Papendrecht, 6-11-2012 — /europawire.eu/ — Fokker Aerostructures has delivered the 1000th Forward Avionics Bays shipset for the AH-64D Apache helicopter to The Boeing Company.
The Forward Avionics Bays (FAB’s), mounted on both sides of the Apache helicopter, are the housings for the helicopter’s avionics and mission systems. Boeing and Fokker have started their collaboration for the Apache program in 1996 and the first shipset was delivered 15 years ago in October 1997. More than 100 aerospace specialists of Fokker in Hoogeveen are working closely together with the Boeing team in Mesa on the Apache program. Besides the FAB’s Fokker is also producing the Vertical Stabilizer and the Landing Gear of the Helicopter. The successful collaboration between the teams led to Fokker receiving the Boeing Supplier Award in 2005 and to the company’s involvement in the latest Apache version, the AH-64D Block III. For this helicopter Fokker will initially manufacture 77 sets Block III FAB’s, of which 43 during the planned low rate initial production (LRIP) phase. The total Block III program has a potential of 690 sets.
This Apache work package confirms Fokker’s position as specialist for smart lightweight aerostructures. The Block III design features an additional weight reduction combined with an improved installation. The Apache helicopter is used worldwide by numerous countries. The Netherlands has 29 Apache helicopters, which have proved to be of great value in missions such as that in Afghanistan.
Hans Büthker, COO of Fokker Technologies and President of Fokker Aerostructures, said: “This is a true milestone for Fokker. We are very proud to work together with Boeing on this successful program. The long-standing relationship with Boeing Mesa is an important one for our company. In 1996 the Apache contract was the 1st contract for the transformed Fokker and a proof of great trust from the Boeing company. There is an excellent partnership between our specialists and the Boeing team. The Apache program provides job stability for 100 of our highly skilled employees and has made a significant contribution to the development of knowledge and technology within Fokker.