The US Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
The US Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.

US State Department Clears Sale of 29 AH-64E Attack Helicopters to Australia

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion. The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale. The proposed sale will improve Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats, and will enhance interoperability with U.S. forces and other allied forces. Australia will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing these Apache aircraft into its armed forces. The prime contractors involved in this program will be Boeing, Mesa, AZ; and Lockheed Martin, Orlando, FL. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).

The Government of Australia has requested to buy twenty-nine (29) AH-64E Apache attack helicopters; sixty-four (64) T700-GE 701D engines (58 installed, 6 spares); twenty-nine (29) AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (M-TADS/PNVS); sixteen (16) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) with Radar Electronic Units; twenty-nine (29) AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers (MRFI); seventy (70) Embedded Global Positioning Systems with Inertial Navigation Systems plus Multi-Mode Receiver (EGI+MMR) (58 installed, 12 spares); thirty-five (35) AAR-57 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) (29 installed, 6 spares); seventy (70) AN/ARC-231A Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency (VHF/UHF) radios (58 installed, 12 spares); eighty-five (85) AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; twenty-nine (29) M36E8 Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); and two thousand (2,000) Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System Guidance Sections (APKWS-GS).

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A Dutch Ah-64 Apache attack helicopter flies over waiting Bushmaster transport at Tarin Kowt following the completion of a mission.
A Dutch Ah-64 Apache attack helicopter flies over waiting the Australian Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) Bushmaster transport at Tarin Kowt following the completion of a mission. (Photographer: CAPT Stu Wood/Australian Government Department of Defence)

Also included are AN/APR-39 Radar Signal Detecting Sets; AN/AVR-2B Laser Detecting Sets; AN/APX-123A Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders; IDM-401 Improved Data Modems; Link-16 Small Tactical Terminal KOR-24-A; Improved Countermeasure Dispensing System (ICMD); AN/ARN-149 (V)3 Automatic Direction Finders; Doppler ASN-157 Doppler Radar Velocity Sensors; AN/APN-209 Radar Altimeters Common Core (RACC); AN/ARN-153 Tactical Air Navigation Set (TACAN); AN/PYQ-10(C) Simple Key Loader; M230E1 + M139 AWS Automatic Gun; M261 Rocket Launchers; M299 missile launchers; 2.75 inch rockets; 30mm rounds; High Explosive Warhead for airborne 2.75 rockets, inert; MK66-4 2.75 inch rocket High Explosive warhead M151 fuze M423 motor; MK66-4 2.75 inch rocket warhead M274 motor; MK66-4 2.75 inch rocket motor; M151HE 2.75 inch warhead; Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-X) video receivers; Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-X) Air-Air-Ground kits and training devices.

In July 2019, Australia issued a request for information for Project Land 4503 to replace the Army’s troubled Eurocopter Tiger ARH helicopters. The RFI (Request for Information) called for 29 helicopters, with 24 to be based at a single location with two operational armed recon helo squadrons, and a five for training Army pilots and battle captains at the Australian Army Aviation Training Centre at Oakey, Queensland. The two operational Tiger squadrons are currently based in Darwin in the Northern Territory as part of the 1st Aviation Regiment. On 15 January 2021, the Australian Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds announced that the AH-64E had been selected to replace the Tiger ARH. A fleet of up to 29 AH-64Es will be acquired with a planned initial operational capability of 12 helicopters in 2026 and full operational capability in 2028.

the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area.
Lieutenant Colonel John Davis, AV, Commander of the United States Army 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion briefs Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Rick Burr, AO, DSC, MVO on the capabilities of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter at the Shoalwater Bay Training Area. (Photographer: CPL Tristan Kennedy/Australian Government Department of Defence)
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