Boeing is set to win a £2 billion contract from the UK for new Apache helicopters.

In 2015, the United Kingdom requested the re-manufacture of fifty WAH-64 Apache helicopters to AH-64E Apache Guardian standard and this was quickly approved by the United States. It is understood that Boeing is offering the helicopters at a lower price by tacking them on to the end of a larger Apache order from the US military.

The AH-64E variant features improved digital connectivity over previous models, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicle, full IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) capability, improved landing gear and additional upgrades.

Included in the deal will be:

“One hundred and ten (110) T-700-GE-701D Engines (100 installed and 10 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-three (53) AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights (M-TADS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-three (53) AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (PNVS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-two (52) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) (50 installed and 2 spares) with fifty-five (55) Radar Electronics Units (Longbow Component) (50 installed and 5 spares), fifty-two (52) AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers (50 installed and 2 spares), sixty (60) AAR-57(V) 3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) with 5th Sensor and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser (50 installed and 10 spares), one hundred and twenty (120) Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Inertial Navigation (100 installed and 20 spares), and three hundred (300) Apache Aviator Integrated Helmets.

Also included are AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets, AN/APR-39D(V)2 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, Integrated Helmet and Display Sight Systems (IHDSS-21), Manned-Unmanned Teaming International (MUMT-I), KOR-24A Link 16 terminals, M206 infrared countermeasure flares, M211 and M212 Advanced Infrared Countermeasure Munitions (AIRCMM) flares, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders, ammunition, communication equipment, tools and test equipment, training devices, simulators, generators, transportation, wheeled vehicles, organizational equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics support.”

It’s understood that the Ministry of Defence are keen to have the aircraft re-manufactured in the United States but this option will almost certainly mean jobs being lost at AgustaWestland. The UK had originally purchased 67 Apache aircraft, the first 8 helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by AgustaWestland at Yeovil. It is understood that this arrangement more than doubled their cost.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Sensible decision for a very valued platform; this country needs to continue with the smart procurement options to reduce cost and risk, otherwise we will continue to see the historic cost overruns that seem to plague military acquisitions.

  2. That’s a pretty short-sighted view. If ‘smart procurement’ were taken to its logical conclusion, all our defence equipment would be made in the US, because of its much greater volumes. Only trans-European partnerships and exports can tackle this and the present gov’t shows little interest in either.

    Finmeccanica has run Westland into the ground and after fulfilling the current paltry order-book, this will be the excuse it needs to close Yeovil down for all but routine maintenance, thus consigning the indigenous UK rotorcraft industry to the same fate as combat vehicles. Down to zero. I give it less than 5 years, unless something positive is done.

  3. Yeovil had their chance and they flunked it. Sad.
    20-30% can be tolerated for start up costs and learning curve…but double? Poor assembly design and management and worse planning and cost estimation.
    Probably better to sponsor 100 employees to work over there on the job for boeing, if that could be made to work?
    The EU enthusiasts could call me his sovereignty pooling.

  4. What happened to the other 17 platforms. It seems strange to mothball them but not upgrade, meaning they aren’t very useful if needed

  5. Steve they’ll be spares. It is inevitable that some will suffer damage or accidents that are uneconomic to fix.

  6. Good question since their all needed.

    Maybe it has something to do with the resignation of so many Army Apache pilots!

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