AH-64E Apache Block III: Evolving Battlefield Roles
August 13/20: Logistics Support Services DigiFlight won a $15.3 million contract modification for logistic support services for the Apache Attack Helicopter Project Manager’s Office. The Apache Program Office is responsible for all duties and functions associated with being the Army’s central point of contact for all materiel system matters pertaining to the AH-64. The Apache attack helicopter was developed by McDonnell Douglas for the US Armed Forces. It entered service with the US Army in 1984. The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter. It was first used in combat in 1989 in the US military action in Panama. Work will take place in Columbia, Maryland an estimated completion date is August 10, 2020.
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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