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Saying Goodbye to the AH64's


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Hello. I have a question. I heard about the US Army's "FARA" Project. Basically it's a project aimed at looking for a new design or new kind of bird that will replace half of the Army's total fleet of AH64's by 2030. There is already one candidate, the chopper with 2 rotors on top the other one to counter the torque, but they are the same size rotors on top of each other. So the tail rotor is one rotor at the rear of the bird. Imagine a torpedo underwater moving, it moves forward because of the propeller at the back of the torpedo, the new chopper has that same design. My question is, once that happens, what will happen to the AH-64 pilots? Will they be taught on how to fly the new one's? Will they be allowed to change airframes? Like from 64's to 60's or 47's? What will happen to them? 

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FARA is a replacement program for the 58D, not the Apache directly. It will fill the scout role the Apache has been tasked to do since the 58D went away. The two designs by Sikorsky and Bell being considered are both smaller and carry less armament than the Apache. The Army wants to start fielding them by 2030 but that seems overly optimistic to me given how procurement and testing tends to run way over budget and timeline.

The 64E will be around for much longer beyond 2030 if the version 6 upgrades, new gen TADS, PNVS, FCR, RFI and engines are all funded for the fleet. The Army will transition surplus 64 pilots if the Army thinks it's worth it or they will cut you loose like happened to a good number of 58 guys. 

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  • 1 month later...
44 minutes ago, AriX17 said:

Hundreds of Ah-64Ds will be dismantled
They will do it with helicopters , whick used all their flyight hours resourse ?

A lot of the D model apaches we fly with 8000+ hours were rebuilt from A models with who knows how many hours. They are being stripped down for useful components and replaced with new build E models. 

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22 hours ago, KennyO said:

Apaches been rumored to be removed/replaced since I joined the Army in 2009. It's 2020, I'm flying them now, and still hearing the same rumor. Don't believe the rumors until you're out of a job haha.

Serious question, but would they actually just let you go if, for whatever reason, they did retire the AH-64? I feel like they would like to keep their training investment and just put you on a new airframe, like with Kiowa folks.

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12 hours ago, Nriggs95 said:

Serious question, but would they actually just let you go if, for whatever reason, they did retire the AH-64? I feel like they would like to keep their training investment and just put you on a new airframe, like with Kiowa folks.

Except they didn't do that with a whole lot of Kiowa pilots. Some were transitioned to other aircraft but a lot were simply kicked out. 

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There was a large group of us mid-grade W2s that if you weren’t tracked you got left out in the cold.  Not enough time left on our commitment or enough value to get their money’s worth I guess.  Eventually after a few years there was pressure due to attrition and they started offering transitions to the left overs, but by then most folks had been forced out or were in their last year before separating and had already “moved on.”

IIRC there were about 900 pilots total, of which 300 got offered transitions (mostly WOJGs and tracked warrants), another 100 were standbys, and everyone else was SOL.  I stuck around as long as they would let me, but only because my awesome career manager kept me in a flying gig.  My SP eventually pulled some strings and got me an Apache transition but by that point I was committed to getting out of the Army.  I was grateful to have some excellent leaders around me, not everyone was that fortunate.

Moral of the story is never get too comfortable even in a “secure” job like the Army.  Also, give 100% even when you get dealt some crappy cards and build bridges instead of burning them.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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