Boeing recently delivered its 2,500th AH-64 Apache helicopter, an E-model Apache for the U.S. Army, from the company’s production line in Mesa, Arizona.
The first production AH-64, an A-model Apache, rolled off the assembly line on September 30, 1983, and was delivered by Boeing heritage company McDonnell Douglas to the U.S. Army in January 1984. Today, Boeing is producing and delivering AH-64E helicopters to a growing list of customers around the world.
“The Apache has built an impressive legacy of success, and is well-positioned to bring relevant technologies and capabilities that defense forces require today and in the future,” said Kathleen Jolivette, vice president of Attack Helicopter programs and senior Mesa site executive. “Company teammates and suppliers worldwide are focused on assembling, delivering and supporting U.S. and global customers working to deter aggression and defend freedom. Apache is ready to have a key role in the future of multi-domain operations.”
Today’s E-model Apache features integrated technologies including communications and navigation capabilities to enhance situational awareness and coordination; a new, faster multi-core mission processor for advanced systems integration; and maritime capability in the Fire Control Radar for watercraft detection and identification along with a shorter engagement timeline. The helicopter’s improved drive system includes a split-torque face gear transmission, a 701D engine and composite main rotor blades that ensure the Apache succeeds as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform.
Selected by, or in service today with the U.S. Army and the defense forces of 15 nations, Apache helicopters are slated to fulfill the requirements of aviators and battlefield commanders for decades to come. Planned modernization has ensured that Apaches have evolved with revolutionary technologies. Today’s helicopters feature capabilities for resiliency in multi-mission operational environments.
“As a former Army aviator with military service dating back to October 1978 and later selected to fly the first AH-64A and later the AH-64D model Apaches, it’s a thrill today to be a part of the crews who complete flight testing on aircraft during development and prior to delivery to customers,” said Dave Guthrie, Boeing’s chief pilot for Apache programs.
The AH-64A Apache was first delivered to the U.S. Army in 1984 and the helicopter fired the first shots of Operation Desert Storm in 1991, was called into service for Homeland Defense following the September 11, 2001 tragedies, and later deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Legacy Apache deliveries, including new-build and remanufactured helicopters, include 937 A-models through 1997, more than 1,000 AH-64Ds between 1997 and 2013, and more than 500 E-models since 2011.