The 2006 Saudi Shopping Spree: $400M to Upgrade AH-64A Apache Helicopters
The USA isn’t the only country planning an Apache helicopter upgrade these days. In addition to $350 million for 24 UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters plus support, $276 million covering spare parts for American vehicles, and a $2.9 billion program to upgrade and enlarge its M1 Abrams tank fleet, Saudi Arabia is also patronizing American defense companies to upgrade 2 Aviation Battalion’s helicopters at King Khalid Military City from AH-64A Apache to AH-64D Apache Longbow configuration.
The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $400 million. To be more specific.
The Saudis are looking to remanufacture and upgrade their 12 AH-64A Apache attack helicopters with new engines, avionics, et. al. They also want to have 10 spare T-700-GE-701A engines converted to T-700-GE-701D models, Modernized Targeting Acquisition and Designation Systems (an upgraded TADS-PNVS called M-TADS/PVNS), Integrated Helmet and Display Sight Systems, spare and repair parts, communications equipment, support equipment, simulators (not sure if they mean basic simulators or AVCATT), quality assurance teams, chemical masks (!), tools and test sets, chaff dispensers, electronic equipment, test facility spares, publications, Quality Assurance Teams service, personnel training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor technical support and other related elements of logistics support.
The principal contractors will be:
- Boeing Corporation of Mesa, AZ (Apache helicopters)
- General Electric Company of Fairfield, CT (engines)
- Lockheed Martin Corporation of Palmdale, CA (targeting, radar, etc.)
There are no offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale, and implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of up to 10 U.S. Government and contractor representatives required in-country to support the fielding and maintenance of the aircraft. DSCA announcement.
As yet, DID has not seen any formal contracts to deliver this equipment.
Sept 9/06: Saudi Arabia submits a DSCA request for 12 AH-64D Longbow block II attack helicopters. See DID coverage.