Boeing has confirmed it has responded to the RFI for Project LAND 4503 armed reconnaissance helicopter replacement with its AH-64E Guardian Apache attack helicopter.
In an August 30 release the company said, “Australia would not only benefit from the AH-64’s mission capabilities, it would also enjoy its technological and strategic advantages against adversary aircraft; a global parts and supply network and a domestic training, support and sustainment team.”
The AH-64E is the latest version of the AH-64D Longbow Apache, and features an enhanced combat system and the ability to be integrated with unmanned systems. The US, UK, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and other nations are all buying the AH-64E, and the aircraft offers the ability to integrate with US and other regional forces in combined operations.
“Boeing’s AH-64E Apache is known for its survivability, sustainability, interoperability and reconnaissance capability,” Boeing’s Global Sales and Marketing, Defense, Space and Security, Terry Jamison said. “As an Apache operator, Australia would join coalition countries, including the US and UK, and regional partners Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.”
Vice president and managing director of Boeing Defence Australia, Darren Edwards added, “The benefits of Apache for Australia are more significant than continued platform upgrades. Boeing plans to deliver support services in-country and engage local suppliers to maximise Australian industry involvement for the ARH replacement program.”
The US Army has a planned ongoing upgrade program which will see the AH-64E serve into the 2040s, and Boeing anticipates Australia could stay in lockstep with that program to ensure it has the latest capabilities as they are rolled out across a larger fleet.