Tag Archives: AH-64

Order for 268 AH-64E Apache Guardians

Boeing and the US government have signed a five-year, 3.4 billion USD contract through which the Army, plus a customer outside the US, will acquire the latest Apache attack helicopter at a significant savings to taxpayers.

This is the first multi-year agreement for the Apache E variant, also dubbed Apache Guardian. The army will receive 244 remanufactured Apaches while 24 new ones will go to the international customer.

“This agreement is great news for our army, our soldiers, the American taxpayers, our industry partners and numerous international partners,” said U.S. Army Col. Joseph Hoecherl, the Apache project manager. “It is a direct result of the professional dedication and diligent efforts by government and industry teammates to provide the much needed capabilities of the world’s best attack helicopter – the AH-64E Apache – at a fair and affordable price that results in year over year savings to the taxpayer. In the hands of our trained U.S. soldiers, the Apache’s technologies and resulting capabilities are essential to Army operations around the globe.”

Boeing builds the Apache in Mesa, Arizona. Deliveries of the E model began in October 2011. Seven customers outside the US have ordered this variant. Including this latest version, the US and 15 other countries have relied on the Apache during the past three decades.

“The Apache has made a tremendous impact in the defense of the nations that have flown it for the last 37 years,” said Kim Smith, Boeing Attack Helicopters vice president and program manager. “Our team understands the responsibility we have to deliver the best aircraft on time at an affordable price every day, and we are committed to maintaining that well established tradition of excellence.”

Poland now ponders on attack helicopters

Poland’s hesitation when it concerns miltary helicopters must drive manufacturers out of their minds, and Airbus Helicopters especially. The company saw a 3 billion USD deal for H225M Caracal choppers fall through earlier this year and now wants Poland to select the Tiger as its new attack helicopter. Best cards are for the AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper, however.

Airbus Helicopters is ‘laying the groundwork’ for future Tiger production in Poland in the same way it has been doing with the Caracal, says a statement released on Thursday 28 April. The European company taps into the fact that disagreements over off sets eventually caused the Caracal to largely collapse.

Poland doesn’t seem to have much eye for the Airbus Helicopter offer and mostly looks at the AH-64 Apache or AH-1Z Viper as its new attack helo. The former would be locally built by PZL Swidnik, while the latter could be produced by PZL Mielec.

Warsaw has a history troublesome history when it comes to selecting helicopters, however. A long process led to the selection of the Caracal as the country’s new combat search and rescue (CSAR) platform… until it was decided to look at other contenders once again.

Meanwhile, classic Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters soldier on and ageing Mi-24 Hind helicopters keep fulfilling the attack role.

The struggle could be associated with the fact that Poland also modestly produces helicopters on its own.  PZL Swidnik furthermore is tied to AgustaWestLan, while PZL Mielec is involved with Sikorysky.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Tiger Helicopter in production at Airbus Helicopters in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Obama: Apache attack helos to Iraq

The US is sending AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in support of the campaign against so-called Islamic State forces. US president Barrack Obama decided to send extra US troops also.

The decision to send Apache means the US will base aircraft in Iraq for the first time since officialy pulling out its military in the troubled country in December 2011. The move comes ahead of a Iraqi military push to recapture the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

US forces are already in Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers. The added Apaches also bring 200 additional troops, bringing the total of US troops in the country to 4,087.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: An Apache fires its gun. (Image © Dustin Senger / US Army)

TEASER: Dug in with the United States 7th Army

Just to tease you: we dug in with the chopper force of the United States 7th Army, in Germany. Preview of what is coming soon at Airheadsfly.com. Featured photo by Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk, video footage by dedicated videographer Vincent Kok.

Boeing gets to work on another 117 Apache Guardians

Boeing has bagged another Pentagon contract to remanufacture  117 Apache attack helicopters into the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian variant. The contract is worth close to 1 billion USD.

Boeing will perform the work in its facility in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of 31 May 2018. Compared to earlier versions of the Apache, the AH-64E has full digital cockpit avionics, a more powerful engine that also makes the chopper go faster (155 knots vs 125 on the D-model), rotor blades that can sustain damage better, a larger range and a longer range.

The US State Departement in 2015 approved a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the UK concerning the remanufacture of 50 ‘D-model’ Apache to the newest variant.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The improved AH-64E Apache Guardian. (Image © US Army)