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Boeing to Begin LRIP of AH-64 Apache D Block III

by: Matthew Potter
October 26, 2010

Category: Arizona, Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, England, Events, Holland, Military Aviation, production program, Services, States, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Army awarded Boeing (BA) a contract to begin the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the AH-64 Apache D Block III. The value of the contract is about $247 million.

LRIP is the part of the acquisition cycle after completion of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase. LRIP is normally ten percent of a program’s planned quantity and allows the contractor and the service the ability to demonstrate a proper production line and that the system is able to meet the requirements of the user. LRIP also allows gathering of information to support the full production of the aircraft and also begin the process of maintenance and support.

The decision to proceed to LRIP was given on 7 October at a Milestone C Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) meeting.

The AH-64D Block III is an incremental upgrade of the Apache which has seen heavy use in Iraq and Afghanistan providing direct support of U.S. and Allied troops. The AH-64 is not only flown by the U.S. Army but also the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in Afghanistan. With its 30 mm cannon and Hellfire missiles as well as unguided rockets it provides precision strike missions.

The U.S. Army is hoping to acquire almost 700 of the advanced attack helicopter. The Block III adds new rotor blades and transmission but its biggest upgrade is in the area of communications and data links. One requirement of the Block III is to be able to control Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to improve ISR capabilities.

The Block III represents a significant upgrade and the decision to enter LRIP rewards the hard work of the Project Office and Army aviation.

Boeing will manufacture the new aircraft at their facility in Mesa, AZ.

Photo from SoloXis’ flickr photostream.

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One Comments

  1. Boeing to Upgrade AH-64A for U.S. Army | Defense Procurement News on January 18th, 2011 2:01 am

    […] Boeing have continued to develop the Apache and the latest version, the Longbow Block III, was just approved for entry into Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) by the Department of Defense in October. The Block III continues sustained improvements and adds […]

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