Posted by John McHale
PAPENDRECHT, Netherlands, 4 Aug. 2010. Fokker Aerostructures and Boeing Rotorcraft Systems have reached an agreement to develop and produce the forward avionics bays for the AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters. The forward avionics bays (FABs), mounted on both sides of the Apache helicopters, form the housings for the aircraft's avionics systems. The Block III FAB is based on a new concept which is lighter and incorporates maintainability improvements. The development activities have already started at the Fokker facility in Hoogeveen, Netherlands. During the development phase the company is working closely together with Boeing Rotorcraft Systems in Mesa, Ariz. Delivery of the first hardware is scheduled for 2011. Fokker will deliver 43 sets during the planned low rate initial production (LRIP) phase. The total program has a potential of 800 sets. Fokker and Boeing have been working together for 14 years in the Apache program and Fokker has now produced almost 900 FAB sets for the Apache AH64D Longbow in Hoogeveen. The Apache helicopter will be used worldwide by numerous countries. The Netherlands has 29 helicopters.