Boeing has secured a $242 million contract to remanufacture eight and build nine new AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters for United Arab Emirates.
Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 28, 2023, the Pentagon announced on Oct. 5.
The AH-64 Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces. Boeing has delivered more than 2,200 Apaches to customers around the world since the aircraft entered production.
The U.S. Army Apache fleet has accumulated (as of July 2016) more than 4.2 million flight hours since the first AH-64A was delivered to the U.S. Army in January 1984.
Formerly known as AH-64D Block III, in 2012, the Guardian was redesignated as AH-64E to represent its increased capabilities. The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS), more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full IFR capability, and improved landing gear. New composite rotor blades, which successfully completed testing in 2004, increase cruise speed, climb rate, and payload capacity. Deliveries began in November 2011. Full-rate production was approved on Oct. 24, 2012, with 634 AH-64Ds to be upgraded to AH-64E standard and production of 56 new-build AH-64Es to start in 2019/20. Changes in production lots 4 through 6 shall include a cognitive decision aiding system and new self-diagnostic abilities. The updated Longbow radar has an oversea capacity, potentially enabling naval strikes. The E model is to be fit for maritime operations. The U.S. Army has expressed a desire to add extended-range fuel tanks to the AH-64E to further increase range and endurance.
Photo credit: U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet via Wikipedia
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com
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