Australia is set to get 29 AH-64E Apache helicopters and associated equipment as part of a foreign military sale that is estimated to cost US$3.5bn.
The US State Department has approved the possible sale, and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress about it. The proposed sale includes 29 AH-64Es, 64 T700-GE 701D engines, 29 AN/ASQ-170 modernised target acquisition and designation sight/AN/AAR-11 modernised pilot night vision sensors, 16 AN/APG-78 FCR with radar electronic units and 35 AAR-57 common missile warning systems.
Australia has also requested M261 rocket launchers, M299 missile launchers, high explosive warhead for airborne 2.75 rockets, MK66-4 2.75in rocket warhead M274 motor, MK66-4 2.75in rocket motor, MUMT-X video receivers, MUMT-X air-air-ground kits, training devices, communication systems, helmets, simulators, generators, transportation and organisation equipment. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are the principal contractors of the sale.
In January this year, Australia selected Boeing Apache Guardian as the army’s new Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) capability. The helicopter will replace Tiger ARH from 2025.
The AH-64E Apache helicopters are expected to enhance Australia’s armed reconnaissance force and stop existing and future adversaries. Another advantage of using the helicopters is that it allows interoperability with US forces and other allies.
The AH-64Es have been in much in demand from militaries around the world. In March 2017, Boeing received a US$3.4bn multi-year contract to provide AH-64E Apaches to the US Army and Saudi Arabia.
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