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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

22 May 2015

Boeing Details AH-6i Programme

Boeing, at the end of this year, will be starting up a production line for a Middle Eastern customer, with deliveries of 24 AH-6i aircraft to be complete by 2017, with a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) - Light package. According to Brad Rounding Manager BD Attack Helicopers, Boeing is, “working with several others; excited about more.” Development for the LITTLE BIRD is derived from AH-64 and A/MH-6M, the latter from SOF, who developed all the weapons on this programme, and Boeing currently upgrading existing airframes.

24 AH-6i will be delivered to an international customer. (Photo: M├Ânch)

Weapons and pay load include an open systems architecture (MX-15Di EO/IR sensor currently installed); an advanced glass cockpit; NVG compatibility; qualified M-134 mini gun (7.32mm); .50 cal GAU-19B (12.7mm); M260 7 shot rocket podes (70mm); HELLFIRE missiles; semi-active laser (SAL); improved performance via dual channel FADEC; an optional Goliath tank (63gal) to be put behind the aircraft plus two conformal outside tanks; and more.

Commonalities with APACHE include weapons management, obstacle avoidance, and crashworthy protected seat for SOF customer.

The AH-6i can be modified into an unmanned configuration, optionally manned, flown via laptop, and Boeing is always interested in pursuing customers for its Unmanned LITTLE BIRD programme and recently finished modifying a Korean manned MD500D helicopter into an optionally piloted helicopter and is preparing for flight test later this year.

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