Boeing has announced the 500th delivery of its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter.

According to Boeing in a statement:

“With 500 AH-64E Apaches in service with military forces around the world, the ‘Echo’ model provides enhanced performance; joint digital interoperability; situational awareness and survivability with reduced operational and support costs. First delivered in 2011, the AH-64E has been used in combat operations and peacekeeping efforts. Planned modernisation of this multi-role combat helicopter ensures it is ready to fulfill operational requirements globally.”

The UK expects to operate 50 AH-64E aircraft. Approval for the upgrade of fifty of the UK’s WAH-64 fleet to AH-64E Apache Guardian standard was given by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency in August 2015 however in July 2016, the UK placed an order for 50 AH-64Es through the US Foreign Military Sales programme instead of upgrading their Westland-built WAH-64s.

The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles, full IFR capability, and improved landing gear. The aircraft, according to Boeing, also has an oversea capacity, potentially enabling naval strikes should appropriate weaponry be purchased.

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Daniel Schindler

How come the UK gov decided to go ahead and buy new instead of upgrading existing? Airframe worthyness or money?

Paul T

Id guess in the long run it probably works out cheaper.

Daniele Mandelli

I thought both. I read the airframes have been heavily used, and the price buying new by tagging onto a large US order is good.

Steve P

In our dreams they would do both!

Herodotus

Would have liked some of the lower hour airframes remanufactured for the Marines!

Daniele Mandelli

Agree.

Never the money for their own though, so 656 Sqn AAC is the designated Apache squadron in support of 3 Commando Bde.
So at least they have something.

Herodotus

Yeah….half a dozen refurbs, fitted with a rake of Martlets, would have been ideal for swarming light craft!

Daniele Mandelli

Ha. I will settle with the 50. For a long time it looked like only 38.

RobW

As I read it we are getting 38 new build and 12 refitted. As Danielle said, we tagged onto the US order for the new builds and then did the same for the 12 re-manufactured air frames.

RobW

Sorry, Daniele. He isn’t a lady 🙂

Daniele Mandelli

No worries mate.

Thank you.

Paul T

I wonder if the existing Airframes would be exchanged (for Boeing to sell on,strip for parts etc ) as part of the deal,if they aren’t then keeping a few in Reserve just in case might be a good idea but we all know that’s not likely to happen.

Gary Stedman

From a local to Wattisham who keeps up on the UK Apache scene. The existing Apache airframes are donors in the re-manufacturing process. These have gradually been shipped to Boeing in the last few years, starting with the air frames that were withdrawn and stored at Wattisham when the fleet went down to around 50. That always was the plan and is openly referenced in the defense media. I believe the count in the US now is over 20 and is why there will be such a shortage in operational air frames for AAC use in the next few years… Read more »

TopBoy

So glad it’s 50. Can’t go below that number. The Apache is a game changer in so many ways.
The ultimate force multiplier in the British army