Air Platforms

AH-64E looking increasingly likely for UK

19 March 2014
A gaggle of AH-64E helicopters as operated by the US Army. The British Army has voiced its desire to procure the type, and a UK government minister recently alluded to the fact that this might happen. Source: US Army

The UK looks increasingly likely to procure the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, following comments made by a senior government minister on 17 March.

Answering questions in the House of Commons, Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support, and Technology, said that the government is currently considering options to sustain the British Army's Apache fleet until its planned out of service date in 2040.

The 66 WAH-64D Block I helicopters in the UK inventory are rapidly becoming unsupportable, as the US Army and Boeing shift their attention to the AH-64D Block II and AH-64E (formerly known as AH-64D Block III) fleets as operated by the US and most international customers. While the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is known to be looking at options to replace the army's current AgustaWestland-Boeing WAH-64D Apache Longbow AH.1 fleet, ministers have previously only spoken about retaining the capability as opposed to retaining the Apache specifically. Options previously touted included the procurement of a new helicopter type altogether.

Given the success of the Apache in Afghanistan and Libya, the British Army has made clear its desire to upgrade its current WAH-64D Block I helicopters with the latest variant AH-64E. Speaking at the IQPC International Military Helicopter conference in London in January, the deputy commander of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command (JHC), Brigadier Neil Sexton, said that the army "rather hopes" that the AH-64E will be the chosen successor, for fielding before 2020.

Boeing officials have previously told IHS Jane's that AH-64E programme delays incurred by sequestration in the United States were having the unintended consequence of buying the United Kingdom time in making its decision, although a decision will need to be made before too much longer.

The MoD is currently undertaking a capability sustainment programme (CSP) to sustain the UK's attack helicopter capability out to 2040 and beyond, but has declined to say when it will report the findings of this study.



(318 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • Adcom Systems United 40 Block 5

    Type Strategic MALE UAV. Development Adcom Systems characterises the United 40 Block 5 as being a strategic MALE UAV that is suitable for a range of applications including near real-time combat assessment, battle damage assessment, intelligence preparation of the battlefield, special operations

  • Adcom Systems Yabhon-H

    Type Tactical UAV. Development Adcom Systems characterises the Yabhon-H tactical UAV as being optimised for 'efficient cruise'; as offering 'good' resistance to turbulence, 'hands-off' stability and 'docile' stall characteristics and as having an 'excellent' climb rate (10 m/s (33 ft/s) at sea

  • Aerostar International (Raven Aerostar) aerospace platforms

    Type Portfolio of integrated tethered aerostats, aerospace platforms and radars. Development Aerostar International Inc (a wholly owned subsidiary of Raven Industries and a part of that organisation Raven Aerostar entity - see following) was established in 1986 and has developed a portfolio of

  • AeroVironment Wasp AE

    Type Fixed-wing micro UAV. Development AeroVironment describes the WASP AE as being the 'all environment' version of the contractor's Wasp III platform (see separate entry) and as incorporating 'special design considerations' to facilitate maritime and land operations. Key programme events

  • Cessna 207 - Soloy Turbine Pac

    Type Light aircraft turbine upgrade. Programme FAA STC-certified on wheels and on PK floats. Initial certification in early 1986, utilises Soloy Turbine Pac power plant based on Rolls-Royce 250-C20 turbine driving Soloy-manufactured gearbox with output to propeller. A maximum gross weight

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT