Subscribe Free
in Defence / Features

Guardian move for Emirati Apache force

Posted 3 May 2019 · Add Comment

The UAE is to procure nine new-build Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardians, and will upgrade eight of its existing AH-64D aircraft to the same standard, together with related equipment, training, and support, writes Jon Lake.

The $242 million contract has an estimated completion date of February 28, 2023.
Full-rate production on the AH-64E Guardian variant began in 2012. It features an upgraded Longbow fire control radar, more powerful engines, advanced avionics and enhanced night-vision capabilities.
The UAE’s Special Operations Command currently operates 28 AH-64D Apaches – converted from the 30 AH-64A helicopters purchased in 1991 and 1994 in an upgrade programme that began in 2008.
The UAE has a long-standing requirement for more Apaches, and to upgrade its aircraft to the latest AH-64E standard – originally known as the AH-64D Block III.
In 2010, the UAE Government requested a possible sale of 30 AH-64D Block III Apache helicopters and for an upgrade of its 30 existing AH-64D Block II lot 10 Apaches, which were to be remanufactured to AH-64D Block III configuration, giving a total fleet of 60 aircraft.
But it scaled back its requirement and, in December 2016, the US State Department approved a proposed sale of just nine new-build AH-64E helicopters, with 28 AH-64Ds to be re-manufactured to the same standard to give a fleet of 37 aircraft.
The latest US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approval sees the nine new-build aircraft augmented by just eight AH-64D conversions.
It is not known whether the UAE plans to upgrade its remaining 20 Apaches to the same standard at a later date, or whether the procurement of 30 Northstar Aviation 407 MRH Lightning multi-role helicopters, and of large numbers of UH-60L and UH-60M Black Hawks, has reduced the requirement for Apaches.
It would seem unlikely that the remaining 20 AH-64Ds can remain in service for an extended period without some kind of upgrade, as obsolescence and diminishing manufacturing resources will start to make some systems increasingly difficult to support.
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Boeing's newest jetliner makes maiden flight

At last some good news for Boeing as the company’s new 777X took to the skies yesterday, for the first time to enter the next phase of its rigorous test programme. Based on the popular 777 and with proven technologies from the 787 Dreamliner,

Emirates marks 20 years of operations to Bahrain

Emirates is celebrating 20 years of services to Bahrain.

Boeing postpones first flight of 777X due to poor weather

Boeing is postponing the 777X first flight that was scheduled to take place today, January 23, due to weather.

Etihad Airways celebrates Chinese New Year with special treats for guests

Etihad Airways, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), is celebrating Chinese New Year with a special flight from Abu Dhabi to Shanghai operated by the airline’s unique ‘Choose China’ themed aircraft livery.

Boeing statement on 737 MAX return to service

The Boeing Company has issued a statement regarding the 737 MAX return to service.

Bombardier gets green light for avionics upgrade on Learjet aircraft

Bombardier has announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certified the latest update to the popular Garmin G5000 avionics suite aboard Learjet aircraft.

Sofex SK2611020420
See us at
AVMENA20 BT1309100620MRO_BT161219260220FIL20BT140124720SaudiAirshow21BT2011180221Sofex BT2611020420AVAFA20BT2607050320AIME BT0801260220