The Government of Australia has unveiled plans to procure 29 new AH-64E Apache Armed Reconnaissance helicopters for the Army.
The move will involve an investment of approximately $3.83bn (A$5.5bn). An additional $348.4m (A$500m) will also be invested to upgrade facilities to support the maintenance of the Apache helicopters.
The new AH-64E helicopters will replace the Australian Army’s existing Tiger helicopters.
Following the announcement, Boeing, which manufactures Apache helicopters, welcomed the move.
Boeing Defence Australia managing director Scott Carpendale said: “Boeing will continue to expand its industry capability and supply chain in Australia by selecting Australian suppliers to support this critical programme.”
The Australian Government also announced plans to procure 12 MH-60R Romeo maritime helicopters by investing more than $1.74bn (A$2.5bn).
The helicopters, which will replace the Navy’s existing Taipan fleet, will be based at HMAS Albatross. Another Romeo helicopter, that will replace the one lost last year, will also be based at the naval air station.
An additional $250.8m (A$360m) will be used to expand HMAS Albatross to accommodate the growing fleet.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “Our world and our region are changing, but we’re investing a record A$270bn in the defence and security of Australia over the decade to 2030.
“But these investments don’t just support the Australian Defence Force, they support local jobs and skills right here.
“The more than A$8bn we’re investing in helicopters and facilities means 290 new jobs on the ground for electricians, mechanics, and engineers to support their maintenance, along with hundreds more jobs in the small business supply chain that supports these fleets.”
The deliveries of the new helicopters will start from 2025.