May 27, 2015

Boeing Will Begin Production of AH-6i 'Little Bird' This Year

Boeing will begin production of the AH-6i Little Bird light attack and reconnaissance helicopter, by the end of the year. The manufacturer declined to name the first buyer, which the U.S. Army has previously identified as the Saudi Arabia National Guard. The latter agency will acquire 24 international Little Birds through a foreign military sale (FMS).
The Army awarded Boeing a FMS contract last year to supply AH-6is to Saudi Arabia. The Little Bird international variant was contained in a huge arms deal the U.S. and Saudi governments negotiated in 2010.
The AH-6i borrows from Boeing’s development of the AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter and the A/MH-6M Little Bird used by U.S. special forces.
There are two weapons stores on each side of aircraft, allowing for a weapons mix that includes an M-134 minigun, .50 caliber GAU-19B machine gun, M260 seven-shot rocket pods and up to four semi-active laser Hellfire missiles.
The wing stores also support 30-gallon conformal fuel tanks on each side, providing an additional 60 gallons of fuel, or about two and a half hours of endurance. Another option the AH-6i accommodates is a 63-gallon internal auxiliary fuel tank.

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