AH-64E Apache Block III: Evolving Battlefield Roles
February 19/19: Post-production support for Qatar The US Army contracted Boeing with a $12.9 million foreign military sales deal for post-production support services for the Qatar Armed Forces Apache helicopters. The AH-64 Apache is a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T-700-GE-701-D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control UAVs, and improved landing gear. The AH-64E was formerly known as the AH-64D Block II. In July 2012, Qatar requested the sale of 24 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters, with associated equipment, training, and support. The sale was a approved on 27 March, 2014.
The AH-64 Apache will remain the US Army’s primary armed helicopter for several more decades, thanks to the collapse of the RAH-66 Comanche program, and the retirement sans replacement of the US Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH). Apaches also serve with a number of American allies, some of whom have already expressed interest in upgrading or expanding their fleets.
The AH-64E Guardian Block III (AB3) is the helicopter’s next big step forward. It incorporates 26 key new-technology insertions that cover flight performance, maintenance costs, sensors & electronics, and even the ability to control UAVs as part of manned-unmanned teaming (MUT). In July 2006, Boeing and U.S. Army officials signed the initial development contract for Block III upgrades to the current and future Apache fleet, via a virtual signing ceremony. By November 2011, the 1st production helicopter had been delivered. So… how many helicopters will be modified under the AH-64 Block III program, what do these modifications include, how is the program structured, and what has been happening since that 2006 award? The short answer is: a lot, including export interest and sales.
The AH-64 Apache Program: Sunset, Sunrise
The AH-64E Apache Guardian
Contracts and Key Events
FY 2016 – 2019
FY 2008 – 2010
FY 2007 and Earlier
Appendix A: Apache’s (Re) Production History
Background: AH-64 Apache
Background: Ancillary Equipment
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