Army orders 82 of Boeing's latest-version AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters in $1.2 billion contract
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala., 9 March 2014. Military helicopter designers at the Boeing Co. (NYSE:BA) will provide 82 of the latest-version AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to the U.S. Army under terms of a $1.2 billion contract announced this past week.
Officials of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Mesa, Ariz., will provide 10 new AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters, as well as 72 remanufactured AH-64Es under terms of the contract, awarded by the Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
The AH-64 Apache is a multirole combat helicopter with integrated avionics and weapons, as well as advanced digital communications to enable real-time, secure transfer of battlefield information to air and ground forces.
The E-model Apache Guardian features enhanced performance, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding, and reduced operating and support costs, Boeing officials say. The AH-64E Apache, is being delivered to the U.S. Army and has been selected by several international defense forces.
Formerly known as AH-64D Block III, the AH-64E Guardian has improved digital connectivity, the joint tactical radio system (JTRS), more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), new composite rotor blades, instrument flight rules (IFR) capability, and improved landing gear.
The AH-64E will have self-diagnostic abilities, Link-16 data linking, and updated Longbow radar with oversea capacity that could enable naval strikes.
Versions of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter have been in service with the U.S. Army since 1986. It is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.
It has a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30-millimeter M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage.
It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and rockets. The helicopter was designed to replace the Bell AH-1 Cobra as the Army's primary attack helicopter. The U.S. Marine Corps still operates late-model versions of the AH-1 Cobra.
On this week's contract, Boeing also will upgrade five AH-64E crew trainers, refurbish one crew trainer, and provide logistics support, ground support equipment, and spare parts. Boeing will do the work in Mesa, Ariz., and should be finished by June 2016.