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HELICOPTER OPERATIONS INTEGRATED INTO McDONNELL DOUGLAS AEROSPACE

 ST. LOUIS, July 1 /PRNewswire/ -- McDonnell Douglas Corp. will fully integrate its helicopter operations into McDonnell Douglas Aerospace. The decision signals an end to active pursuit of joint venture or sale prospects for the helicopter division, based in Mesa, Ariz.
 Following a corporate consolidation last August, the helicopter division had continued to operate autonomously while McDonnell Douglas explored partnership and sale opportunities for the unit in the belief that consolidation needs to occur in the helicopter industry. After intensive evaluations of a number of serious prospects, the company concluded that a partnership or sale at this time is not in the best interest of McDonnell Douglas or its customers.
 Some consolidation of activities had begun over the past few months at the Mesa facility. Stepped-up integration efforts will entail increased communication, coordination, sharing of resources and enterprise-level strategies and decision making. The integration is expected to yield improved operating efficiencies and profitability, with a minimal impact on day-to-day production activities.
 The helicopter division produces the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter for the U.S. Army and international military customers, and the MD 500 and MD Explorer series commercial helicopter lines that feature the revolutionary NOTAR(R) system anti-torque and directional control.
 Apache orders total 811 for the U.S. Army and 94 for international customers. The U.S. Army also plans to upgrade its current Apache fleet, beginning in 1996. The planned upgrade will convert 227 AH-64A Apaches to AH-64D Apache Longbows, which will feature an advanced fire control radar system, more powerful engines and improved electrical, navigation and cooling systems. The remaining 584 will be upgraded to "C" models, which will include "D" series general upgrades, without the Longbow fire control radar or upgraded engines. The AH-64C aircraft could be configured to accept both the radar and the engines to meet mission requirements.
 Among the quietest, fastest and most agile light helicopters in service today, MD 500 series helicopters have logged millions of flight hours in more than 60 countries. Nearly 4,500 MD 500 series helicopters have been built over the last 30 years. The latest configuration, the five-place 520N features the tail rotorless NOTAR system to improve safety and reduce noise. The new eight-place, twin-engine MD Explorer, currently undergoing FAA certification testing, also features the NOTAR system. The Explorer logged its first flight in December 1992, and first customer deliveries are planned for late 1994.
 The helicopter division employs approximately 3,800 workers.
 -0- 7/1/93
 /CONTACT: Ken Jensen of McDonnell Douglas - Mesa, 602-891-2119, or Barbara Anderson of McDonnell Douglas - St. Louis, 314-233-2865/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Corp.; McDonnell Douglas Aerospace ST: Arizona, Missouri IN: ARO SU:

JL -- LA028 -- 7835 07/01/93 15:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:449
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