The Armed Forces of Ukraine is looking into the possibility to buy AH-64 Apache multi-mission attack helicopters under the U.S. military’s excess defense articles (EDA) program.
The publication the Ukrainian Military Pages reported Thursday that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense plans to upgrade the army aviation fleet of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through the purchase of AH-64 “Apache” attack helicopters.
The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engine, four-bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter designed as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform. The helicopter is designed as a weapons delivery platform and is equipped with: a M230E1, 30mm automatic gun, aerial rockets system (2.75-inch folding fin), and point target weapons system (Hellfire missiles). It is highly mobile, lethal, and can destroy armor, personnel, and materiel targets in obscured battlefield conditions at ranges out to 8 km.
This decision was made as a result of a defense review, which ended last week, and its results were transferred to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. During the inspection, threats to the national security and prospects for the development of the security environment were assessed; planning of forces and resources; the formation of a promising model of defense organization and component defense forces.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine have a pressing need to replace Soviet-made Mi-24 ‘Hind’ helicopters. Currently, the main part of Mi-24 helicopters grounded owing to the lack of spare parts such as rotor blades and on-board equipment.
According to Defense News, the U.S. has committed more than $1.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since 2014, when Russian-backed separatists began driving tanks through eastern Ukraine. That funding has included sniper rifles, Humvees, unarmed drones, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, counter-artillery radars, electronic warfare detection and secure communications, night vision equipment, and military medical supplies and treatment.
Also, Congress is poised to allow the sale of coastal defense and anti-ship weapons as part of future security assistance packages to Ukraine, through the 2020 defense policy bill.