Thursday, April 25, 2024

Boeing to produce more AH-64E Apache helicopters

Aerospace giant Boeing announced that it has received a contract modification to produce an additional 21 AH-64E Apaches for the U.S. Army and an international customer.

As noted by the company, this award is a modification to the multiyear contract awarded to Boeing in March 2023, bringing the new total of Apaches to produce under the contract to 205.

“These additional E-model Apaches further proves the need for this aircraft. The Apache is the most proven and advanced attack helicopter that provides unmatched capabilities for defense forces,” said Christina Upah, vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Boeing Mesa site executive. “We are proud to continue to provide our U.S. and international customers with the best attack helicopter in the world.”

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Under this contract awarded in March 2023, the U.S. Army will receive an additional five remanufactured E-model Apaches, and 16 AH-64Es will be produced for an international operator as part of the DoD’s Foreign Military Sales program.

The AH-64E program is the most current evolution of the Apache. It is designed and equipped with an open systems architecture to incorporate the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. The E-model has multiple upgrades from its predecessors such as the improved Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision System (MTADS/PNVS). This system includes a new integrated infrared laser that allows for easier target designation and enhanced infrared imagery which blends both infrared and night vision capabilities. The E-model also has an updated Small Tactical Terminal radio that includes the LINK 16 capability required to communicate in a joint environment. The updated Fire Control Radar has the ability to operate in a maritime mode, enabling the Apache to be an integral asset in most environments. The Manned-Unmanned Teaming ability of the E-model fleet provides Level of Interoperability 4 to Apache crews. This provides Apache crewmembers the ability to receive Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) video in the Apache cockpit, control UAS sensors and direct the flight path of the UAS.

The aircraft is also undergoing further modernization modifications such as the Modernized Day Sensor Assembly. This upgrade eliminates obsolescence issues while enhancing daysight capabilities equivalent to the changes made with MTADS/PNVS. Other modifications include Manned-Unmanned teaming that provides non-line-of-sight communications, video transmission/reception and maintenance cost reductions.

Since 1984, more than 2,600 Apache helicopters have been delivered to the U.S. Army and 17 international customers. Currently, there are more than 1,260 Apaches operating worldwide.

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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