By Mark Albertson: May 25, 1995, upwards of a thousand people gathered outside a hanger at the Sikorsky plant in Stratford, Connecticut. A collective cheer rose up from among the industry representatives and military officials when the initial prototype of the RAH-66 rolled out the doors.
Among those on hand was Army Chief of Staff, General Gordon R. Sullivan, who observed that the Comanche, “. . . is the key to winning the information war, owning the night, and ensuring defeat to America’s future enemies.” And he added, that the Comanche will, “. . . fulfill our sacred pledge to provide this nation’s fighting men and women with the best equipment possible to carry out their heroic missions and return safely to their homes and families. We can do no less.”
The first Comanche contract was issued in April 1991. The present contract calls for the initial test flight for November 1995. Six evaluation models are scheduled for delivery by 2001. These will be put through their paces, preparing the way for production in 2005; followed in 2006 by the first unit flying the Comanche.
Source: page 5, “RAH-66 Comanche Roll-Out,” Army Aviation, Army Aviation Publications, Inc., Westport, Ct., June 30, 1995.