Congress has asked the Army to explain why it has officially taken delivery of at least seven AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters that don’t have transmissions installed yet, AOL Defense has learned. An unidentified subcontractor to Boeing which makes the helicopter, fell behind on building the transmissions and is now trying to catch up, but until it does, the high-tech gunships are unflyable.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) mentioned the Apache transmission issue in one sentence of a 190-page report released last month, as reported by our colleagues at Inside Defense. But the problem remained unfixed as of yesterday, when Hill staff first learned of it during an Army briefing on the service’s 2014 budget. Both Congress and AOL Defense are now waiting on further explanation from the Army.
“The question is, are they still behind, [and] why would the Army be taking delivery of aircraft that aren’t complete?” one Hill staffer told AOL Defense. “Normally the government doesn’t sign for an aircraft that is missing a major component, and the contractor doesn’t get paid for it until it’s complete…. Boeing obviously needs to get a handle on this.”
Source: Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. for AOL Defense