"The N model was pretty good in its time," said Abote. "It's just tired."
The H-1 upgrade program thoroughly modernizes both helicopters, said Abote. "It's a really extensive upgrade," he said.
The rotor head is made of composites, making it lighter and stronger than its predecessors, Abote said.
The upgrades will permit a dramatic increase in the range, speed, payload and lethality of both helicopters, said Abote. The revamped Huey will be able to reach nearly twice its current range of 172 nautical miles, and it will be able to carry more than double its present payload.