MESA- The latest iteration of the Boeing AH-64E Apache has completed a successful flight, showcasing its enhanced capabilities as part of Boeing’s ongoing efforts to modernize the platform.
Referred to as Version 6.5 (V6.5), this upgraded E-model Apache represents the next stage in the evolution of the world’s premier attack helicopter.
Boeing AH-64E Apache First Flight
Christina Upah, Vice President of Attack Helicopter Programs and Senior Executive at Boeing Mesa expressed her excitement, saying, “We witnessed the realization of our diligent efforts during this inaugural flight.
These enhancements are set to elevate the E-model Apache flight to new heights in terms of capabilities, ensuring its continued dominance on future battlefields.
Version 6.5 (V6.5), granted by the U.S. Department of Defense in December 2021, encompasses a range of software updates designed to enhance capabilities and refine the pilot interface. Notable enhancements within this version include:
- Enhanced route and attack planning optimization.
- Improved Link 16 features.
- Integration of an Open Systems Interface, laying the foundation for the Modular Open Systems Approach, fostering maximum interoperability, expedited integration, and the deployment of advanced capabilities.
Col. John (Jay) Maher, U.S. Army Apache Project Manager, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We’re extremely enthusiastic about the ongoing development of the V6.5 software, as it serves as a stepping stone for Apache modernization.
V6.5 Software System
V6.5 brings the entire E model fleet under a unified software system, streamlining training and maintenance. It also establishes a path for sensor and capability uniformity, allowing the Army to address mandates and crucial technologies. Ensuring relevance well into the future is of utmost importance.”
Expanding on the foundation of V6.5, Boeing is collaborating with the U.S. Army to integrate the Improved Turbine Engine (ITE).
This General Electric Aerospace T901 engine is expected to deliver enhancements in reach, available power, time on station, and fuel efficiency. It will also introduce sustainment improvements such as health and usage monitoring, streamlining maintenance, and extended engine lifespan.
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