The purchase of 16 Boeing [NYSE: BA] AH-64D Apache Longbow combat helicopters by the State of Kuwait took a step forward last week with the signing of an initial foreign military sales contract between The Boeing Company and the U.S. Department of Defense for the production of the aircraft.
On Sept. 30, the U.S. Army contracted with Boeing to produce the Apache Longbows for Kuwait, performing the work in conjunction with other team Apache members. Kuwait signed a letter of offer and acceptance for this purchase in August 2002.
The total program includes the acquisition of the Longbow fire control radar, ordnance (including Hellfire missiles), spare parts, training services and maintenance support. Kuwait is the seventh international defense force to select the AH-64D and the eleventh Apache customer worldwide.
Built by Boeing in Mesa, Ariz., the company is under contract or in negotiation to produce Apaches for several international customers, and a number of potential customers are evaluating the system. This is in addition to the multiyear contract with the U.S. Army to remanufacture 269 AH-64As into the Apache Longbow configuration through 2006.
The AH-64D Apache features fully integrated avionics and weapons plus a state-of-the-art modem that transmits real-time, secure, digitized battlefield information to air and ground forces. The Apache Longbow is the world's only fourth-generation attack helicopter and the only combat helicopter in service with the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage stationary or moving enemy targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather environments.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $25 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.