Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Team Apache suppliers worldwide are applauding the news that the U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter fleet has surpassed 3.5 million flight hours.
The Army’s aviation program office said that the milestone of endurance and reliability was reached in June as Apache crews flew combat missions in Afghanistan, participated in exercises in South Korea, and trained with the new AH-64D Apache Block III. Apaches began operating in 1984.
“Achieving and surpassing 3.5 million flight hours is a very significant milestone for the Apache, and I am incredibly proud of the soldiers who fly and maintain this helicopter,” said Col. Jeff Hager, Apache project manager for the Army. “I am also pleased for the opportunity to work with dedicated and diligent men and women in government service and industry who design, build and continue to modernize an aircraft that delivers proven capabilities and cutting-edge technologies.”
Boeing assembles Apaches at its facility in Mesa. Since the first production aircraft was delivered two months ahead of contract schedule in September 1983, Apaches have effectively fulfilled the demands of battlefield commanders.
The newest and most advanced Apache, the AH-64D Apache Block III, features composite main rotor blades, a composite stabilator, 701D engines with an enhanced digital electronic control unit, and an improved drive system that enhances the rotorcraft’s performance.
“The Boeing Apache team congratulates U.S. Army Aviation soldiers on achieving – and going beyond – the 3.5 million flight hour mark,” said David Koopersmith, vice president of Boeing Attack Helicopter Programs. “Boeing is proud to provide its customers with helicopters that are relevant to their stated needs and ready to accomplish the mission.”