The US Army has awarded Boeing a $486.4 million firm-fixed-price contract for the low rate initial production (LRIP) of the AH-64D Apache Block III attack helicopter. At the same time, the company also received a $171.8 million firm-fixed-price contract for the procurement of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Apache Block III aircraft.

Boeing says the LRIP contract for the Block III helicopters consists of 51 remanufactured production aircraft for the US Army. The first of those aircraft was delivered in October 2011. Delivery of LRIP aircraft will continue through December 2013.

"Boeing and Team Apache is thrilled to continue fulfilling the promise to deliver improved sustainment and advanced capabilities with the Apache Block III helicopters for US Army soldiers and allied defence forces around the world," says David Koopersmith, Boeing's attack helicopter programs via a spokeswoman.

The Block III is a much improved version of the older Block II variant. It incorporates new engines, transmission and rotors-which greatly improve performance. The aircraft also has vastly improved avionics

Source: Flight International