Boeing won a $1 billion modification for the Apache AH-64E full-rate production. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2027. The Apache attack helicopter is a combat proven aircraft manufactured by American aerospace and defence company Boeing for the US Armed Forces.
Huntington-Ingalls Industries won a $16 million modification for the procurement of material and labor associated with contractor furnished On-Board Repair Parts (OBRP) for the outfitting of CVN 79. Work will be performed in Newport News, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by June 2024.
Middle East & Africa
Bell Textron has delivered three Bell 505 Jet Ranger X five-seater light helicopters to the Royal Bahrain Air Force. The handover was conducted during an inspection and acceptance ceremony at the firm’s facility in Mirabel, Quebec. Alongside the choppers, Bell provided the air force with related training, spares, and tools. According to Bell, the three Jet Ranger Xs are the first of their type to be integrated into Bahrain’s military.
Germany’s Defense Ministry is reportedly seeking to replace its existing Tiger combat helicopter fleet by purchasing 82 Airbus H-145M civilian helicopters. According to a recent report by Business Insider, the ministry plans to convert some of these helicopters into combat aircraft and arm them with anti-tank missiles. The H-145M helicopter has been approved for military use but it was not specifically designed for combat use. As a result, the Bundeswehr has expressed concerns over the helicopter’s suitability for combat and its ability to protect crew members. Despite these concerns, the Defence Ministry is reportedly proceeding with the purchase. The ministry has been criticized for ignoring the operational needs raised by the Bundeswehr Technical Service for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment and making the purchase a purely political decision.
Slovakia is set to donate 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 warplanes to Ukraine, becoming the second NATO member to announce such a shipment in the last 24 hours, following Poland’s similar move. Slovakia’s Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced the decision at a news conference on Friday, noting that his government was “on the right side of history.” Meanwhile, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda did not specify the total number of MiGs it plans to send, but confirmed that four jets will arrive in Ukraine in the coming days.
The Taiwanese government has been urged to study and adopt Finland’s concept of military reserves to bolster its readiness for a potential Chinese invasion. The suggestion was recently made public by British lawmaker Tobias Ellwood when interviewed by the Central News Agency. He stated that he is aware of the growing pressure Beijing is putting on Taiwan, which the Asian military superpower claims.
WATCH: Slovakia, Poland to donate MiG-29 jets to Ukraine | Latest English News | WION
Latest updates[?]: Boeing won a $1 billion modification for the Apache AH-64E full-rate production. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of December 31, 2027. The Apache attack helicopter is a combat proven aircraft manufactured by American aerospace and defence company Boeing for the US Armed Forces.
AH-64 in Afghanistan
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.
Some nations have aircraft carriers. The USA has super-carriers. The French Charles De Gaulle Class nuclear carriers displace about 43,000t. India’s new Vikramaditya/ Admiral Gorshkov Class will have a similar displacement. The future British CVF Queen Elizabeth Class and related French PA2 Project are expected to displace about 65,000t, while the British Invincible Class carriers that participated in the Falklands War weigh in at just 22,000t. Invincible actually compares well to Italy’s excellent new Cavour Class (27,000t), and Spain’s Principe de Asturias Class (17,000t). The USA’s Nimitz Class and CVN-21 Gerald R. Ford Class, in contrast, fall in the 90,000+ tonne range. Hence their unofficial designation: “super-carriers”. Just one of these ships packs a more potent air force than many nations.
Nimitz Class cutaway
As the successor to the 102,000 ton Nimitz Class super-carriers, the CVN-21 program aimed to increase aircraft sortie generation rates by 20%, increase survivability to better handle future threats, require fewer sailors, and have depot maintenance requirements that could support an increase of up to 25% in operational availability. The combination of a new design nuclear propulsion plant and an improved electric plant are expected to provide 2-3 times the electrical generation capacity of previous carriers, which in turn enables systems like an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS, replacing steam-driven catapults), Advanced Arresting Gear, and integrated combat electronics that will leverage advances in open systems architecture. Other CVN-21 features include an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons handling and aircraft servicing efficiency, and a flexible island arrangement allowing for future technology insertion. This graphic points out many of the key improvements.
DID’s CVN-21 FOCUS Article offers a detailed look at a number of the program’s key innovations, as well as a list of relevant contract awards and events.