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APACHE MODERNIZATION PLAN GAINS MOMENTUM

 APACHE MODERNIZATION PLAN GAINS MOMENTUM
 MESA, Ariz., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army's modernization


plan for the AH-64 Apache multi-mission combat helicopter continues to gain momentum.
 Growing congressional support for the modernization effort, deliveries of subsystems and components, and successful completion of a Longbow Apache Critical Design Review (CDR) last month have enhanced prospects for acceleration of the aircraft program.
 In Congress, the Joint Appropriations Committee provided $21 million to accelerate development on the AH-64C to enable the AH-64D program schedule. Overall, Congress has provided $254.2 million for Longbow Apache research, development, test and engineering.
 "This action clearly demonstrates Congressional support of the Army's Apache Modernization Program," said Chuck Vehlow, director of the program for McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. "It enables the Army/industry team to thoroughly evaluate the AH-64C well in advance of the Longbow radar."
 He added, "Acceleration will substantially reduce overall program risk because the AH-64C and D are identical except for the radar and the engine."
 McDonnell Douglas is working under a $194.6 million Army contract to integrate the Longbow Fire Control Radar and the Hellfire Longbow missile seeker on the Apache. Four AH-64A Apaches will be modified into Longbow Apache prototypes.
 The U.S. Army proposed the fleet modernization plan for the Apache to increase the effectiveness of the combat-proven attack helicopter across the board.
 The modernization plan calls for the Army to convert 535 AH-64A Apaches into the AH-64C/D configuration and upgrade 254 AH-64A Apaches into AH-64B helicopters with near term improvements derived from Operation Desert Storm experience.
 In October, the program successfully completed its CDR.
 "This is confirmation of the government's confidence in the program and belief that McDonnell Douglas has a valid design and can execute the program," said Erv Hunter, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.'s vice president for the Apache program.
 "It was a true team effort, Hunter said. "Completion of the CDR enables the program to proceed to the next major milestone -- first flight, which we expect to occur during the second quarter of 1992."
 The CDR was a key program milestone to determine the Longbow Apache's compliance with design requirements, verify design compatibility of the Longbow Apache with other equipment and to assess risk for the program.
 Deliveries of Longbow Apache developmental hardware components have started for the first four prototype Longbow Apache helicopters being built by McDonnell Douglas.
 Among the components already shipped to the Helicopter Company are systems and display processors, multi-function displays, enhanced digital aircraft stabilization equipment and the aircraft's inertial navigation unit.
 Configuration verification is being accomplished through application of manpower and personnel integration disciplines and processes known as MANPRINT.
 The systems development fixture, a mock-up of a Longbow Apache used to verify component locations, wiring and cockpit configurations, has been completed.
 Unlike traditional systems development fixtures, the Longbow Apache version is actually a production Apache that has been adapted to its new role. Ultimately, the systems development fixture will become one of four Longbow Apache prototypes.
 Systems integration is being performed on an avionics "hot bench," which replicates the Longbow Apache's avionics architecture and reduces program risks. This process minimizes problems in actual integration on the aircraft.
 Most of the system software required to support first flight is installed and running on the Longbow "hot bench" test station in Mesa, Ariz.
 -0- 11/2/91
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., 602-891-5519/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. ST: Arizona IN: ARO SU:


EH -- LA022 -- 8495 12/02/91 16:38 EST
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Date:Dec 2, 1991
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