Comanche passes Milestone II review
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6 April 2000
The Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche programme has passed the US Department of Defense Acquisition Board's Milestone II assessment, the final step in a complex series of programme reviews. This assessment certifies that a programme is properly planned and administered and has successfully completed all demonstration and validation requirements in the programme so far.
The next step is to settle the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase contract. Usually a process that takes some time, in this case the Boeing Sikorsky team and the US Army have already agreed to the EMD contract terms and expect an early start to the $3.1 billion project. Comanche Team Director Arthur W. Linden expects the EMD contract will be in effect 1 on June. The new US Army Aviation Modernisation Plan, put before Congress at the beginning of the month, has recommended acquisition of more than 1200 COMANCHE helicopters.
"The Milestone II review and the Aviation Modernisation Plan both are affirmations of Comanche's tremendous potential for enhancing the New Army's future war-fighting capabilities," said Linden. "The programme has met or exceeded every customer requirement, and we're now ready to establish a firm foundation for production, on schedule and on cost."
During EMD, the Comanche Team will test and qualify the aircraft's fully integrated digital Mission Equipment Package, deliver five new COMANCHE helicopters for EMD testing, and deliver eight aircraft to the Army for operational test and evaluation. The first US Army Comanche unit will be equipped in 2006.
The RAH-66 COMANCHE is being developed by US Army Aviation and a team of leading aerospace companies headed by The Boeing Company and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a unit of United Technologies Corporation.