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08 June 2016

Boeing Confirms APACHE AH-64E Sale to Qatar

During a pre-Farnborough media visit to facilities in the US, MT learned that Boeing had been awarded a £668 million fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract  to supply Qatar with 24 AH-64E APACHE helicopters, one LONGBOW crew trainer, ground support equipment, and Thales radios.

APACHE AH-64E and AH-6i helicopters at Boeing's Mesa, AZ facility. (Photos via author)

The helicopters will be supplied from Boeing’s Mesa, AZ/USA, facility between 2019-2020 confirmed Kim Smith, vice president, Boeing attack helicopter programmes. To date Boeing has delivered 145 AH64E APACHEs put to Lot 4, with a further 117 aircraft anticipated through Lots 5 & 6 to take the total figure to 250 aircraft.

Col. Jeff Hager, US Army APACHE project manager, part of the Army’s Programme Executive Office team based a t Redstone Arsenal, AL, confirmed that a total of four US Army units had now been equipped with the latest version APACHE, the AH-64E, and that outfitting the fifth at Ft. Hood, Tx, was currently under way. They will have their 24 AH-64Es Lot 4s by 2017.

Boeing did such a good job about putting mission processors into the airplane that most of the [next few] upgrades are for software,” said Hager. The current development version is Lot 6 but that will not enter production until 2019.

Hager said that two units had now taken the APACHE into combat. The first was the the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (ARB), based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. They were followed by the 101st Airborne Division, based at Ft. Campbell, Kentuky.

The total number of hours currently flown by the US Army’s AH-64Es is 61,232 of which nearly half, 28,769 hours have been flown in combat. It has achieved an overall mission capable rate of 88% with only a small drop to 85% for combat mission availability.

Andrew Drwiega, Boeing's Mesa, AZ Facility