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October 10, 2018 | International, Aerospace

Boeing: Apache helicopter fix could take until past 2020 to complete


WASHINGTON — Boeing has made progress on installing a “safety critical” part across the AH-64 Apache fleet, but it will probably take until at least 2020 for the company to finish the retrofit process, Boeing program officials said Tuesday.

In April, Defense News revealed that the U.S. Army had suspended AH-64E Apache attack helicopter deliveries due to corrosion the service noticed on the aircraft's strap pack nut, which hold the heavy bolts that attach the rotor blades to the helicopter. The service resumed accepting deliveries on August 31 after Boeing designed a new strap pack nut that will be outfitted on AH-64Es coming off the line.

The company has now retrofitted new strap pack nuts on about 25 percent of the Army's AH-64D/Es, Kathleen “KJ” Jolivette, director of U.S. Army Services for Boeing Global Services, said during an Oct. 9 roundtable with journalists at the Association for the U.S. Army annual conference.

However, Steve Wade, vice president Boeing attack helicopters, said the fastest the company could move to finish retrofitting the Apache fleet is 2020, saying that “the limiting factor is how fast we can build” retrofit kits.

Boeing's best case completion date appears to be at least a full year behind the Army's own projections. In September, Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd, the service's program executive officer for aviation, said that he expected retrofits of the U.S. Army's Apache fleet to occur by 2019, with the strap pack nut replacements paid for by the company.

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    October 11, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    NFAC Tests Next-Generation Military Helicopter

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