AH-64E Apache Block III: Evolving Battlefield Roles
February 22/18: FMS-Upgrade/Remanufacture A Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) statement released Tuesday announced the US State Department’s clearance of the possible foreign military sale in support of the upgrade/remanufacture of AH-64D Block II Apache Attack Helicopters to the AH-64E configuration for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Worth and estimated $1.191 billion, the package will see 28 Apaches under the deal, as well as 51 T700-GE-701C engines to T700-GE-701D, 17 new AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radar and subcomponents, 28 AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights, twenty-eight AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency 70 Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems, plus associated training support and equipment. Boeing and Lockheed Martin have been listed as the contract’s principal contractors.
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 – 2018
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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