US approves upgrade of 50 UK WAH-64 Mk 1 to Apache Guardian Helicopters

The State Department of United States announced that it decided to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Kingdom for the modernization of 50 UK Apache choppers to AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopters and associated equipment, parts and logistical support for an estimated cost of $3.00 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on August 26, 2015.

The DSCA said the Government of the United Kingdom has requested the remanufacture of fifty (50) United Kingdom (UK) WAH-64 Mk 1 Attack Helicopters to AH-64E Apache Guardian Helicopters with one hundred and ten (110) T-700-GE-701D Engines (100 installed and 10 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-three (53) AN/ASQ-170 Modernized Target Acquisition and Designation Sights (M-TADS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-three (53) AN/AAR-11 Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensors (PNVS) (50 installed and 3 spares), the refurbishment of fifty-two (52) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radars (FCR) (50 installed and 2 spares) with fifty-five (55) Radar Electronics Units (Longbow Component) (50 installed and 5 spares), fifty-two (52) AN/APR-48B Modernized Radar Frequency Interferometers (50 installed and 2 spares), sixty (60) AAR-57(V) 3/5 Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS) with 5th Sensor and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser (50 installed and 10 spares), one hundred and twenty (120) Embedded Global Positioning Systems (GPS) with Inertial Navigation (100 installed and 20 spares), and three hundred (300) Apache Aviator Integrated Helmets.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress around the world,” the DSCA said “The upgrade and refurbishment of these helicopters will allow the United Kingdom greater interoperability with U.S. forces.”

According to DSCA the United Kingdom will use the Apache helicopters to conduct various missions, including counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations. The materiel and services under this program will enable the United Kingdom to become a more capable defensive force and will also provide key elements required for interoperability with U.S. forces.

UK’s Defense Ministry earlier said “we are currently in the assessment phase of the programme, which will supply 50 latest generation Apache helicopters to the UK. This phase includes establishing best value for money for the taxpayer and will conclude in spring 2016 with a decision on procurement then following.”