AH-64E Apache Block III: Evolving Battlefield Roles
June 29/20: Morocco Boeing won a $439.2 million modification for new-build Apache AH-64E aircraft and Longbow crew trainers. Fiscal 2020 Foreign Military Sales funds to Morocco in the full amount were obligated at the time of the award. Morocco signed a contract with Boeing for 24 of its AH-64 Apache helicopters, becoming the 17th country to acquire the helicopter. Deliveries of the helicopters to Morocco are scheduled to commence in 2024. The helicopter, which has been designed and equipped with an open systems architecture, comprises the latest communications, navigation, sensor and weapon systems. Work will take place in Mesa, Arizona. Estimated completion date is March 1, 2025.
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 – 2020
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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