The U.S. Army is planning to swap its Black Hawk helicopters for National Guard-operated Apaches in a move to help state governments respond to emergencies, Defense News reported Saturday.
Marcus Weisgerber writes defense budget cuts and a planned reduction to the Army’s forces have prompted the service to replace the UH-60 Black Hawk aircraft with AH-64 Apaches for active duty missions.
Brig. Gen. Michael Lundy, commanding general of the Army Aviation Center of Excellence, told the publication a combat aircraft such as the Apache is better suited for active duty.
Defense News reports the restructuring plan is approved under the House and Senate versions of the 2015 defense authorization bill.
The Army also plans to replace the Bell TH-67 Creek and OH-58 Kiowa training helicopters with Airbus UH-72 Lakotas as part of its aviation restructuring plan, Weisgerber reports.
The Lakota fleet is set to complete the transition process by 2019, Lundy told reporters.