The Australian government is about to spend $4.5 billion to buy 29 American-made Apache gunship helicopters – a deal which would cost hundreds of highly skills jobs including many in Queensland.
In the Commonwealth of Australia’s LAND 4503 program, there is only one attack reconnaissance helicopter that can offer the Australian Defence Force the capability, cost, and schedule certainty it requires – the Boeing AH-64E Apache, said T.J. Jamison Vertical Lift International global sales and marketing senior manager, Boeing Defense.
Australian Army puts forward a recommendation to the National Security Committee to retire the European-made Tiger helicopters years earlier and replace them with Apaches, learned GDC citing Sky News.
The government purchased the European-made Tiger helicopters in 2001 for $1.1 billion. The commander in charge of the Tigers said in 2018 they had “proven reliability” and “proven performance” and could stay in service until 2040.
A letter signed by Germany, France and Spain, whose defence forces use the Tiger helicopters, urged Australia not to replace them. “The Tiger is a sophisticated and highly effective combat system,” they said. “It has been operational in our Armed Forces for several years. “We encourage the retention of the Tiger.” Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said a decision would be made later this year.
“Apache customers worldwide buy certainty about where this aircraft is today and where it will be in the future,” says T.J. Jamison, Vertical Lift International global sales and marketing senior manager, Boeing Defense, Space and Security. “There are other aircraft manufacturers that say they can do what the Apache can do but until they’ve done it, that’s an uncertain situation. And uncertain situations invite potential risk, development issues, cost overruns, schedule delays – you name it.”
About Apache Attack Helicopter
The AH-64E Apache advanced and fully-integrated capabilities are combat proven by more than 1.2 million combat flight hours in service with the U.S. Army and a global fleet of more than 1200 helicopters across 16 countries. It’s the most tested, proven attack helicopter flying today, with more than 4.6 million flight hours by the U.S. Army alone. Mission availability rate is greater than 82% “and I’ve seen it go higher – much higher – over a long period of operations.
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