The British Army is preparing to achieve the IOC of the Apache AH-64E next month

The British Army will achieve initial operational capability of the Apache AH-64E attack helicopters in March 2024. So far, the Army has inducted 38 units leaving 12 units to go live.

The new Apache AH-64Es were first delivered in November 2020, when the British Army received two of the attack helicopters from a complement of 50 supplied by the original equipment manufacturer, Boeingas part of an intergovernmental agreement signed with the US in 2016.

The AH-64Es will replace their predecessor, the Apache Mk1 variant, of which leading intelligence consultancy GlobalData says the Army currently has 20 units in active service. These units were originally purchased between 2001 and 2007.

The new variant is considered one of the most advanced multi-role helicopters in the world today, with an improvement over its predecessors, including developments in sensors and new electronics such as communications and data sharing facilities.

Boeing’s latest AH-64E ‘Version 6.5’ successfully completed its maiden flight in October 2023. “These enhancements will take the E-model Apache to the next level of capability, ensuring Apaches continue to dominate on future battlefields,” suggested Christina Upah. vice president of Attack Helicopter Programs and a senior executive at the Boeing Mesa site at the time of the flight.

According to GlobalData, Boeing designed the AH-64E with an open systems architecture to support long-term plans to position the platform as a key component of multi-domain operations.

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This complements UK MoD procurement reform, in which the Gpovernment is prioritizing a rapid delivery with minimal dominance shaping details, as outlined in the July 2023 Defense Command document.

The latest E-model also provides the ability to gain advantages in highly contested and complex combat environments. The helicopter combines on-board and off-board sensors, connectivity and long-range weapons to ensure the success of current and future joint missions.

Additional reporting by Andrew Salerno-Garthwaite.

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