The UK's project to field Boeing AH-64E attack helicopters has been advanced, under a contract modification detailed by the US Department of Defense on 11 May.

At the Farnborough air show last July, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that 50 new-build examples of the Apache would be acquired under a foreign military sales deal agreed with Washington. These would replace an in-service inventory of Boeing/AgustaWestland-built Apache AH1s flown by the British Army.

In its new contract notification, the DoD says Boeing has been awarded an update worth $488 million "for the remanufacture of 38 AH-64 Apache aircraft" for the UK. The deal also covers the provision of three crew trainers and associated spare parts, it adds, with all work to be completed by May 2024.

The UK MoD has not commented on the contract amendment. Last year, it valued a 50-aircraft purchase at $2.3 billion, and said that systems from its current attack helicopter fleet would be reused in the AH-64E. New-build rotorcraft were expected to roll off Boeing's assembly line in Mesa, Arizona in 2020, it added.

A total of 67 Apache AH1s were acquired for the UK, with assembly performed at AgustaWestland's Yeovil site in Somerset. Flight Fleets Analyzer records the British Army as having a current active fleet of 42 examples, aged between 12 and 16 years, with the other 25 in storage.