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US Army is retiring hundreds of Apache attack helicopters to make room for newer variants

A U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Longbow takes off from Forward Operation Base Tirin Kot in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, Oct. 14, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Tracy Hohman/Released)
September 21, 2020

According to the U.S. government’s main contracting website, the U.S. Army is planning to retire hundreds of AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to make room for new aircraft.

Hundreds of the service’s remaining helicopters in the AH-64D configuration will need to be disassembled, and the Army Contracting Command- Redstone Arsenal (ACC-RSA) is seeking contractors to tackle the job.

“The United States Government (USG) Army Contracting Command- Redstone Arsenal (ACC-RSA) is conducting market research to determine potential sources for the depopulation of the Apache AH-64D for the Project Manager for Apache Attack Helicopter (PM AAH) within the Program Executive Office for Aviation (PEO AVN),” the notice reads. “The USG seeks to identify potential sources that possess the expertise, capabilities, and experience to meet the requirements necessary to depopulate the Apache AH-64D Attack Helicopter, sourced directly to the Government.”

The project is also looking for new partners with industry to provide innovative plans, procedures, production information, and reports on the depopulation of between 3 and 7 AH-64D aircraft per month. The project could also include minor repairs in an effort to maximize the reuse of materials in the production of the Apache AH-64E.

The AH-64E is an updated version of the AH-64D. The Army is upgrading its attack helicopters to the “E” variant as part of its effort to sustain the Apache fleet through the year 2040.

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The notice said that the work is to take place from January 2022 through December 2027, with the first delivery required in June 2023 and the last delivery required in March 2027.

The AH-64 Apache is the most advanced multi-role combat helicopter in the world. It is used by the United States Army and an increasing number of international forces.

Capable of destroying armor, personnel and material targets in obscured battlefield conditions, the latest Apache helicopter includes the ability of the aircrew to control the flight path and the payload of an unmanned air vehicle.

The Army Aviation fleet has both AH-64D Longbow Apaches and AH-64E aircrafts. Both Active Army and Army National Guard armed reconnaissance battalions and cavalry units employ the Apache. The attack helicopter is capable of supporting Brigade Combat Teams across all types of warfare.

Late last month, the Department of Defense announced that Boeing, one of the world’s leaders in aerospace technology, had received a $154.8 million contract modification to acquire new Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.

Boeing has delivered over 2,100 Apache helicopters to customers around the world since it first entered production. The company builds the attack helicopters in Mesa, Arizona.