Boeing has confirmed that its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter has been down-selected for a potential programme in Bangladesh.
Company officials confirmed the development - which points to growing defence ties between the South Asian country and the United States - in a media briefing on 21 January.
Boeing's Terry Jamison, senior manager for global sales and marketing for attack and cargo helicopter programmes, said the programme in Bangladesh is proceeding through a US Foreign Military Sale. He added that Bangladesh is looking to procure the AH-64E through a competitive-bidding process through which the Boeing platform had beaten competitors "on price".
He said, "[In Bangladesh] we have been down-selected not just based on capability, but we went head-to-head with some of our competitors and we were down-selected based on price."
Jamison added that Boeing had identified "a lot of opportunities" for other sales of the AH-64E across the Asia-Pacific. He said such opportunities were evident not just in developed markets but also in new and developing markets - such as Bangladesh.
Boeing officials indicated that cost efficiencies in the Apache programme were being achieved through economies of scale and the certainty of long-term modernisation. About 1,200 Apaches are in operation in global markets, said officials, and the platform has been identified by the US government to undergo modernisation through the late 2040s.
A total of 15 countries currently operate the platform, although Boeing expects that number to increase in the near future.
In the Asia-Pacific, Boeing is offering the AH-64E to Australia to meet its Project Land 4503 Armed Reconnaissance Capability (ARC) requirement for 29 aircraft. The programme is expected be worth more than USD3 billion. A Boeing spokesperson told Jane's that the company's proposal for Australia would provide "capability, cost, and schedule certainty" without the risks of additional development.
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