A Boeing spokesperson confirmed that the company has completed the production of all 24 AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters ordered by Qatar.
The production of helicopters at the company’s company in Mesa (Arizona) was completed 15 months after the official transfer of the first aircraft in Qatar to the Qatar Air Force in March 2019. Although the assembly and flight tests of the Qatari AH-64E are completed, information on whether they are all sent to Qatar is not disclosed.
Despite the fact that Boeing did not confirm the delivery dates of helicopters to Qatar, it can be assumed that the latest machines could be the first Apaches made in the latest Version-6. According to the company, it has a foreign customer who is the first recipient of the helicopter in Version-6 and now they are delivered to this customer.
Previously, it was assumed that the helicopters would be delivered by the end of May, but the deadlines could have moved slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Version-6 helicopter is distinguished by the integration of the Longbow fire control radar with an increased detection range from 8 to 16 km and a mode of use above water, which makes it possible to combat enemy surface ships. The first foreign customer will receive Version-6 helicopters in the initial configuration.
Deliveries of this modification of the U.S. Army will begin at the end of 2020. Later, the machines in the initial version will be upgraded to the serial configuration.
In June 2016, the U.S. Army and Boeing signed a contract worth $ 667.522 million for the supply of 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, as well as other equipment for the Qatar Armed Forces, as part of the Foreign Military Sales program. The terms of the contract provided for the training of 70 pilots and 100 technical specialists of the Qatar Armed Forces. The contract contained an option for the supply of additional helicopters.
In May 2019, the US Department of State approved the delivery to Qatar, under the Foreign Military Sales program, of a second batch of 24 Apache AH-64E attack helicopters and associated equipment worth up to $ 3 billion.
The first AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter of the Qatar Air Force was received at a ceremony held on March 15, 2019 at the Boeing company in Arizona.
During the annual parade on December 18, 2019, the Qatar Air Force demonstrated for the first time at least 7 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters.
The latest modification of the AH-64 helicopter – AH-64E Apache Guardian – has been produced since 2011. The total number of all Apache modifications exceeded 2400 units.
The Boeing indicate that only US Army AH-64 helicopters have flown over 4.5 million hours. Taking into account current orders, the production of these machines will last at least until 2026. For the US Armed Forces and foreign customers, it is planned to assemble 791 AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopters.
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