Boeing, one of the world’s leading aerospace companies, has secured a multi-year contract worth $1.9 billion to build 184 AH-64E Apache helicopters for the US Army and partner nations, including Australia. The contract has the potential to increase to more than $3.8 billion with future obligations.
The AH-64E Apache is a twin-engine, four-blade, attack helicopter that can perform a variety of missions, such as close air support, armed reconnaissance, air assault and escort. It is equipped with advanced sensors, weapons and avionics systems that enable it to operate in day and night conditions and adverse weather.
The contract will include the first Apaches for Australia, which revealed in 2021 that it would buy 29 Apaches as its new armed reconnaissance helicopter. The US State Department approved the sale of 29 Apaches for the Australian Army for an estimated $3.5 billion later that year. Australia will join other international customers of the Apache, such as India, Indonesia, Qatar and Taiwan.
The US Army will receive 115 remanufactured Apaches, with an additional 15 Apaches to be procured as options. The remaining 54 aircraft will be delivered to partner nations as part of foreign military sales. Boeing will also provide training devices, spare parts, support and test equipment kits, depot support, field engineering and technical manuals for optimal readiness.
The AH-64E variant features multiple upgrades compared to earlier models, such as the improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision System (MTADS/PNVS). This system includes a new integrated infrared laser that allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery which blends both infrared and night vision capabilities. The E-model also has an updated Small Tactical Terminal radio that includes the LINK 16 capability required to communicate in a joint environment.
Christina Upah, vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Boeing Mesa site executive said: “We are enhancing the US Army’s attack fleet while supporting additional partner nations and welcoming our newest Apache customer: the Australian Army.” She added: “This contract highlights the need for Apaches worldwide.”
Col. John (Jay) Maher U.S. Army Apache project manager said: “This multi-year contract is critical for the warfighter and the entire Apache team.” He added: “It demonstrates the Army’s commitment to continue putting unmatched capability into the hands of our nation’s finest while providing stability and predictability for outstanding citizens and companies that pour their talent into producing best attack helicopter in world.”
This contract is part of second multi-year deal signed by Boeing with US Army since 2017 when it delivered 244 remanufactured Apaches to Army and 24 new-build aircraft to an international customer. Boeing has been producing Apache helicopters since 1984 and has delivered more than 2400 units worldwide so far.