A contract modification detailed by the US Department of Defense has indicated that Boeing has been awarded $488 million for the re-manufacture of 38 Apache aircraft for the UK.
The UK previously announced it would upgrade 50 helicopters to the latest standard, it has been confirmed that the remaining number of 12 will be included in follow-on work, likely as new build air-frames.
In August 2015, the UK requested through a Foreign Military Sale, the upgrade of 50 of its Apaches to AH-64E standard. In July 2016, the UK placed an order for 50 AH-64Es through the US Foreign Military Sales programme instead of upgrading their AgustaWestland-built AH-64s. Leonardo Helicopters (formerly AgustaWestland) will continue to lead the support the existing Apache AH1s until they are retired from service in 2023–24.
The contract awards notice states:
“The Boeing Co., Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $488,076,762 modification (P00007) to foreign military sales (United Kingdom) contract W58RGZ-16-C-0023 for the remanufacture of 38 AH-64 Apache aircraft, and to procure three Longbow crew trainers and associated spares.
Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2024. Fiscal 2010 other funds in the amount of $488,076,762 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity.”
Boeing will perform work in Mesa, Arizona until May 31, 2024.
The AH-64E Guardian 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 vehicle, full IFR capability and improved landing gear.
The updated Longbow radar has an oversea capacity, potentially enabling naval strikes. The E model is fit for maritime operations, much like the British variant being replaced.