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Poland in flight to be world’s second largest Apache operator

The Polish government will acquire almost 100 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a possible US$12 billion foreign military sale to become the world’s second-largest Apache operator.

The Polish government will acquire almost 100 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters in a possible US$12 billion foreign military sale to become the world’s second-largest Apache operator.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) advised the US Congress of the potential sale approved by the US State Department on 21 August.

It would include the purchase of 96 helicopters, 210 engines, 97 AN/ASQ-170 modernised target acquisition and designation sight/AN/AAR-11 modernised pilot night vision sensors, 37 AN/APG-78 fire control radars mast mounted assembly, 37 Longbow fire control radar, missile warning systems, radios, laser detecting sets, friend or foe transponders, improved countermeasure dispensing systems, equipment, and technical support.

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The possible military sale also includes the purchase of 1,844 AGM-114R2 Hellfire missiles, 96 M36E8 Hellfire captive air training missiles, 460 AGM-179A joint air-to-ground missiles, 508 Stinger 92K block I missiles, 7650 WGU-59/B advanced precision kill weapon system II guidance sections (converts unguided munitions to precision guided), advanced weapon system automatic machine guns, rocket and missile launchers, rockets and ammunition.

The twin-engine Apache AH-64E attack helicopter, crewed by a pilot and co-pilot, is designed for destruction of armoured vehicles, personnel, and material targets in battlefield conditions with a max speed of 164 knots and range of 260 nautical miles. It traditionally carries an M230 30mm cannon (1,200 rounds), Hydra-70 2.75-inch rockets, and Hellfire missiles.

The E-model features manned-unmanned teaming which allows the ability to receive unmanned aerial systems video in the Apache cockpit, control UAS sensors, and direct the flight path of the UAS.

“The proposed sale will improve Poland’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing a credible force that is capable of deterring adversaries and participating in North Atlantic Treaty Organization operations,” the DSCA statement said.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy goals and national security objectives of the United States by improving the security of a NATO ally that is a force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.”

Lockheed Martin and Boeing will be the principal contractors and the proposed sale would require temporary travel of five to eight US government and contractor representatives to Poland for around five years to support equipment fielding and training.

Poland has recently undertaken a massive military update program with the acquisition or order of M1 Abrams main battle tanks, South Korean K2 tanks, South Korean FA-50 light fighter aircraft, and American F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets.

Minister of National Defence of Poland Mariusz Blaszczak previously applauded the possible purchase of Apache helicopters and their introduction into the Polish military.

“Good news. We have sent a request for proposal to the USA regarding the acquisition of 96 AH-64E APACHE helicopters in the latest Guardian version for the needs of the Land Forces Aviation. Together with the helicopters, we will also obtain technology transfer,” he said late last year via social media.

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