The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has announced the approval of the sale of 29 Boeing AH-64E Apache attack helicopters to Australia.
The approval comes after the January 2021 announcement by the Commonwealth that it had selected the Apache to fulfil the Australian Army’s LAND 4503 requirement to replace the Airbus Tiger ARH in service.
The DSCA announcement says the estimated cost of US$3.5bn (A$4.52bn) includes the 29 AH-64Es, six spare T700-GE- 701D engines, the AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight/AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS), and various communications and navigation systems including Manned-Unmanned Teaming-2 (MUMT-X) video receivers and Air-Air-Ground kits.
Also included are 85 AGM-114R Hellfire air-to-surface missiles plus captive air training rounds (CATM), and 2,000 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System Guidance Sections (APKWS-GS) which attach to Hydra 70mm rockets, and other gun and rocket launcher systems.
The first Australian Apache is expected to be delivered in 2025, with an initial operational capability (IOC) scheduled for 2028.