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FIRST PREPRODUCTION FIRE CONTROL RADAR FOR AH-64D LONGBOW APACHE ARRIVES AT MCDONNELL DOUGLAS

 MESA, Ariz., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The first preproduction fire control radar (FCR) for the AH-64D Longbow Apache has arrived at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., signaling the beginning of a new stage in the Apache Modernization Program.
 With the arrival of the Longbow FCR, the emphasis on testing will shift toward total systems integration of the Longbow Apache's avionics and weapons packages. Testing to date has focused on expanding the Longbow Apache's flight envelope and integration of the aircraft's individual systems and subsystems -- both in the air and in laboratory environments.
 "Our goal is to achieve full realization of the Longbow Apache's weapon systems potential," said Chuck Vehlow, director of Apache derivatives at McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. "We're ready to lead Army aviation into the 21st century."
 The Longbow FCR, developed and produced by a joint venture of Martin Marietta and Westinghouse, gives the modernized Apache unprecedented battlefield capabilities.
 The radar is part of a weapon system package that enables the Longbow Apache to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and destroy enemy targets from extreme standoff ranges in virtually all weather and through battlefield obscurants.
 McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. will integrate the Longbow FCR on AH-64D prototype No. 2. First flight with the Longbow FCR is scheduled for August. In the meantime, the Longbow FCR will undergo verification and integration testing prior to being placed on the aircraft.
 Plans include tests on the "hot bench," an electronic laboratory that emulates the AH-64D's integrated computer and avionics systems. The hot bench is helping McDonnell Douglas integrate and verify system operations prior to flight testing.
 Once installed, the aircraft and radar will move into ground targeting mode development. During flight tests, the Longbow Apache will use its radar to sweep target areas to identify potential "enemy" targets. Based on actual flight experience, tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as radar performance, will be verified.
 Testing and systems integration of individual FCR components, which began prior to arrival of the Longbow FCR, are continuing. Two laser- guided Hellfire missiles and three simulated RF Hellfires were successfully launched last month in a demonstration of the Longbow Apache's overall weapon system integration.
 Vehlow added that McDonnell Douglas will continue to build on the company's combat simulation capabilities that have helped McDonnell Douglas "achieve results faster and more economically" than was possible in the past.
 "Simulation, coupled with integration of the Longbow Apache's weapon systems, will help the U.S. Army determine the training, tactics and doctrine for specific missions on tomorrow's battlefields," he said.
 The modernized Apache fleet will have a common AH-64C/D configuration, improved reliability, expanded capabilities that include battlefield management activities.
 The improvements are designed to provide a low-risk, affordable option that satisfies the Army's requirement for a high-technology, multi-role combat aircraft.
 Newly integrated, digitized electronics enable the AH-64C/D to launch the RF Hellfire fire-and-forget missiles and transmit targeting information, via secure data link, among numerous aircraft, ground forces and major command, control and intelligence networks.
 The AH-64C/D is being developed by Team Apache Modernization, which includes: the U.S. Army; McDonnell Douglas Helicopter as total systems integrator; and a joint venture composed of Martin Marietta and Westinghouse to develop the Longbow Fire Control Radar and radar frequency (RF), fire-and-forget, Hellfire missile.
 -0- 6/21/93
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., 602-891-5519/
 (MD)


CO: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. ST: Arizona IN: ARO SU:

JL-LS -- LA027 -- 4152 06/21/93 15:57 EDT
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Date:Jun 21, 1993
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