Qatar’s deadly helicopters have already been produced, confirmed by Washington
WASHINGTON, (BM) – A Boeing spokesperson confirmed that the company has completed the production of all 24 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters ordered by Qatar, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
The production of helicopters at the company’s company in Mesa (Arizona) was completed 15 months after the official transfer of the first aircraft in Qatar to the Qatar Air Force in March 2019. Although the assembly and flight tests of the Qatari AH-64E are completed, information on whether they are all sent to Qatar is not disclosed.
Despite the fact that Boeing did not confirm the delivery dates of helicopters to Qatar, it can be assumed that the latest machines could be the first Apaches made in the latest Version-6. According to the company, it has a foreign customer who is the first recipient of the helicopter in Version-6 and now they are delivered to this customer.
Previously, it was assumed that the helicopters would be delivered by the end of May, but the deadlines could have moved slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Version-6 helicopter is distinguished by the integration of the Longbow fire control radar with an increased detection range from 8 to 16 km and a mode of use above water, which makes it possible to combat enemy surface ships. The first foreign customer will receive Version-6 helicopters in the initial configuration.
Deliveries of this modification of the U.S. Army will begin at the end of 2020. Later, the machines in the initial version will be upgraded to the serial configuration.
As TsAMTO reported, in July 2012, the US Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified Congress of the possible delivery of 24 AH-64E Apache Longbow attack helicopters, as well as other equipment and systems, to Qatar under the Foreign Military Sales program. weapons, ammunition and related services with a total value of up to $ 3 billion
In June 2016, the U.S. Army and Boeing signed a contract worth $ 667.522 million for the supply of 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, as well as other equipment for the Qatar Armed Forces, as part of the Foreign Military Sales program. The terms of the contract provided for the training of 70 pilots and 100 technical specialists of the Qatar Armed Forces. The contract contained an option for the supply of additional helicopters.
In May 2019, the US Department of State approved the delivery to Qatar, under the Foreign Military Sales program, of a second batch of 24 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and associated equipment worth up to $ 3 billion. However, the contract for their supply has not yet signed up.
The first AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter of the Qatar Air Force was received at a ceremony held on March 15, 2019 at the Boeing company in Mesa (Arizona).
During the annual parade on December 18, 2019, the Qatar Air Force demonstrated for the first time at least 7 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters.
The delivered helicopters will replace the obsolete Qatar Air Force SA-342 Gazelle and will be used for air support, reconnaissance and combat against enemy tanks.
The 500th Apache Guardian left the assembly line
AH-64 helicopter manufacturers boasted of their success. On April 16, the janes.com portal announced that the 500th Apache Guardian had left the assembly line of Boeing
The latest modification of the AH-64 helicopter – AH-64E Apache Guardian – has been produced since 2011. The total number of all Apache modifications exceeded 2400 units.
The Boeing indicate that only US Army AH-64 helicopters have flown over 4.5 million hours. Taking into account current orders, the production of these machines will last at least until 2026. For the US Armed Forces and foreign customers, it is planned to assemble 791 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters.
Egypt plans to spend $2,3 billion to repair its AH-64E Apache helicopters
The possibility of repair and modernization of 43 AH-64E Apache Guardian combat helicopters of the Egyptian Armed Forces was approved by the US Department of State on May 7 as we reported.
The US State Department approved the possible supply of equipment for overhaul and modernization of 43 Egyptian AH-64E combat helicopters <…> The total cost of the program is $ 2.3 billion,” the statement said.
The US Department of State suggests that Egyptian authorities will use repaired helicopters to suppress terrorist groups located on the Sinai Peninsula. Such a development is beneficial both to Egypt and the United States.
India uses Ah-64 Apache helicopters to protect its border wtih China.
India is also one of the Boeing’s customer who uses ‘The Guardian’. As we reported on June 20 this year India deployed Apache attack helicopters and fighter aircraft in East Ladakh to strengthen its defenses following clashes between Indian and Chinese troops.
“Apache attack helicopters with air-to-ground Hellfire missiles, as well as Chinook helicopters capable of delivering artillery to high-altitude regions have been relocated to the east of Ladakh,” we said.
About AH-64R Apache Guardian helicopter
Formerly known as AH-64D Block III, in 2012, it was redesignated as AH-64E Guardian to represent its increased capabilities. The AH-64E features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with upgraded face gear transmission to accommodate more power, capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full IFR capability, and improved landing gear.
New composite rotor blades, which successfully completed testing in 2004, increase cruise speed, climb rate, and payload capacity. Deliveries began in November 2011. Full-rate production was approved on 24 October 2012, with 634 AH-64Ds to be upgraded to AH-64E standard and production of 56 new-build AH-64Es to start in 2019/20.
Changes in production lots 4 through 6 shall include a cognitive decision aiding system and new self-diagnostic abilities. The updated Longbow radar has an oversea capacity, potentially enabling naval strikes; an AESA radar is under consideration.
The E model is to be fit for maritime operations. The Army has expressed a desire to add extended-range fuel tanks to the AH-64E to further increase range and endurance.
AH-64Es are to have the L-3 Communications MUM-TX datalink installed in place of two previous counterparts, communicating on C, D, L, and Ku frequency bands to transmit and receive data and video with all Army UAVs. Lots 5 and 6 will be equipped with Link 16 data-links. As of April 2020, 500 AH-64E have been delivered.
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