Qatar has been cleared to buy a further 24 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters to add to the 24 already under contract.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 9 May that the State Department has approved the sale, which, including related equipment and support, is valued at approximately USD3 billion.
The approval includes Lockheed Martin AGM-114R Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and 70 mm Hydra rockets. These weapons were included in the deal for the initial 24 helicopters, although this latest approval does not include additional FIM-92H Stinger air-to-air missiles. Earlier this year the State Department approved the sale to Qatar of the BAE Systems Advanced Precision Kill Weapon Systems (APKWS) II guided rocket, and this weapon system will likely be also carried by the AH-64E.
News of the approval comes about two months after the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) received the first Apache from the initial batch of 24 during a ceremony at Boeing’s Mesa production plant in Arizona on 14 March.
Deliveries of the initial batch will be completed by the end of May 2020, with those of the second batch likely to run through to approximately 48 months after contract signature.