of Apaches the Army has contracted with Boeing to upgrade.

Several other nations have expressed interest in purchasing new Apache Longbows or upgrading existing Apache AH-64A helicopters. A world market for some 500 international Apaches is anticipated.

U.S. Army, Boeing Agree to Second Multi-Year Apache Longbow Contract

MESA, Arizona, USA ( The Boeing Company Press Release ) - The U.S. Army and The Boeing Company signed an option contract Sept. 29 for the remanufacture of 269 additional U.S. Army AH-64A Apaches into next-generation AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters.

The Army expects to exercise the option once fiscal year 2001 funds become available later this month.

The five-year, multi-year contract, worth more than $2.3 billion, will authorize Boeing to convert 269 AH-64As into AH-64D Apache Longbows from 2002-2006. By agreeing to a multi-year contract, the Army will save millions of dollars and provide stability for the Boeing assembly line here through 2006.

Boeing is in the fourth year of its first five-year, multi-year contract with the Army to remanufacture 232 AH-64A Apaches into next-generation Apache Longbows. Nearly 150 remanufactured Apache Longbows have been delivered, and two combat-ready Apache Longbow units are in service with the U.S. Army. The Apache Longbow is the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter ever fielded.

Under the two contracts, Boeing will remanufacture a total of 501 Apache aircraft for the Army.

In addition to the remanufacturing of 269 aircraft, the second multi-year contract includes maintenance and operator training devices, spare parts, logistics and support services, and a variety of items designed to further improve maintainability and supportability.

Apaches produced under the second multi-year contract will integrate numerous enhancements. The contract incorporates enhanced capabilities in communications, navigation, data management and safety equipment that provide a foundation in support of the Army's emerging digitized battlefield requirements.

Enhancements to trainers and the Interactive Electronic Technical Manual also are included in the contract.

Additional product enhancements to the Apache Longbow, not included in the current multi-year contract, are in various stages of development to keep the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopter in the forefront. Among proposed future enhancements are upgrades to the rotor and drive system, and a new-generation forward looking infrared sighting system.

The latest long-term agreement with the Army will benefit international sales, company officials said, noting that customers will be able to take advantage of numerous configuration enhancements and reduced costs offered by linking their purchases to the Army's multi-year production program.

In addition to the Army, AH-64Ds also are the choice of a growing number of international customers. Boeing expects to deliver 1,000 more AH-64Ds over the next several years.

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