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Faulty Military Equipment in Mideast

October 21, 1990

I'm not sure of your sources for your editorial, but it is obvious that you have missed the wealth of positive accounts about the AH-64 Apache's performance in the Persian Gulf.

I think your readers would be well served if you allowed them to read how well the Apache is doing there--it's ready, willing and able to perform any mission the Army may require.

In a recent statement to the news media, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. President Tom Gunn cited his concerns about media attacks on the Apache. Gunn called reports that the Apache is performing below Army readiness standards "blatantly untrue." In fact, Apaches in the gulf are operating at rates significantly better than the 75% mission capable rate required by the Army. And that's according to the Army itself.

Regarding the General Accounting Office's criticism of the Apache, which was leaked to the news media in April and has resurfaced every month since, please be aware that the GAO's report is based on information that is 18-24 months old. The Army and McDonnell Douglas have been working together for more than a year to resolve field-reported concerns. We believe this effort is clearly reflected in the way the Apache is performing in the Middle East.

DALE WILLIS

Director, Public Affairs

McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co.

Mesa, Ariz.

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