Boeing Defense has a new long-term contract with the U.K. Ministry of Defence to provide “training, support, and sustainment” for the British Army’s fleet of 50 Apache AH-64E helicopters. The value of the agreement is $348 million, and Boeing noted it will run through 2040 – establishing more than 200 jobs in the U.K. during the initial four-years.
Boeing U.K. will work with the British Army to provide maintenance and engineering support, and supply chain and logistics management at Wattisham Flying Station, a U.K. Army airfield in Suffolk, England. Boeing also will provide training for aircrews and maintainers from its own operations at Middle Wallop in Hampshire.
British firms involved in the long-term contract include Kuehne & Nagel, which will provide warehouse management services; and H&S Aviation, which will carry out repair and overhaul of engines, under subcontract to GE Aviation.
In 2016 the Ministry of Defence placed a $2.3-billion order for a total of 50 Apache attack helicopters, to replace the existing fleet of Apache AH Mark 1 fleet retiring in 2024. Fourteen of the new helicopters have been delivered to date, and the remaining 36 will be delivered during the next two years.
Boeing already has more than 40 employees providing training for the Mk1 Apache.
The AH-64 Apache a twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It’s armed with a 30-mm M230 chain gun and four launch devices for missiles or rocket pods.
While the original Apache AH design has been in service since the 1970s with the U.S. Army and other nations’ Air Forces, the AH-64E is updated with improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, GE Aviation T700-GE-701D engines and upgraded transmission, and capability to control UAVs, as well as new composite rotor blades.
“There can be no doubt these impressive Apache helicopters will help the Army sustain its battle-winning capabilities in future operations,” stated Defence procurement minister, Jeremy Quin. “In addition to its vital defence purpose, this cutting-edge technology will create and support hundreds of U.K. jobs.”