Apr 4, 2015

US To Start AH-6i deliveries to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is shortly to begin receiving the first of 24 Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack and reconnaissance helicopters.
The US Army's Non-Standard Rotary-Wing Aircraft project office has issued a sources sought notice for the transportation of an unspecified number of helicopters from the United States to the kingdom, as well as for pilot and maintainer training.
A contract for manufacture of 24 AH-6i helicopters was awarded to Boeing in September 2014.
The AH-6i is based on the 1960s-era Hughes Model 369 (OH-6 Cayuse in US Army service) light scout helicopter, and features an enhanced powerplant, payload, and avionics package.
Its weapons fit includes the Dillon M134D 7.62 mm Gatling gun, General Dynamics GAU-19 12.7 mm Gatling gun, FN Herstal M3P 12.7 mm chain gun, Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, as well as a variety of seven-shot 'dumb' or laser-guided 70 mm rocket systems mounted on the four-station weapons planks. The AH-6i is also equipped with a chin-mounted L-3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optic/infrared sensor turret.
The AH-6i's improved avionics are based on the same software as the Boeing AH-64E Apache .
The Saudi deal marks the first sale of the AH-6i for Boeing, although Jordan has signed a letter of intent for 18 such helicopters with an option for a further six.

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