BAE Systems Australia has joined The Boeing Company's team of defense contractors that is offering the AH-64D Apache multi-role combat helicopter for the Australian Army's armed reconnaissance helicopter program, known as Air 87.
The AH-64D Apache offers Australia a low-risk, cost-effective and off-the-shelf solution to its defense needs. Australia Team Apache, as the Boeing-led team is known, brings together a wide range of the world's best defense contractors, including several aerospace leaders in Australia.
BAE Systems' role, which is being defined, could include support by BAE Systems in the development and production of a wide range of electronic equipment for the AH-64D Apache offered to Australia. Support for numerous systems and subsystems aboard the AH-64D, including electro-optical systems and electronic warfare self-protection, is in review. The teaming agreement also could include future maintenance support of such systems.
BAE Systems' ultimate role will be defined in the next few months, according to officials at both companies.
The Apache Longbow, produced by Boeing in Mesa, Ariz., is the newest version of the combat-proven AH-64A Apache. It is a candidate to fulfill the attack helicopter and reconnaissance requirements of numerous armed forces. Defense forces worldwide have selected the next-generation AH-64D Apache because of its multi-mission effectiveness and its peacetime cost of ownership.
Key to the AH-64D Apache's world dominance continues to be its technical superiority, which translates to technical overmatch when compared to threat systems that it might encounter. The AH-64D Apache is designed to be the most capable, survivable, maintainable and available attack helicopter in the world. Boeing and the U.S. Army continue to integrate new technology to maintain that technical edge and to keep the aircraft relevant well into the future.
Boeing is producing the world's most advanced combat helicopter for the U.S. Army and defense forces in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom at a rate of more than five helicopters a month. Production will increase to six a month in late 2001 for the U.S. Army and, with international deliveries in progress, exceed six a month overall in 2001.
Boeing recently signed a second five-year, multi-year contract with the U.S. Army for 269 Apache Longbow aircraft. Combined with the first multi-year agreement, Boeing is under contract to produce 501 Apache Longbows for the Army through 2006.