Last week, Boeing flew the AH-6i light attack/armed scout helicopter for the first time in production-standard configuration.
Developed from the AH-6M used by US Special Operations Command, the aircraft is based on the proven MD 500/530 airframe and incorporates systems from the company’s AH-64E Apache.
At SOFEX 2010, Jordan signed a letter of intent to acquire the AH-6i, registering the first export interest in the type, although that has not resulted in any sale.
In the meantime, Saudi Arabia has specified 24 as part of a large helicopter order to equip the Saudi Arabia National Guard, to become the launch customer.
A version of the AH-6i, designated AH-6S, was one of the contenders for the US Army’s Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) competition before the programme was abandoned in the face of sequestration cuts.
Another AAS competitor, the MD Helicopters MD 540F that shares the same basic airframe design with the AH-6i, is on display here at SOFEX.