A multiyear contract is expected to be given to Boeing for the building or remanufacture of up to 600 AH-64E Apaches, the latest variant of the stalwart attack helicopter.
Whilst the value of the contract has not been made public it is understood that it will either be a five-year deal or a single year deal with options for a further four-years. Although there is no other known source for the AH-64E (other than possibly another company that can remanufacture airframes), the US Army has posted the its current plans online in order to allow for other bidders.
The current supply deal with Boeing, for 244 remanufactured AH-64Es for the US Army and 24 new aircraft for foreign customers was signed in 2017 and runs until 2022, with a value of $3.4 billion US.
Building on the success of the AH-64D Longbow Apache, so named due to it having a Longbow fire control radar above the main rotor, the “Echo” model adds the capability to control unmanned aircraft, enhanced avionics, integration of Link 16, new engines, composite main rotor blades, and an improved transmission system, among others.
Nick Ashwell-Rice has worked in aviation and defence journalism since 2014 whilst also maintaining a career outside of the industry. He has been Editor-in-Chief at Talking Aero since its inception