Boeing and the US government have signed a contract for the provision of 24 AH-64E Apache rotorcraft to Qatar.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress in 2014 that an authorisation had been granted to provide 24 of the type to Qatar, and a $667 million contract was signed on 7 June.
In addition to the aircraft, one Longbow radar crew trainer will also be provided, plus ground support equipment and Thales radios. Deliveries will commence in 2019, and the contract will complete in May 2020, Kim Smith, vice-president of attack helicopter programmes at Boeing, told media in Phoenix, Arizona on the day of the deal being signed.
"We're very proud and have had a relationship with the Qataris for some time," Smith says. "This is another significant accomplishment for the E-model."
The deal comes ahead of a planned five-year multi-year contract, which Boeing is hoping to sign in fiscal year 2017. The manufacturer is working with the US Army to accelerate the agreement of such a deal, which would cover the production of 275 aircraft – plus options to ramp up to 450 to support potential export deals – between then and FY2022.
The company is targeting the “second quarter of FY17” for the multi-year signing, which would fall between January and March 2017, but says it is hopeful that this can be brought forward.
Lot 4 AH-64E Apaches are currently in production, and current contracts cover development through to Lot 6, before the proposed multi-year deal would come into effect. Boeing says 257 AH-64Es will be produced ahead of the number that fall under the sought new arrangement, and notes that a second multi-year contract to take it to a total of 690 examples is expected to follow.
Customers of the E-model include the US Army, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Taiwan, although Boeing cannot confirm the latter.
There are a number of expected future customers of the E-model Apache, including the Netherlands, which now operates 28 D-model variants. The operator is expected to remanufacture its fleet, and not purchase new-build aircraft, Mark Ballew, director of attack helicopters at Boeing, says.
Ballew expects certain customers – including the Netherlands – to wait for the multi-year agreement, in order to benefit from the cost savings that it will provide.
Other tangible future deals for the type include Poland and the UK, with the latter in the process of choosing between an upgrade of its current Apache AH1 fleet, or the acquisition of new-build AH-64E. A request linked to the latter option has previously been approved by the US government.
Poland, meanwhile, is considering the type to fulfil its Kruk attack helicopter programme, a decision on which is expected during 2017. Boeing signed a memorandum of understanding with Polish company PGZ in 2015, and a number of others are in discussion.
The contract also includes four spare engines, as well as night vision sensors, fire control radars, radio frequency interferometers, warning system, GPS with inertial navigation, Hellfire missiles and launchers and rockets, as well as guns, government and contractor engineering and technical and logistics support services.
The proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security "by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East," according to the DSCA.
Qatar is host to the U.S. Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region, including protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms.
The proposed sale of the helicopters will supplement the Qatar Emiri Air Force's previous procurement of 24 AH-64Es.
To support the requirement, military team members and 17 contractors would be deployed to Qatar for approximately three years.
The prime contractors will be Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Longbow Limited Liability, Thales and Raytheon.
Boeing acquired the original manufacturer McDonnell Douglas. The first Apache was delivered to the U.S. Army in January 1984.
More than 2,200 Apaches have to customers around the world, including Egypt, Greece, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and Britain.
Qatar – AH-64E Apache Helicopters with Spare Parts and Related Equipment
Transmittal No: 19-14
WASHINGTON, May 9, 2019 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Qatar of twenty-four (24) AH-64E Apache Attack helicopters and related equipment for an estimated cost of $3.0 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.
The Government of Qatar has requested to buy twenty-four (24) AH-64E Apache Attack helicopters; fifty-two (52) T700-GE-701D engines (2 per aircraft, 4 spares); twenty-six (26) AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sight (MTADS) (1 per aircraft, 2 spares); twenty-six (26) AN/AAQ-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (1 per aircraft, 2 spare); eight (8) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) with Radar Electronics Unit (LONGBOW component); eight (8) AN/APR-48 Modernized-Radar Frequency Interferometers (MRFI); twenty-nine (29) AN/AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) (1 per aircraft, 5 spares); fifty-eight (58) Embedded Global Positioning Systems with Inertial Navigation (EGI) (2 per aircraft, 10 spares); two thousand five hundred (2,500) AGM-114R Hellfire missiles; and twenty-five (25) Hellfire Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM) (1 per aircraft, 1 spare). Also included are twenty-eight (28) M230 30mm automatic chain guns (1 per aircraft, 4 spares), AN/AVR-2B laser detecting sets, AN/APR-39 Radar Signal Detecting Sets, AN/AVS-6 Night Vision Goggles, M299 Hellfire missile launchers, 2.75 inch Hydra Rockets, 30mm cartridges, CCU-44 impulse cartridges, M206 and 211 countermeasure flares, M230 automatic guns and associated components, 2.75 inch rocket launcher tubes, AN/ARC-231 and AN/ARC-201D radios with associated components, AN/APX-123 transponders, image intensifiers, MUMT2i systems, AN/ARN-153 tactical airborne navigation systems, chaff, spare an repair parts, support equipment, training and training equipment, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $3.0 billion.
This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that continues to be an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East. Qatar is host to the U.S. Central Command forces and serves as a critical forward-deployed location in the region. The acquisition of these helicopters will allow for integration with U.S. forces for training exercises, which contributes to regional security and interoperability.
The proposed sale of the AH-64E Apache helicopters will supplement the Qatar Emiri Air Force’s previous procurement of twenty-four (24) AH-64Es, which are capable of meeting its requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance, and anti-tank warfare missions. The helicopters will provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatar peninsula as well as enhance the protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms. Qatar will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of these missiles will not alter the basic military balance in the region.
The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona; Lockheed Martin Corporation, Orlando, Florida; General Electric, Cincinnati, Ohio; Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors, Owego, New York; Longbow Limited Liability Corporation, Orlando, Florida; Thales Corporation, Paris, France; and Raytheon Corporation. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.
Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of three (3) U.S. Government and five (5) contractor representatives to Qatar to support delivery of the Apache helicopters and provide support and equipment familiarization. In addition, Qatar has expressed an interest in expanding their planned Technical Assistance Fielding Team for additional in-country pilot and maintenance training to support this additional quantity of aircraft. To support the requirement a team of twenty (20) personnel (up to three military team members and 17 contractors) would be deployed to Qatar for approximately three years.
There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.
This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.