Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) will receive first batch of AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters ordered from the U.S. in 2019.
“We will receive first batch of 24 Apache 64E helicopters in 2019”, said Brigadier General (Pilot) Ghanem bin Abdul Hadi Al Shahwani, QEAF Apache 64-E project officer. He added that the deal includes the training of 70 pilots and 100 ground crew, as well as options for up to 24 additional helicopters.
The deliveries of the helicopters will be completed by the end of May 2020.
The new helicopters will allow the Qatari Armed Forces (QAF) to replace its aging airframes (SA342 Gazelle scout helicopter) with multi-mission attack helicopters, capable of meeting its requirements for close air support, armed reconnaissance and anti-tank warfare missions. The helicopters will provide a long-term defensive and offensive capability to the Qatari peninsula as well as enhance the protection of key oil and gas infrastructure and platforms.
The U.S. State Department had approved the sale of 24 AH-64D Apache Block III (now called AH-64E Apache Guardian) Longbow attack helicopters on July 12, 2012 through Foreign Military Sale (FMS) route. Qatar placed the $667.5 million order for the helicopters in 2016.
Boeing AH-64 Apache
Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.
According to Boeing, the AH-64 Apache “is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter and is used by the US Army and a growing number of international defence forces.” The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
Apache is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods.
The helicopter features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems.
The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache.