Boeing have been awarded a contract to remanufacture indefinite number of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Egyptian Air Force.
This subcontract is part of a larger one approved by the U.S. State Department in 2020 to upgrade the whole Egyptian AH-64D Apache fleet to more capable E standard.
According to a 17 March press release by Boeing, the aircraft maker explains that “the U.S. Army will receive 115 remanufactured Apaches, with an additional 15 Apaches to be procured as options, ensuring significant savings to taxpayers. The additional 54 aircraft will be delivered to partner nations as part of Foreign Military Sales.”
“Boeing will build 184 AH-64E Apaches for the U.S. Army and international customers, including the first Apaches for Australia. This $1.9 billion award brings the total current funded value of the contract to $2.1 billion, and has the potential to increase to more than $3.8 billion with future obligations.”
“Under the first multi-year contract, signed in 2017, Boeing delivered 244 remanufactured Apaches to the Army and 24 new-build aircraft to an international customer. The AH-64E, built at the Boeing site in Mesa, Ariz., is the most advanced multirole combat helicopter in the world. There are more than 1,275 Apaches currently in operation around the world.”
Another subcontract of the major upgrade was awarded to Lockheed Martin in June 2022 worth $22.1 million to procure modernized day sensor assembly kits M-DSA and spares to upgrade the Egyptian AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to the latest AH-64E Guardian standard.
This contract is part of a remanufacturing effort to upgrade the Egyptian D model Apaches to E model standards. It follows a $102 million contract awarded to Lockheed Martin in December 2021 to upgrade the sensors on 25 Egyptian Air Force Apaches.
The AH-64D modernisation package includes Lockheed Martin’s AN/ASQ-170 Gen III Target Acquisition Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Pilot Night Vision Sensor (Gen III TADS/PNVS) and the Gen III Day Sensor Assembly (Gen III DSA).
The Gen III TADS/PNVS provides pilots with long-range, precision engagement and pilotage capabilities for safe flight during day, night and adverse weather missions. The Gen III DSA increases Gen III TADS/PNVS designation and ranging capabilities to fully accommodate current weapons and those planned for the future.
The upgraded sensor enables Apache pilots to see high-resolution, high-definition, near-infrared and colour imagery on cockpit displays. The Gen III DSA also provides a new laser pointer marker that improves coordination with ground troops, and an updated multi-mode laser with eye-safe range designation that supports flight in urban environments and critical training exercises.
Lockheed Martin will complete the work by 30 November 2024.
Earlier in 2021, Lockheed Martin awarded the first subcontract within the Egyptian Apache upgrade programme to produce and deliver hardware components and spares of the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System. This was considered the first step in the planned modernization of the entire fleet to the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian standard.
In 2020, the U.S. approved a LoR submitted by Egypt for the refurbishment and modernization of 43 Egyptian Air Force AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopters at an estimated cost of $2.3 billion.
Lockheed Martin said through a Tweet that it received the “contract to modernize the sensor systems on the aircraft, which will reduce pilot workload and provide air crews with greater accuracy, clearer resolution, increased range and improved safety.”
Egypt is a major user of the Apache attack helicopter, with 46 AH-64Ds in service. The North African country also possesses 46 Kamov Ka-52s received from Russia, and a small number of Mi-24 attack helicopters, previously unknown. There are also about 60 Gazelle helicopters armed with HOT anti-tank missiles.
In November 2018 Egypt requested the sale of ten AH-64E Apaches for an estimated $1 billion.
Major differences between the Apache D and E variants includes; an integration of communications and electronic equipment, sensors, radar receivers, new powerful engines with an increase of range & speed, full IFR capability, upgraded landing gears, rotor blades, and improvised armor in the cockpit.
Egypt intends to use these refurbished AH-64 helicopters to modernise its armed forces to address the shared US-Egyptian interest in countering terrorist activities emanating from the Sinai Peninsula, which threaten Egyptian and Israeli security and undermine regional stability,” says the Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
“This sale will contribute to Egypt’s military goal to update its capability while further enhancing greater interoperability between Egypt, the US, and other allies.”