Photo via Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter’s advanced V-280 Valor tiltrotor prototype, developed to replace the iconic AH-64 Apache attack chopper and UH-60 Black Hawk utility copter in the Army’s fleet of rotary aircraft, is “100%” complete and ready for its maiden flight before the end of 2017, the company announced on Sept. 6.

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U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. John Nimmo, Sr.

On April 18, during an unannounced visit to Baghdad, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced an additional 217 American troops and a fleet of AH-64 Apache helicopters will be deployed to Iraq to assist local forces in the upcoming assault on Mosul, which is widely expected to be one of the bloodiest — if not the bloodiest — battles of the campaign against the Islamic State thus far.

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