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US Army Apache fleet surpasses 3.5 million flight hours

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The U S Army's AH-64 Apache helicopter. A Boeing photo.

MESA, ARIZONA (BNS): The U S Army's AH-64 Apache helicopter, which began operating in 1984, has surpassed 3.5 million flight hours.

The Army's aviation program office said that the milestone of endurance and reliability was reached in June as Apache crews flew combat missions in Afghanistan, participated in exercises in South Korea, and trained with the new AH-64D Apache Block III.

The newest and most advanced Apache, the AH-64D Apache Block III, features composite main rotor blades, a composite stabilator, 701D engines with an enhanced digital electronic control unit, and an improved drive system that enhances the rotorcraft's performance.

The Boeing-built Apache attack helicopter is assembled at its facility in Mesa. Since the first production aircraft was delivered two months ahead of contract schedule in September 1983, Apaches have effectively fulfilled the demands of battlefield commanders, Boeing said.

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