Boeing will build 184 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the US Army and international customers, including the first Apaches for Australia. This $1.9 billion award brings the total current funded value of the contract to $2.1 billion, and has the potential to increase to more than $3.8 billion with future obligations.
“We are enhancing the U.S. Army’s attack fleet, while supporting additional partner nations and welcoming our newest Apache customer, the Australian Army,” said Christina Upah, vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Boeing Mesa site executive, in a company news release. “This contract highlights the need for Apaches worldwide.”
The US Army will receive 115 remanufactured Apaches, with an additional 15 Apaches to be procured as options, ensuring significant savings to taxpayers. The additional 54 aircraft will be delivered to partner nations as part of Foreign Military Sales.
This award comes on the heels of the US Army’s Apache fleet surpassing five million flight hours, a milestone proving the AH-64 is the most capable, reliable and versatile attack helicopter.
“This multi-year contract is critical for the warfighter and the entire Apache team,” said Col. John (Jay) Maher, US Army Apache project manager. “It demonstrates the Army’s commitment to continue putting unmatched capability into the hands of our nation’s finest, while providing stability and predictability for the outstanding citizens and companies that pour their talent into producing the best attack helicopter in the world.”
Under the first multi-year contract, signed in 2017, Boeing delivered 244 remanufactured Apaches to the Army and 24 new-build aircraft to an international customer. The AH-64E, built at the Boeing site in Mesa, Ariz., is the most advanced multirole combat helicopter in the world. There are more than 1,275 Apaches currently in operation around the world.
Boeing is upgrading the E-model to Version 6.5, which will include updated software, and integrating the Army’s new improved turbine engine. Additionally, the company announced the Modernized Apache in October 2022, a Boeing concept aligned with the US Army’s future modernization efforts, keeping the AH-64 a relevant, multi-domain lethal combat-multiplier for US warfighters and international customers.
The AH-64 Apache was designed to be an extremely tough survivor under combat. The prototype Apache made its first flight in 1975 as the YAH-64, and in 1976, Hughes received a full-scale development contract. In 1982, the Army approved the program, now known as AH-64A Apache, for production. Deliveries began from the McDonnell Douglas plant at Mesa, Ariz., in 1984 — the year Hughes Helicopters became part of McDonnell Douglas.
A target acquisition and designation sight/pilot night-vision sensor and other advanced technologies added to its effectiveness in the ground support role. To reduce costs and simplify logistics, the Apache used the same T700 engines as the Army’s Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and its naval cousin, the SH-60 Seahawk.
U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jesse Paulsboe
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