The Government have confirmed that they intend to order the full 50 AH-64E Apache helicopters set out in the Strategic Defence & Security Review by the end of the year.
The information comes from a question asked in Parliament by Mr Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he expects his Department to complete the order for all 50 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters.”
Answered by Harriett Baldwin, Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement:
“The Ministry of Defence is buying 50 Apache AH-64E helicopters from the US Government under a Foreign Military Sales arrangement. The US has ordered the first 38 of the UK helicopters as part of its own larger purchase, under a multi-year contract with Boeing.
This ensures we can take advantage of economies of scale and secure best value for the UK taxpayer, while procuring a vital capability for the UK. We expect the remaining 12 helicopters to be incorporated within the contract by the end of the year.”
A contract modification detailed by the US Department of Defense in June indicated that Boeing has been awarded $411 million for 38 Apache aircraft for the UK.
A 9th of June contract modification notice read:
“The Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona, was awarded a $410,916,893 modification (P00008) to foreign military sales (UK) contract W58RGZ-16-C-0023 for 38 Apache aircraft, three Longbow crew trainers, and associated spares.
Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2023. Fiscal 2010 other funds in the amount of $201,349,276 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.