South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Procurement Administration (DAPA) has recently announced a new project with Boeing that will see the addition of AH-64 Apache attack helicopter to the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army. The ROK selected the AH-64E Apache equipped with the Longbow fire control radar as its new attack helicopter, increasing Korea’s ability to defend against land-based and littoral threats in the region. The new helicopters were unveiled in front of nearly 50 ROK officials during a ceremony in Arizona months ahead of their scheduled delivery. A total of 36 Apache Guardian helicopters will be delivered to the ROK Army, with initial deliveries slated for June 2016.
Known as Guardian, the AH-64 Apache will replace the ROK Army’s aging fleet of Bell AH-1S Cobra helicopter. The AH-64 Apache is one of if not the most advanced multi-role combat helicopters in the world, and it is utilized by the US Army as well as a number of international defense forces. Key features of the AH-64 Apache include a twin turbo shaft engine, tandem cockpit for two men, laser guided precision Hellfire missile system, 70 mm rockets, and a 30 mm automatic cannon. One of the more unique features of the AH-64 is that it has a large amount of system redundancy to improve combat survivability.
Speaking to Korean news outlet Yonhap, DAPA aviation business team head Baek Yoon-Hyeong said:
"The Apache Guardian will greatly contribute to the strengthening of our military's combat capability by replacing aging helicopters currently in operation."
Boeing and the ROK have had long and fruitful relationship that dates back more than 60 years, and new contract is just the latest example of their continued cooperation. Boeing provides the ROK with a number of commercial and defense business units, making Korea one of The Boeing Company’s top 10 largest international markets.
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