WASHINGTON (TFC) — Recently Boeing, the world’s leading commercial aircraft maker, a corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, helicopters, rockets, and satellites was awarded a 3.2 billion dollar contract from the U.S. Army to sell AH-64 Apache helicopters to Saudi Arabia according to the Defense Department. Boeing along with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and several other aeronautic defense firms regularly compete for large government contracts.
Back in September Boeing sold 28 wide-body jets to Saudi Arabian Airlines valued at $8.0 billion at current estimates. You can see how these investments into Boeing with the help of the Saudi Arabian and United States governments has done wonders for Boeing’s stock price. It’s stock is up 16.58 percent the past three months and 42.16 percent over the past six months.
The contract modification calls for full-rate production of new and existing AH-64E Apache helicopters and will be overseen by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
Defense News’ land warfare reporter, Jen Judson, reported in February that the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) was planning to build a rotary-wing force. It currently has 36 helicopters — up from having none less than two years ago — with an end goal of expanding to 156 aircraft.
The U.S. Army is helping to oversee the development of a rotary unit for SANG, including 42 Army aviators working to train and assist in modernization efforts, and there looks to be more purchases planned for the future. There is no wonder with all the money flowing in why the United States government turns a blind eye to Saudi Arabia’s documented war crimes and human rights violations.
“We are training everything across the board,” from maintainers to refuelers to firefighters, not just pilots, said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Frank Muth, the Saudi Arabian National Guard modernization program manager.
The unit cost for a new Apache helicopter is $35.5 million — based on fiscal 2014 numbers — and $21.5 million for a unit rebuild, according to the Department of Defense fiscal 2016 budget request. Under the deal, Boeing will modernize 244 Apaches for the U.S. Army and 24 new helicopters will go to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In addition to the U.S. Army and Saudi Arabia, the AH-64 Apache multi-role combat helicopter is flown by Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.