Representatives from the Army and Boeing have signed a five-year multibillion-dollar contract to acquire 244 remanufactured Apache helicopters along with 24 new ones for an international customer through the foreign military sales program. A signing ceremony took place March 22 at the Boeing production facility in Mesa, Arizona, to highlight the first of its kind deal for the Apache E model. More than 200 people attended the signing which took place in the shadow of a recently produced AH-64E. Along with local government and community representatives, many in the audience were directly involved with the AH-64E program.The five-year, $3.4 billion base contract calls for a minimum of 244 aircraft. The total number of Apaches purchased for both the U.S. and for foreign military sales under the contract could be as many as 450 aircraft. The efficiencies of the multiyear contract result in direct savings to the Army and to taxpayers of more than 10 percent of the contract, and potentially more of the Army procures additional AH-64Es under the contract option. "This multiyear contract truly is a great thing for our Army, our Soldiers, the American taxpayer and the entire Apache team," Col. Joe Hoecherl, Apache project manager, said. "It demonstrates the Army's commitment to this program and provides stability of planning and jobs for the heroes that contribute to producing the best attack helicopter in the world." Much of the savings is attributed to industry having stable and known requirements over the five-year period versus the instability of individual year contract planning. Team members responsible for the success in the negotiations process included representatives from the Defense Contract Management Agency, Defense Contract Audit Agency, Apache Project Office and the Army Contracting Command-Redstone. The Army plans to procure at least 690 AH-64Es, with the potential for that number to increase. The AH-64E provides a wide range of enhancements over the already capable AH-640 including Composite Main Rotor Blades, Manned Unmanned Teaming, which allows communication with, and control of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, improved targeting and night vision systems along with greater speed and range. "The award of this contract is the culmination of thousands of hours of hard work on the part of both the U.S government and Boeing, including numerous members of Team Apache, ACC-Redstone and hundreds of subcontractors," Hoecherl said. "But even more than that, it is a recognition of the great capability that this aircraft provides to our country, our Soldiers and warfighting commanders. The aircraft does keep heroes alive, but it couldn't do that without the incredible work done behind the scenes by many of you here, and thousands of hardworking individuals who couldn't be here today."