The Boeing Company recently announced that they have been awarded a new US Army contract worth over $1.5 billion to upgrade their Apache helicopter fleet. Over the course of the next several years, the Army will send 117 of their older Apache Helicopters to Boeing’s Mesa facility to be equipped with modern technology. The Army will use this new contract to bring their entire Apache fleet up to current specs and standards.
Boeing’s Mesa facility is actually quite well known for their work on the Apache upgrade programs, as the facility already has 290 Apaches in their system. By the end of the new US Army contract, Mesa will have upgraded and modernized nearly 700 Apaches.
Despite being introduced nearly 30 years, the Apache Helicopter is still as popular as ever among the US and foreign militaries alike.
Kim Smith, Vice President for Boeing’s Attack Helicopter Programs, had this to say about their ongoing Apache maintenance program.
“With our integrated production, services and training teams, Boeing is able to affordably support the Army through each phase of the Apache’s lifecycle.”
Apache helicopters are one of the most important assets in the US Army, and they have seen action in many different conflicts including Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf. Its weapons systems features a 30 mm M230 chain gun, AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rockets. One of the most unique features of the Apache is its Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS), which allows either the pilot or the gunner to sync their helmet movements with the the M320 chain gun. Modern additions to this system include thermo-optic targeting, high resolution displays, increased surveillance range.
Look for Boeing to make even more upgrades to the Apache fleet in the years to come.