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.