AH-64E Apache Block III: Evolving Battlefield Roles
June 14/18: India requests FMS India has requested the purchase of six AH-64E Apache helicopters. The possible US foreign military sale is valued at $930 million. The AH-64E Guardian Block III (AB3) is the helicopter’s next big step forward by incorporating 26 key new-technology insertions. If the deal goes through India would receive the newest Block III helicopters and up to 180 AGM-114L-3 Hellfire Longbow missiles, 90 AGM-114R-3 Hellfire II missiles, 200 Stinger Block I-92H missiles and other equipment ranging from fire control radars to ammunition. The prime contractors will be Lockheed Martin, General Electric, and Raytheon. This proposed sale would strengthen the US-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of an important partner in a region that is currently highly contested.
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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