Army announces initiative for Apache repairs

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Nov. 22, 1999) -- The Army announced Nov. 22 it is teaming with industry to correct two recently discovered safety problems with its Apache helicopters (AH-64).

The Army, along with the team of the Boeing Company, Lucas Aerospace and Borg-Warner, the contractors, have worked to accelerate production, delivery and installation of required parts.

The Army said the priority for these repair parts is to our immediate operational requirements and training base.

"We will maintain our warfighting capability, " said Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, Army Chief of Staff. "While this is a peacetime safety issue and it impacts on readiness reporting, we will fly our Apache helicopters for wartime missions."

The Chief of Staff also said the recent Safety of Flight messages were the prudent things to do to ensure the safety of the crews and the aircraft. "We have no higher priority than the safety of our soldiers," he said.

The Army had originally anticipated that the problems would affect more than half of its fleet of 743 Apaches and might take until November 2000 to correct. The Army, working closely with industry, now anticipates the correction of the problems by early summer 2000.

"This is a great example of the Army and industry working together to ensure the nation's defense is not compromised," Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera said. "The efforts of all involved in making this project a success are to be commended."

(EDITOR'S NOTE: U.S. Army Public Affairs news release.)