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South Korea to upgrade AH-64E Apaches to Version 6

South Korea has planned to upgrade its Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter fleet to the most modern Version 6 (V6) standard. This will enhance the helicopter's ability to deal with larger numbers of adversarial mechanised forces. (US Army/Sgt 1st Class Vincent Abril)

South Korea has announced a programme to upgrade its fleet of AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters to the latest Version 6 (V6) standard.

In an announcement, the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) said on 2 September that the Defense Project Promotion Committee has decided to allocate KRW400 billion (USD291.66 million) to upgrade the fleet. The upgrade will take place between 2023 and 2027, DAPA added.

Speaking to Janes , the agency specified that the “Apaches will be upgraded to Version 6”. The agency declined to specify the current version of the AH-64E operated by the South Korean army.

The upgrade to V6 will substantially enhance the combat capabilities of 36 AH‐64E Apaches in service with the South Korean army. The upgrades will likely increase the number of targets that the attack helicopter's fire-control radar can simultaneously handle.

“Through this project, it is expected that the fire-control radar of the AH-64E Apache attack helicopter will be additionally secured to improve the ability to subdue enemy mechanised forces,” DAPA said.

DAPA added that Seoul will purchase “additional fire-control radars from overseas”.

According to Janes data, V6 increases the range of the mast-mounted fire-control radar from 8 to 16 km. The standard is the most modern configuration of the AH-64E. It is designed to make the helicopter network-centric. The standard also improves the ability of the AH-64E to participate in multidomain operations.

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