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UK now has all 50 AH-64E Apaches under contract

The United Kingdom now has under contract all 50 of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters it had previously committed to, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed to Jane’s on 10 March.

        The UK is to remanufacture 50 of its older model WAH-64D Apache attack helicopters into the latest AH-64E standard. Having previously contracted 38 helicopters to go through this process, the MoD has told
        that the remaining 12 are now also under contract.

The confirmation came after a contract notification was posted by the US Department of Defense (DoD) for support and training “for the United Kingdom AH-64E Apache helicopter fleet of 50 aircraft”.

Prior to this DoD announcement and the subsequent MoD confirmation, it had only been announced that 38 of the British Army’s WAH-64D Apache Longbow AH1 attack helicopters were under contract for remanufacture to the latest AH-64E standard. In May 2017 the DoD said that Boeing had been awarded a USD488.1 million Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract to remanufacture the UK’s Apaches to the latest standard as part of a wider Lot 7-11 production run for the US Army and other FMS customers. These aircraft would be delivered back to the UK by 31 May 2024.

While the MoD had always maintained that it remained committed to the 50 number, the delay in issuing a contract for the outstanding helicopters coupled with the increasing prospect of a cut in defence procurement at the upcoming Strategic Defence and Security review in 2020 led many to question whether the remaining 12 Apaches might be offered up as a cost-saving measure.

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