THE FIRST OF more than 750 US Army McDonnell Douglas AH-64A Apache helicopters scheduled for re-manufacture into improved AH-64D Longbow Apache configuration have arrived at the company's Mesa production site in Arizona.

The first two airframes were delivered to Mesa on 17 November and are being stripped to basic fuselages in preparation for the start of remanufacturing early in 1996. The work involves equipping the helicopter with a mast-mounted Lockheed Martin fire-control radar, re-wiring for a new digital avionics suite and provision for radar-frequency-guided Hellfire missiles.

The US Army plans to convert its entire AH-64A fleet over the next decade and, in October, it received US Defense Department approval to award a single-year contract for the first 18. The contract is expected to be eventually defined as a five-year effort for at least 232 aircraft.

Source: Flight International