Missile Defense

US Army’s AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter Testing Delayed

US Army’s AH-64E Apache

Spc. Richard Pena, a crew chief assigned to C Troop, 4th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Saber, conducts pre-flight inspections of an AH-64E Apache helicopter at Erbil, Iraq, July 11, 2017.

The US Army has decided to delay its capstone full operational ensure that you evaluation for your newest variant from the Apache attack helicopter by the year, the service’s program manager for aircraft told bavarian motor works logo April 26 on the Army Aviation Association of America’s annual summit.

A year ago, “we were speaking about the Full Operational Test and Evaluation FOT&E occurring about right this moment,” Col. Tal Sheppard said. “It is not happening right this moment. We have delayed FOT&E for a year to the spring of 2019.”

The Army first field the AH-64 Echo-model to units in 2013 and it is now fielding the eighth unit equipped at Fort Riley, Kansas.

The reason the service made a decision to delay the operational test is because “we weren’t ready yet,” Sheppard said. “A year will get us ready, it’s planning to allow us mature technology.”

Additionally, the Army will be capable of run both Echo-model operational test simultaneously while using operational test with the Hellfire missile’s replacement, the Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM). JAGM is headed toward a production decision later.

And the main benefit of which is “we will minimize touches to Forces Command units with an operational test and we save money on some resources too,” Sheppard said.

When asked in the event the delay had almost anything to do using the recently surfaced issue in connection with the Army not accepting Apaches from Boeing because of a problem using the current strap pack nut, Sheppard said the decision to delay wasn’t connected.

We first broke good news the Army had stopped taking deliveries of AH-64Es from Boeing due to a deficiency of confidence inside durability from the strap pack nut, particularly its performance in severe, coastal environments where the service saw corrosion on account of climate and stress.

Boeing is predicted to experience a redesigned nut ready to replace the existing nut by the summer along with the Army will quickly work to replace the nut in every E-models and D-models which might be fielded both while using Army, the National Guard and international customers.

“I will say it absolutely was more high-risk than it needed to be to get a successful operational test,” Sheppard said. That was mostly because of discovering in pre-test events last fall that software linked to the multi-core processor needed further refinement, he told us, adding it’s the new the Army has installed this type of processor on rotary-wing aircraft within the fleet.

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