AFP

Qatar signs deal for 24 AH-64E Apaches 8 June, 2016

Qatar has signed for 24 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters to be delivered by 31 May 2020. The Defence Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress in 2014 that an authorisation had been granted to provide 24 of the type to Qatar, and a $667 million contract was signed on 7 June. Qatar first requested the Apache helicopters in July 2012 for an estimated USD3 billion. Given its value, the contract award announced amounts to approximately USD27 million per aircraft and will likely cover the baseline airframes with further awards for weapons systems and sustainment and support to be awarded at a later date. Weapons requested in the original Foreign Military Sales notification included AGM-114R Hellfire laser-guided missiles, FIM-92H Stinger missiles with air-to-air launchers, and 70 mm Hydra air-to-surface rockets. In addition to the aircraft, one Longbow radar crew trainer will also be provided, plus ground support equipment and Thales radios. Deliveries will commence in 2019, and the contract will complete in May 2020, Kim Smith, vice-president of attack helicopter programmes at Boeing, told media in Phoenix, Arizona on the day of the deal being signed. Once in service, these Apaches will replace the Qatar Emiri Air Force's (QEAF's) ageing Aerospatiale SA 342 Gazelle attack helicopters in the close air support, armed reconnaissance, and anti-tank roles.

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