Boeing set to beef up Apache production for US and key allies
March 20, 2023
Photo: Defence Connect
Boeing has confirmed it will build 184 AH-64E Apaches for the US Army and international customers, including the first Apaches for Australia as part of a US$1.9 billion contract for the company.
This US$1.9 billion award brings the total current funded value of the contract to US$2.1 billion, and has the potential to increase to more than US$3.8 billion with future obligations — as part of this deal, the US Army will receive 115 remanufactured Apaches, with an additional 15 Apaches to be procured as options.
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, Arizona, is the most advanced multirole combat helicopter in the world.
Christina Upah, vice-president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Boeing Mesa site executive, welcomed the announcement, saying, “We are enhancing the US Army’s attack fleet, while supporting additional partner nations and welcoming our newest Apache customer, the Australian Army.”
The additional 54 aircraft will be delivered to partner nations as part of foreign military sales, including Australia’s own future Apache fleet.
“This contract highlights the need for Apaches worldwide,” Upah added.
Colonel John (Jay) Maher, US Army Apache project manager reinforced the comments of Upah, saying, “This multi-year contract is critical for the warfighter and the entire Apache team. 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.”
Boeing Global Services will continue to deliver optimal readiness for the warfighter including training devices, spare provisions, support and test equipment kits, depot support, field engineering and technical manuals.
Major advantages in the technical publication area allow for a streamlined process approach to re-use data which reduces operational and sustainment costs.
There are more than 1,275 Apaches currently in operation around the world.
LAND 4503’s program of delivery aims to support the Australian Army and is designed to contribute to the creation of the modernisation and development of a “networked and hardened” Army.
The acquisition is broken down into three delivery stages, beginning with projected IOC in 2026 and FOC in 2028, including:
Up to 24 aircraft would be based at one primary location and another five are intended at a training location. The aircraft fleet may also be co-located in one primary location; however, this is yet to be determined.
IOC for LAND 4503 is based on a squadron of up to 12 aircraft. This organisation would be capable of generating a deployable troop of four aircraft, continued force generation of four aircraft, and an initial build-up training element of four aircraft. IOC will be supported by trained personnel and support systems.
FOC for LAND 4503 is based on a regiment of up to 24 aircraft. This organisation would be capable of generating multiple concurrent deployed forces of up to squadron size. FOC will also be supported by a mature training system of up to five aircraft, with trained personnel and support systems.
The government has brought the LAND 4503 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter Replacement program forward and aims to acquire a proven and mature, off-the-shelf manned armed helicopter to deliver armed reconnaissance effects in the close and deep contested battlespace in support of the Australian Defence Force.