Prime aviation provider Boeing and the US government have signed a five-year, $3.4 billion contract through which the Army, and a customer outside the US, will acquire the latest Apache attack helicopter.
This is the first multi-year agreement for the Apache “E” variant. The Army will receive 244 remanufactured Apaches while 24 new ones will go to the international customer.
US Army Colonel Joseph Hoecherl, the Apache project manager, said, "This agreement is great news for our Army, our soldiers, the American taxpayers, our industry partners and numerous international partners.
"It is a direct result of the professional dedication and diligent efforts by government and industry teammates to provide the much-needed capabilities of the world's best attack helicopter – the AH-64E Apache – at a fair and affordable price that results in year-over-year savings to the taxpayer. In the hands of our trained US soldiers, the Apache's technologies and resulting capabilities are essential to Army operations around the globe."
The Apache was pitched to the Australian market at the Avalon Airshow.
"Trusted by 15 countries with unrivalled joint forces capabilities, the AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. The AH-64E Apache can provide Australia with the industry-leading, battle-tested, armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter that the Commonwealth needs," Boeing said.
"With unmatched firepower, the Apache can meet virtually any mission requirement in land and littoral environments and provides aircrews with enhanced situational awareness through its integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
"For long-term value, the AH-64E Apache’s modernisation roadmap combined with Boeing Defence Australia’s proven sustainment capabilities can keep Apaches flying well into the 2060s."
Seven customers outside the US have ordered the Apache “E” variant. Including this latest version, the US and 15 other countries have relied on the Apache during the past three decades.
"The Apache has made a tremendous impact in the defence of the nations that have flown it for the last 37 years," said Kim Smith, Boeing Attack Helicopters vice president and program manager. "Our team understands the responsibility we have to deliver the best aircraft on time at an affordable price every day, and we are committed to maintaining that well established tradition of excellence."