WASHINGTON (the USA), April 20, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova (Bm), Photo: Capt. Gary Loten-Beckford/U.S. Army
In February 2018, the U.S. Army decided to stop accepting Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters due to safety issues, reported Defense News. The decision was forwarded to Boeing in March.
On the 19th April, the program executive officer for Army aviation, Brig. Gen. Thomas Todd, announced, “We stopped accepting deliveries of new AH-64 Echoes because of a strap pack nut that we believe to be really suspect.”
According to Thomas Todd, safety inspections have established that the nut in question has shown bad performance in heavy coastal conditions and corrosion due to the climate and stress has been found. That nut fixes quite big bolts that hold the helicopter rotor blades, because of which are it is of critical safety importance and deliveries will not be accepted by the U.S. Army until Boeing begins fielding an improved strap pack nut.
Meanwhile, the cause for the safety issue has been identified and redesign has been approved by the Army. Therefore new nuts will be provided by Boeing after the new design has been tested beginning in the summer. Deliveries of new parts will be first directed to units that operate in heavy coastal conditions.
The program executive officer for Army aviation stated that Boeing has been working at a “very thorough but expeditious pace over the last six months,” and that “We are in testing as we speak.”
India, Indonesia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Taiwan are countries that have ordered or bought AH-64E helicopters by now.
In a statement to Defense News, Boeing said, “Our highest priority is the safety of the warfighter and the reliability of our products. We’re continuing to partner with the Army to address issues, deploying Boeing experts to assist the Army in the field with inspections, and return to the delivery schedule.”