The U.S. State Department cleared a proposed $3.5 billion U.S. sale 37 Boeing AH-64E Guardian attack helicopters to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In the proposal outline released by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the UAE requested a sale of 28 remanufactured and 9 new-build AH-64E Guardians.
The $3.5 billion U.S. contract accounts for the aircraft, its requisite subsystems – including engines and on-board electronics suite – and requisite training and logistical support. The DSCA notice states: “The proposed sale will improve the UAE’s capability to meet current and future threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure.”
Notes & Comments:
The UAE’s request has two main elements.
First, it is the remanufacturing of its existing Apache fleet. The UAE has 28 AH-64D, which it now aims to modernize into the AH-64E Guardian configuration. The process of remanufacturing the AH-64 is significant in that it comprises of substantial replenishment work to the airframe, new engines, and upgrades to the onboard electronics and sensor suite. The United Kingdom and the U.S. Army are also remanufacturing their respective AH-64Ds to AH-64Es.
The second element is the additional of 9 new units, which will add to the UAE’s total fleet. Ultimately, the aim in this respect is to have a higher number of combat-ready units.
In 2010, the UAE had requested 30 new-build AH-64D Block-IIIs as part of a $5 billion U.S. sale which also included the remanufacturing of its then-fleet of 30 AH-64s (DSCA). The upgrade proceeded, resulting in the UAE’s existing Apaches being equipped with AN/APG-78 millimetric wave radars (alongside other subsystems), but the UAE did not order the additional 30 units.