The AH-64 Apache attack helicopter was developed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) for the US armed forces. It entered service with the US Army in 1984
In the framework of Commonwealth of Australia’s LAND 4503 program, , Australia has selected Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters to replace the Australian Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) fleet.
“This new ARH capability will strengthen Australia’s armed reconnaissance force to better shape our strategic environment and deter actions against our national interest,” says defence minister Linda Reynolds. “Defence considered a number of helicopters against key criteria of proven ability, maturity and an off-the-shelf operating system.”
The A$4.5 billion acquisition of 29 new helicopters to replace the 22-strong Tiger fleet is being conducted under the LAND 4503 ARH replacement program and will strengthen Australian Army’s armed reconnaissance capability. The government is expecting the delivery of the new helicopters from 2025 with the fleet reaching full operating capability by 2029.
“Defence considered a number of helicopters against key criteria of proven ability, maturity and an off-the-shelf operating system. The Apache Guardian is the most lethal, most survivable and lowest risk option, meeting all of Defence’s capability, through-life support, security, and certification requirements. By pursuing a proven and low-risk system offered by the Apache, Defence will avoid the ongoing cost and schedule risk typically associated with developmental platforms.”
Australian Department of Defence said in a statement that a detailed transition planning will be conducted to ensure effective management of the skilled workforce, across Defence and industry, as Defence transitions the Tiger to the Apache.