U.S. Army, Boeing Agree to Second Multi-Year Apache Longbow Contract
U.S. Army and The Boeing Company signed an option contract Sept. 29 for the remanufacture of 269 additional U.S. Army
AH-64A Apaches into next-generation AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters.
The Army expects to exercise the option once fiscal year 2001 funds become available later this month.
The five-year, multi-year contract, worth more than $2.3 billion, will authorize Boeing to convert 269 AH-64As into AH-64D Apache Longbows from 2002-2006. By agreeing to a multi-year contract, the Army will save millions of dollars and provide stability for the Boeing assembly line here through 2006.
Boeing is in the fourth year of its first five-year, multi-year contract with the Army to remanufacture 232 AH-64A Apaches into next-generation Apache Longbows. Nearly 150 remanufactured Apache Longbows have been delivered, and two combat-ready Apache Longbow units are in service with the U.S. Army. The Apache Longbow is the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter ever fielded.
Under the two contracts, Boeing will remanufacture a total of 501 Apache aircraft for the Army.
In addition to the remanufacturing of 269 aircraft, the second multi-year contract includes maintenance and operator training devices, spare parts, logistics and support services, and a variety of items designed to further improve maintainability and supportability.
Apaches produced under the second multi-year contract will integrate numerous enhancements. The contract incorporates enhanced capabilities in communications, navigation, data management and safety equipment that provide a foundation in support of the Army's emerging digitized battlefield requirements.
Enhancements to trainers and the Interactive Electronic Technical Manual also are included in the contract.
Additional product enhancements to the Apache Longbow, not included in the current multi-year contract, are in various stages of development to keep the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopter in the forefront. Among proposed future enhancements are upgrades to the rotor and drive system, and a new-generation forward looking infrared sighting system.
The latest long-term agreement with the Army will benefit international sales, company officials said, noting that customers will be able to take advantage of numerous configuration enhancements and reduced costs offered by linking their purchases to the Army's multi-year production program.
In addition to the Army, AH-64Ds also are the choice of a growing number of international customers. Boeing expects to deliver 1,000 more AH-64Ds over the next several years.