Boeing has secured a $1.5bn contract to upgrade the US Army’s fleet of AH-64D Apache helicopters.
Under the terms of the agreement, the company will convert 117 AH-64D Apaches into the more capable AH-64E model.
The company will also provide longbow crew trainers, logistical support and spare parts.
US Army Apache project manager colonel Jeff Hager said: "The AH-64E Apache continues to meet the requirements of aviators, battlefield commanders and soldiers deployed on missions worldwide.
"The army, Boeing and Team Apache suppliers continue a valuable collaboration that ensures soldiers have the latest technologies to succeed in defending freedom with this outstanding weapons system."
The latest contract represents a modification to an existing army contract signed with Boeing for the full-rate production of Apache helicopters.
Work under the new contract will be performed at the company’s production centre in Arizona, US.
Boeing Vertical Lift Attack Helicopter Programmes vice-president Kim Smith said: "With our integrated production, services and training teams, Boeing is able to affordably support the army through each phase of the Apache’s lifecycle.
"The dedication and commitment to first-time quality by Boeing teammates and suppliers combine to deliver an Apache that is ready to meet the rigorous demands of the men and women who depend on it."
The army had previously commissioned the conversion of AH-64A Apaches into AH-64Ds.
The Boeing AH-64E is a heavily armed helicopter featuring fuel-efficient T700-GE-701D engines, enhanced rotor blade technology and electronics, as well as improved aircraft handling, performance and agility at higher altitudes.
Additional features include a joint tactical radio system, as well as electro-optical and infrared (EO / IR) sensors to improve pilots’ situational awareness and discover potential strikes on smaller ships.
Image: The AH-64E Apache features extended range sensors and weapons, off-board sensors and increased aircraft performance. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.