The Boeing Co. will be building 184 AH 64E Apache attack helicopters in Mesa under a $1.9 billion contract modification that brings the value of an existing deal with the U.S. Army to $2.1 billion.
The modification, which was awarded on March 17, can still increase to more than $3.8 billion in the future, Boeing said. Boeing (NYSE: BA) was the sole applicant for the contract after bids were solicited via the internet, the Department of Defense said.
The Apaches are projected to be finished by the end of 2027. Of the total number, 115 will go to the U.S. Army, with 15 more to be procured as options. In addition, 54 helicopters will go to partner nations as part of the Foreign Military Sales program — including the first Apaches ever to go to Australia.
“We are enhancing the U.S. Army’s attack fleet, while supporting additional partner nations and welcoming our newest Apache customer, the Australian Army,” said Christina Upah, vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Boeing Mesa site executive, in a statement. “This contract highlights the need for Apaches worldwide.”
Australia is the 18th nation to use Apaches. Egypt will be another recipient of the helicopters under the Boeing contract, the Defense Department said. More than 1,275 Apaches are in operation around the world right now, Boeing said, and the U.S. Army earlier this month clocked the 5 million flight-hour milestone with the aircraft.
“With more than five million flight hours, the Apache continues to be reliable, versatile and lethal,” said Katie Yursky, interim vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and senior Mesa site executive, in a statement.
The U.S. Army said the Boeing contract demonstrates the importance of the Apache program, which has been going since 1984, when the first AH-64 took flight. The Army currently uses D-model Apaches as well as the AH-64E model.
“This multi-year contract is critical for the warfighter and the entire Apache team,” said Col. John (Jay) Maher, U.S. Army Apache project manager, in a statement. “It demonstrates the Army’s commitment to continue putting unmatched capability into the hands of our nation’s finest, while providing stability and predictability for the outstanding citizens and companies that pour their talent into producing the best attack helicopter in the world.”
Boeing signed the first multi-year Apache contract in 2017, and it resulted in 244 remanufactured Apaches for the Army and 24 new units for an international customer.
The Apaches are built at Boeing’s Arizona facility near Falcon Field Airport in Mesa. Boeing employs more than 4,400 people in Arizona and is one of the state’s largest employers.
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