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Thursday May 9, 2002

Boeing Delivers 30th AH-64D Apache to Royal Netherlands Air Force

MESA, Arizona, USA ( Boeing Press Release ) - The Royal Netherlands Air Force today accepted its 30th and final Boeing [NYSE: BA] AH-64D Apache multi-role combat helicopter in a ceremony held at The Boeing Company in Mesa, where they are built. The RNLAF, which is fielding two combat-ready AH-64D Apache battalions, ordered its next-generation Apaches from Boeing in 1996.

AH-64D Apaches flown by the RNLAF also logged a major Apache milestone –the first international deployment of AH-64Ds – when the RNLAF AH-64Ds were sent to Djibouti, Africa, in support of a NATO peacekeeping mission

The multi-role Apache continues to demonstrate high availability rates around the world, and U.S. Army Apaches are filling a wide range of combat, defense, reconnaissance and deterrent roles in Afghanistan, Bosnia, South Korea and Europe. Today, 10 nations operate or have selected Apaches for their defense forces.

Attending the ceremony were representatives of the RNLAF, the U.S. Army, the Apache industry team of companies, and Arizona civic leaders. The first AH-64D for The Netherlands was delivered in April 1998, but RNLAF pilots were welcomed into the Apache family two years earlier when the RNLAF leased AH-64A Apaches from the U.S. Army to begin their training. Boeing developed the AH-64D Apache for the U.S. Army, which flies its Apaches with the Longbow fire control radar and weapon system.

In 1996, 23 AH-64A Apache pilots and support crews from the RNLAF became the first international unit to complete the U.S. Army's intensive collective training program.

The AH-64As were based at Gilze-Rijen Air Base. They provided The Netherlands with the unmatched capabilities of the AH-64A Apache while allowing the RNLAF to transition from AH-64As to the advanced AH-64D Apache through the turn of the century. The RNLAF III Corps commander presented a certificate of readiness to the 301st Squadron after the unit completed advanced attack helicopter training as a member of the combined arms team. Members of the RNLAF's 301st Squadron graduated from the same comprehensive program that all U.S. Army Apache pilots and support crews complete.

The RNLAF uses its Apaches for armed escort and reconnaissance duties, both new capabilities for that service, which had not flown armed helicopters in the past.

The Netherlands joined in 1996 with the United States, along with the United Kingdom as the first three nations to order next-generation versions of the Apache, increasing the interoperability of these aircraft in the Contingency Force.

Boeing has delivered more than 1,000 Apaches to customers around the world, with plans to deliver 1,000 more to customers worldwide through the end of this decade.

In addition to The Netherlands, Israel, Egypt, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Japan have selected next-generation Apaches for their defense forces, and numerous international competitions are under way or pending. The AH-64D Apache fulfills a wide range of reconnaissance and combat missions, most without the need to reconfigure ordnance loads and electronic systems between missions.

The advanced, multi-mission AH-64D Apache features fully integrated avionics and weapons plus state-of-the-art digital communications capabilities that enable real-time, secure transfer of battlefield information to air and ground forces. The AH-64D incorporates a series of enhancements that make it more survivable in combat, readily deployable and easier to maintain.

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