Amid tensions with China, The US has approved the sale of 29 Apache (AH-64E) ground support helicopters and related equipment to Australia, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said in a release on Thursday.
“The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Australia of AH-64E Apache Helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.5 billion,” the release said. “The DSCA delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.”
Australia has requested to buy 29 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, but also engines, modernized target acquisition and designation sight and pilot night vision sensors and fire control radars with electronic units, the release said.
The package also includes modernized radar frequency interferometers, common missile warning systems and very high-frequency radios, the release added.
The deal also covers the sale of 85 Hellfire missiles; 29 Hellfire air training missiles and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon system guidance sections, according to the release.
The proposed sale will enhance Australia’s capability to meet current and future threats and will improve interoperability with U.S. forces and other allied forces.
Australia will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure. Australia will have no difficulty absorbing these Apache aircraft into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the release read.
The prime contractors involved in this program will be Boeing, Mesa, AZ; and Lockheed Martin, Orlando, FL. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor(s).
AH-64 Apache Advanced Multi-role Combat Helicopter
The AH-64 Apache is one of the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopters and has been operated by the U.S. Army and a vast number of its allies including India.
The AH-64E is a multi-mission helicopter with the most advanced technology additions, sustaining its reputation as the world’s most powerful and potent attack helicopter.
It is the only combat helicopter with an array of capabilities for virtually any mission requirement, including greater thrust and lift, joint digital operability, improved survivability and cognitive decision aiding.