Leonardo wins $6.8Mn contract for work on UK future AH-64E helicopters

The Italian defense group Leonardo on February 14 landed a US$6.8 million order regarding the "Preparation for Installation of the Apache AH-64E Defensive Aid Systems" for the British Army Air Corps (AAC), the European tenders online daily TED releases today.

Leonardo wins 6 8Mn contract for work on UK future AH 64E helicopters 001 An Army Air Corps Apache of the Apache Attack Helicopter Display Team thrills the crowds at the RAF Cosford airshow
(Credit: Crown Copyright)

This contract concerns "the modification of existing Helicopter integrated defensive aids system (HIDAS) items and will enable delivery of an integrated Defensive aids system (DAS) which is a critical sub-system on Apache," the announcement says.

Components of HIDAS include Radar warning receiver ; Laser warning receiver ; Missile warning system ; Countermeasures dispensing system ; Defensive aids system controller ; Directional infra-red countermeasures ; Radio Frequency countermeasures ; and Electronic warfare operational support facilities. Among others key benefits, HIDAS is a knowledge-based system that processes detected signals to produce real-time intelligence for aircrew. The intelligence recorded by HIDAS during a mission can be quickly downloaded and analysed on the operational support tools.

Selex ES' HIDAS was developed for and has been proven on the UK AH Mk.1 Apache and Wildcat helicopters. The aircraft gateway processor (AGP), derived from the HIDAS, has been selected by the UK MoD to upgrade RAF Chinook and Puma Mk.1 helicopters. HIDAS was also installed on the Kuwait Air Force's Apache AH-64E attack helicopters.

Last year, Boeing was awarded a US$488 Mn Foreign Military Sales contract for the remanufacture of 38 WAH-64D Longbow AH1 to the AH-64E Guardian standard for the AAC, while the British government has previously announced that it would spend USD2.3 billion on upgrading 50 of its 66 Longbow helicopters to the Guardian standard.

The first Apache Guardian for the AAC is due to procuded in early 2020, and to enter service with the AAC in 2022.