Order placed for next generation Apaches for Wattisham

A US Army AH-64E Apache, the type ordered for the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade
Picture: US Army/Capt. Brian Harris ANL-160718-125014001

A US Army AH-64E Apache, the type ordered for the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade Picture: US Army/Capt. Brian Harris ANL-160718-125014001

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A $2.3 billion order has been placed for the latest Apache attack helicopter for the Army’s 16th Combat Aviation Brigade at Wattisham.

Announcing the deal last week, the Ministry of Defence said American-built AH‑64E model of the helicopter can carry more weapons while being more fuel efficient. The model is already in service with the US Army and is being bought ‘off-the-shelf’ to take advantage of the economy of scale of the US Army’s large-scale production programme.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This deal will give the British Army an outstanding helicopter at good value for money for the UK taxpayer.

“It is part of our plan for more ships, more aircraft, more troops available at readiness, better equipment for special forces, more being spent on cyber. That plan, backed by a rising defence budget will enable us to deal with the increased threats to our country.”

Though built in the US, the new Apaches will bring contracts to UK companies. They should be in service by 2022.