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Australia orders Apache helicopter as part of $3.5 billion sale

4th June 2021 - 18:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The AH-64E Apache stands as the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and represents the backbone of the U.S. Army attack helicopter fleet. (Photo: Boeing)

US State Department approves a $3.5 billion sale of Apache helicopters to Australia.

The US State Department has approved a possible foreign military sale to the government of Australia for AH-64E Apache helicopters and related equipment.

The sale has an estimated cost of $3.5 billion, according to the highest estimated quantity and dollar value based on initial requirements.

The government of Australia has requested to buy 29 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters along with associated weapons and equipment.

The weapons specified include: 85 Hellfire missiles, 29 M36E8 Hellfire captive air training missiles, M230E1 and M139 AWS automatic gun, M261 rocket launchers, M299 missile launchers and more.

The purchase of the Apache helicopters signifies the move away from the Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter, which has underperformed in the Australian Army’s hands.

This decision for the Apache reinforces commonality between the Australian and American militaries.

According to Shephard Defence Insight, the AH-64E includes numerous enhancements over its predecessor: improved digital connectivity; Joint Tactical Radio System; more powerful engines; capability to control UAVs; new composite rotor blades; improved landing gear, cruise speed, climb rate and payload capability.

It can be equipped with cutting-edge weapon systems, such as the AIM-92 Stinger, the AGM-114R Hellfire II and the M230 automatic cannon.

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