Boeing is to build 13 essentially new AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters for the US Army under a more than $190 million deal which will bridge the gap until it secures a deal to remanufacture a further 96 Block II aircraft, writes Graham Warwick.

The combined work will keep the company’s production line going until the army’s Block III Apache upgrade begins in 2010.

Production of the 13 helicopters, which will combine new fuselages with components salvaged from older Apaches, will begin early next year. The Block III upgrade will initially modify the army’s 283 surviving Block I AH-64Ds, although it plans to eventually modify all 597 of its Apache Longbows to the enhanced configuration.

Source: Flight International