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LONGBOW APACHE TO MAKE FIRST ENGINEERING FLIGHT THIS MONTH

 LONGBOW APACHE TO MAKE FIRST ENGINEERING FLIGHT THIS MONTH
 ATLANTA, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Army's AH-64D Longbow Apache will lift off this month for the first time, bringing to fruition months of effort by hundreds of U.S. Army and industry teammates.
 First engineering flight of the prototype aircraft is scheduled for the week of April 27 at the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. facility in Mesa, Ariz.
 McDonnell Douglas, a joint venture formed by Martin Marietta and Westinghouse, and a team of leading aerospace companies are working under U.S. Army contracts to produce four prototype AH-64D Longbow aircraft.
 The Army has plans to remanufacture 227 AH-64As into the Longbow Apache configuration. AH-64D Longbow is the next- generation version of the combat-proven AH-64A Apache, which performed with distinction during Operation Desert Storm.
 AH-64D Longbow can rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage multiple ground or airborne targets through battlefield obscurants and in virtually all weather conditions.
 AH-64D Longbow is part of a cost-effective modernization plan that the Army has prepared for the Apache fleet to greatly enhance its warfighting capability, improve reliability and provide for future growth.
 Under the current Army plan, 535 Apaches would be remanufactured into the AH-64C/D configuration, while remaining Apaches would be upgraded using field retrofits.
 The Army's modernization plan capitalizes on the research and development investments made in the AH-64D Longbow program to produce a common configuration for the remanufactured AH-64C/D aircraft.
 Both the AH-64C and AH-64D are identical except for the addition of the Longbow radar system and more powerful -701C engines that will be used on the AH-64D.
 AH-64D Longbow's terrain profiling feature makes the crew able to navigate nap-of-the-earth with greater confidence. Sensor cueing allows precise pre-pointing of the Target Acquisition System to zero in on targets for rapid identification.
 Additionally, the Longbow radar frequency interferometer senses threats from any angle and alerts the crew to avoid surprises.
 The fire control radar provides rapid air threat awareness, which is necessary for self-defense.
 The AH-64D Longbow's design features enable crews to engage targets at standoff ranges while remaining undetected, thus enhancing survivability.
 Col. Bob Atwell, the Army's Longbow project manager, stressed that, "The high technology research and development we've made is about to pay off, and pay off big time. We're about to give battlefield commanders the ability to defeat virtually any threat for many years to come."
 "Thousands of hours of effort have gone into developing the Longbow Apache," said Chuck Vehlow, director of the AH-64D Longbow program at McDonnell Douglas. "The end result will be an aircraft that will be ready to perform its missions anytime, anywhere and in virtually any weather."
 -0- 4/9/92
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company, 602-891-5519/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. ST: Georgia, Arizona IN: ARO SU:


CH -- LA021 -- 6892 04/09/92 15:25 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 9, 1992
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