Air Platforms

Boeing awarded AH-6i contract for Saudi Arabia

01 September 2014
The Saudi Arabia National Guard is procuring 24 AH-6i helicopters as part of a wider build-up of its rotary-winged capabilities. Source: IHS/Gareth Jennings

Boeing has been formally awarded a contract for the manufacture of 24 AH-6i Little Bird light attack/reconnaissance helicopters for Saudi Arabia.

The contract, which was first revealed by Boeing in late 2013 but only announced by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 29 August, is valued at USD234.7 million and covers the procurement of long-lead items, an initial spares package, and ground support equipment. Work will be complete by 31 December 2016.

Although not disclosed in the DoD contract announcement, the end-user will be the Saudi Arabia National Guard (SANG), which is buying the AH-6i as part of a wider build-up of its rotary-winged capabilities that includes the procurement of 12 AH-64E attack helicopters and 24 Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk transport helicopters. This deal marks the first sale of the AH-6i for Boeing, although Jordan has signed a letter of intent for 18 such helicopters with an option for a further six.

Based on the 1960s-era Hughes Model 369 (OH-6 Cayuse in US Army service), the AH-6i features an enhanced powerplant, payload, and avionics package.

The new full-authority digital engine control (FADEC)-equipped Rolls-Royce 250-C30R/3M powerplant (combined with a six-bladed main rotor assembly with composite blades) gives the helicopter the ability to 'hover out of ground effect' (HOGE) at 6,000 ft and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (the US Army's 6k/95 benchmark) with a typical mission weight of 1,800 kg (comprising two crew members, full fuel, and weapons), making it well suited for operating on hot and high environments.

Compared with previous Little Bird incarnations that are typically fitted with twin-station weapon's 'planks', the AH-6i can carry four weapon systems (two on each side). Integrated weapons include the Dillon M134D 7.62 mm Gatling gun, General Dynamics GAU-19 12.7 mm Gatling gun, FN Herstal M3P 12.7 mm chain gun, Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles, as well as a variety of seven-shot 'dumb' or laser-guided 70 mm rocket systems. The AH-6i is also equipped with a chin-mounted L-3 Wescam MX-15Di electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) sensor turret.

The AH-6i's avionics are based on the same software as the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, making for improved performance and interoperability.

Related articles:



(372 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

  • BlueBird Blueye®

    Type Small tactical UAV. Development BlueBird states that it has designed the Blueye® tactical UAV specifically for civilian applications, ease of transportation, quick deployment, autonomous functionality and spot take-off and landing. Again, the contractor notes that the Blueye UAS is

  • BlueBird ThunderB®

    Type Fixed-wing tactical UAV. Development BlueBird describes ThunderB® as being a 'small sized tactical UAV' that is designed for 'long [range] ISTAR or tactical mapping' applications in roles such as military support, peace keeping, low intensity conflict, security/law enforcement, SAR,

  • Insitu Integrator™

    Type Multi-role surveillance UAS. Development Insitu characterises the Integrator™ UAS as being suitable for a range of roles including agricultural/wildlife monitoring, anti-piracy patrols, asset protection, BDA, border security, communications relay, disaster response, fire-fighting,

  • Insitu RQ-21A Blackjack

    Type Small Tactical UAS (STUAS). Development Using Insitu's Integrator UAS (see separate entry) as a baseline, the RQ-21A Blackjack STUAS is designed to provide 'persistent maritime and land-based tactical reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition data collection and dissemination

  • Aeroandina MXP-1000 Tayrona

    Type Side-by-side ultralight. Programme MXP-740/750 series evolved into MXP-800 Fantasy, which further developed as Tayrona. Design was to have been adapted by AMD of US as MXP-150 Patriot for LSA category but not proceeded with by AMD and transferred to WAC (which see); it is available (not

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

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