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THIRD AH-64D LONGBOW APACHE FLIES FOR FIRST TIME

 MESA, Ariz., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The third AH-64D Longbow Apache prototype flew here today for the first time. All three modernized Apache test aircraft have lifted off on or ahead of schedule.
 The flight marked another in a growing series of recent successes for the U.S. Army and McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. on the Apache Modernization Program.
 Other milestones include the recent launches last month of the first seven Hellfire missiles from a Longbow Apache prototype and delivery this month of the first preproduction Longbow Fire Control Radar to Mesa for installation on an AH-64D Longbow Apache, the next-generation version of the combat-proven AH-64A Apache.
 The Apache is undergoing a makeover, evolving into a more capable aircraft -- the AH-64C/D -- that will dominate the battlefield of tomorrow the same way the AH-64A commands respect today.
 The first flight of the third Longbow Apache prototype lasted 30 minutes at the McDonnell Douglas Helicopter facility in Mesa. McDonnell Douglas experimental test pilots Jim Adkins and Jerry Keyser flew the AH-64D at forward speeds up to 100 knots and up to 20 knots in rearward and right and left sideward flight.
 Keyser, the company's chief test pilot, said, "Everything went very smoothly." The flight was conducted using the AH-64D's multifunction displays.
 To date, the three AH-64D Longbow prototypes have logged nearly 400 flight hours.
 The fourth AH-64D is scheduled to fly later this year. The first of two AH-64Cs is scheduled to fly in January.
 The modernized Apache fleet will reflect a common AH-64C/D configuration, improved reliability, and expanded capabilities that include battlefield management through secure digital communications. The improvements are designed to provide a low-risk, affordable option that satisfies the Army's requirement for a high-technology, multirole combat aircraft.
 The U.S. Army plans to upgrade its entire Apache fleet to the AH-64C/D configuration.
 Digitized electronics will enable the AH-64C/D to launch laser and 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 comprised of Martin Marietta and Westinghouse to develop the Longbow Fire Control Radar and radar frequency (RF), fire-and-forget, Hellfire missile.
 -0- 6/30/93
 /CONTACT: Hal Klopper of McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co., 602-891-5519/


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

LS-MF -- LA031 -- 7310 06/30/93 16:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 30, 1993
Words:418
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