501st AH-64D Apache Longbow to US Army
Boeing delivered the US Army s 501st AH-64D Apache Longbow combat helicopter
Boeing, August 09, 2006 - ST LOUIS, MO - The Boeing Company today delivered the U.S. Army's 501st AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopter, marking completion of work that spanned the past decade in support of Boeing's largest Apache customer.
"While the delivery marks completion of a major production effort by the Apache team in support of the U.S. Army, it certainly does not signal the end of Apache production," said Al Winn, vice president of Apache programs at the Boeing Rotorcraft facility in Mesa, Ariz. "Follow-on orders for new and remanufactured Apache Longbows and the looming Block III effort for the Army mean continued production and support for the Apache for years to come."
The Army orders do not include additional sales to international customers who have committed to new aircraft and upgrades over the next several years, Winn added. A Block II extension effort, along with additional new-build Apache Longbows, will sustain the Apache program while Block III plans are finalized.
"The Apache will be the Army's primary combat helicopter for the next three decades, and it is Boeing's challenge to keep fulfilling the cost, schedule and performance commitments we've made and kept throughout the entire program," Winn said.
The Army ordered the 501 Apache Longbow helicopters as part of two five-year, multi-year contracts that began in the late 1990s. Since then, the Army has ordered additional Apaches and initiated the development of the new Block III upgrade, setting the stage for continued improvement of the combat helicopter.
Boeing produced the 501 Apaches in two configurations, called "blocks," that enabled the Army to incorporate new capabilities into the aircraft at strategic times. The Block III upgrade will modernize Block I Apaches, which first entered service in 1999, into the latest, most capable configuration.
U.S. Army Apache Longbow helicopters are in service around the world, including the Middle East, where they are performing a wide range of combat missions. Army Apaches have logged more than two million flight hours, including thousands of combat hours, since entering production.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.