US will dismantle hundreds of AH-64D helicopters to make room for new ones
WASHIMGTON, (BM) – According to the US State Department, Washington intends to retire hundreds of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters, which have depreciated over the years, BulgarianMilitary.com has learned, thus freeing up space for new developments in this area, or already for manufactured new helicopter models.
For this reason, Washington is already looking for companies to take full responsibility for the process of dismantling the old helicopters.
According to US sources, Washington will try to follow a plan that allows up to 7 helicopters to be dismantled per month, which will provide years of work for the company that won the tender to dismantle this model of obsolete helicopters.
The possibility of small repairs on specific components of the machines is not excluded, which will increase the life cycle of these components and their use as spare parts in the future.
“The United States Government (USG) Army Contracting Command- Redstone Arsenal (ACC-RSA) is conducting market research to determine potential sources for the depopulation of the Apache AH-64D for the Project Manager for Apache Attack Helicopter (PM AAH) within the Program Executive Office for Aviation (PEO AVN),” the notice reads. “The USG seeks to identify potential sources that possess the expertise, capabilities, and experience to meet the requirements necessary to depopulate the Apache AH-64D Attack Helicopter, sourced directly to the Government.”
According to a circulated document from the US State Department, work on the repair and dismantling of AH-64D Apache helicopters is expected to begin in early 2022 and be completed within five years (until 2027).
India received the last batch AH-64 Apache helicopters
As we reported on July 9 the Indian Air Force command received the last batch of five AH-64E (I) Apache Guardian attack helicopters, which were ordered by Boeing in 2015.
According to Jane’s source, the helicopters were handed over to the Indian Air Force on July 5 at the Hindan Air Force Base (Uttar Pradesh, India) after delivering on board the An-124 at the end of June.
Last year, the Indian Air Force took 17 of the 22 ordered AH-64E (I) Apache helicopters. The remaining five were planned to be delivered to India by the end of March 2020, but the supply of helicopters was delayed due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Indian media reports, the delivery of the last batch of helicopters was accelerated by the Indian government amid worsening relations with China after clashes between Indian and Chinese units on June 15 in the area of the “Line of actual control.”
To quickly put the AH-64E (I) Apache into operation, the Indian government exempted all Boeing technical specialists from compulsory quarantine for foreigners due to COVID-19. This allowed us to quickly re-assemble the helicopters, the joint procedure for receiving and transmitting the Air Force for possible deployment in the area of the “Actual Control Lines”.
New helicopters will replenish the fleet previously sent to the area from the Pathankot air base (Punjab) AH-64E (I) Apache.
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.
For a possible repair of helicopters will have to spend an amount of $ 2.3 billion.
“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.
The agency’s report emphasized that this statement is not a sign of a deal.
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.
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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