The Queensland-based company NIOA with Boeing Defence Australia (BDA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the cannon and ammunition system for the AH-64E Apache which was selected for Australian Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) replacement program o replace the Airbus-built EC665 Tiger fleet. According to Boeing, the MoU formalises the business’ collaborative arrangement and reinforces BDA’s commitment to maximising sovereign support services to the ARH replacement program. NIOA is the largest privately-owned company supplying weapons, ammunition and technical support to military, law enforcement and commercial markets.
“NIOA brings industry-leading, sovereign capability to our solution,” said BDA Director of Supply Chain Management, Nick Gothard. “BDA has a proven track record of increasing Australian Industry Capability on all its aircraft support programs, including the F/A-18F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, CH-47F Chinook and P-8A Poseidon through the contribution of highly capable industry partners like NIOA.”
NIOA Chief Executive Officer, Robert Nioa said working with Boeing as the munitions partner for the Apache presents an exceptional new opportunity for NIOA. “We will be providing the next generation of ammunition to provide the optimal capability to the men and women of the Australian Defence Force,” he said.
The Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian was selected over a Bell/BAE Systems Australia teaming arrangement (offering the Bell AH-1Z Viper) and an Airbus offer of an upgrade to the incumbent Tiger platform. Australia will buy at least 29 AH-64Es, engines, spare parts, equipment, training devices and weapons for an estimated $4 billion. The new attack helicopters is being conducted under the LAND 4503 ARH replacement program and will strengthen Australian Army’s armed reconnaissance capability. The government is expecting the delivery of the new helicopters from 2025 with the fleet reaching full operating capability by 2029.