21 December 2016

24 Boeing AH-6i Little Bird Helicopters Delivered to Saudi Arabia

Air Platforms
Saudi Arabia accepts first AH-6i helos
21 December 2016
Just hours ago in the midst of widespread condemnation of Britain for armaments and weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen that's killed over 10,000 people and destroyed vital infrastructure, IHS Jane's Defense Weekly reported what was disclosed but declined to discuss the issue and acceptance of the world's deadliest and most lethal attack helicopter.
Saudi Arabia has accepted into service the first of 24 Boeing AH-6i Little Bird light attack and reconnaissance helicopters, the manufacturer disclosed in the December issue of its in-house magazine, Frontiers.
While Boeing did not name Saudi Arabia, it said in Frontiers that the first international customer accepted the type in August
Photo credit: An AH-6i testbed aircraft being displayed to reporters at Boeing's Mesa production facility on 8 June. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings
Source: http://www.janes.com/article/66454/saudi-arabia-accepts-first-ah-6i-helos 
Link to view December 2016 issue of Frontiers >> http://www.boeing.com/news/frontiers/archive/2016/december/#/1/

The company told reporters in June that deliveries would begin from its Mesa production facility in Arizona in the coming weeks, but declined to discuss the issue after that. The US Army too would not comment to IHS Jane's on the sale, which has been widely reported to be for the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), beyond a Federal Business Opportunities notification posted in August in which it said that the first 12 helicopters would be transported to Saudi Arabia "as soon as possible".
The AH-6i features an enhanced powerplant, payload, and avionics package, giving it enhanced 'hot and high' capabilities; a large and varied arsenal that includes 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns and AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles; and interoperability with the latest-variant AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter.
Production has been running at two airframes per month, with the last of the SANG's helicopters due to arrive on the line in February 2017.
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