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

  • ITWL Aerial Target JET

    Type Recoverable Aerial Target. Development The ITWL Aerial Target JET was designed to provide anti-aircraft troops an aerial target for training and rocket shooting. Description Airframe Forward-shifted wings. No wheeled landing system. Mission payloads Sleeve-target system with miss

  • Cessna 800 Citation Longitude

    Type Long-range business jet. Programme Announced, and model and cabin mockup displayed, at EBACE, Geneva, Switzerland, 14 May 2012. First flight due in mid-2016; certification and service entry in late 2017. Will be built in Wichita, Kansas. Wind tunnel testing to confirm performance completed

  • Falcomposite Furio LN 27

    Type Side-by-side sportplane kitbuilt. Programme Design began April 2006; announced August 2006; first flight (ZK-LLG) 6 February 2008; public debut at Tauranga air show, 17 February. US marketing by Scion Aviation of Fort Collins, Colorado. Designed to FAR Pt 23. First FN 27 RG kit (c/n 002)

  • FMV SM3B

    Type Infrared (IR) tow target. Development Towed by a target drone; designed to avoid direct missile hit on the drone. Compatible with MQM-107B (which see), which can carry up to four individual SM3Bs at wingtips or on underwing pylons. Description Airframe Bullet-shaped pod in two parts;

  • FMV SM6

    Type Infrared (IR) tow target. Development Designed in late 1980s as a low-cost target for training with IR-guided missiles, and has since developed into a seven-version family. Description Airframe Bullet-shaped body with four sweptback tailfins indexed in X configuration. Mission payloads

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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