A couple points:
- The K isn't getting a new "drive system", it's getting new engines. The main gearbox will remain the same between E and K. Other gearboxes may get small mods, but nothing major.
- The K is also getting a new & improved external-cargo handling system. There was talk a couple years ago of the K being able to 3-point loads like the Chinooks can, but I don't know if that'll happen or not. Currently, the E can either single-point OR
I REALLY hope they pushed for a battery and electric starter for the APP. Or at least a battery and an electric hyd. pump to recharge the APP's two start accumulators. Hand-pumping those accumulators back up to 3000psi, after a couple failed starts, in 100+* temps, SUCKS.
I hope the battery mentioned above will also be bussed to power at least one COM, so during the FARP mission we (well, they
; I'm not in anymore) don't have to be sitting on the ground burning fuel & making lots of noise with the APP, just to have an operable radio to talk to the Cobras/groundpounders.
I hope the airframe design team incorporates at least some
of the "little things" that we in the Fleet suggested to make our jobs easier. Stuff like in-floor and in-sponson storage compartments to reduce cabin clutter, easier access to various components to speed maintenance, wireless ICS for the aircrew.