DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Emirati Air Force is expected to receive a new batch of AH-64 Apache helicopters from Boeing, an industrial source has disclosed.
The official confirmed the “ongoing negotiations between the two parties,” adding that the helicopters expected to be delivered to the United Arab Emirates will include a new batch of the latest Apache AH-64E. The aircraft currently in service will be subject to a comprehensive upgrade program, in which Boeing will provide the system’s overall repair, the official added.
For his part, Tommy Dunehew, vice president of global sales defense at Boeing, said that “the Apache is well-regarded in the region, as it is considered a reliable platform and utilized for its ultimate capacity.” He emphasized the Apache’s ability to carry ”multiple systems on board such as the Hellfire missile.”
Boeing is showcasing a wide range of its products at this year’s Dubai Airshow, including the UAE Air Force’s AH-64D Apache and Chinook helicopters.
A UAE military source also noted the “current negotiations between the two countries on the latest version of the attack helicopter.” He revealed that the Air Force currently operates about 25 to 30 aircraft of this type, stressing its “effectiveness in battlefield against all types of targets.”
“Unfortunately, the Apache is facing a big problem in terms of engine power, which needs to be upgraded in order to suit all types of operations,” the military source added. However, he did praise the Apache’s capabilities “during night missions where the enemy is unable to monitor it during the late hours of night.”
The AH-64 Apache helicopter is equipped with two T-700-GE-701C/D engines and has a maximum weight of 8,890 kilograms, while its maximum speed is 190 knots and its fuel endurance is two-and-a-half hours. The aircraft also accommodates two crew members.
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Chirine Mouchantaf contributed stories on Middle East defense and wrote for SDArabia, an Arabic security and defense magazine.