Singapore has signed a contract with Boeing for eight AH-64D Longbow Apache attack helicopters, according to deputy prime minister and minister for defence Tony Tan. Deliveries are to begin in 2002.

The announcement brings to an end year-long talks with potential suppliers, including Eurocopter, which was offering the Tiger, and Denel, offering the Rooivalk.

The helicopters are understood to be part of a $620 million US Department of Defence package for Singapore which also includes Hellfire II missiles, Hydra-70 rockets, chaff dispensers, spares, training and technical support.

If an option to acquire a further 12 helicopters is taken up, the value of the deal is likely to be $1.5 billion.

A decision on engine selection between the Rolls-Royce/Turboméca RTM 322 fitted to British Army Apaches and the standard General Electric T700 has yet to be made. An electronic warfare suite is also yet to be chosen. o

Source: Flight International