Morocco will receive a new order for Apache helicopters next year, a well-informed source confirmed to MoroccoLatestNews. The kingdom should receive a total of 24 such helicopters.
It is the Royal Air Forces, the FRA, which will receive the Apaches and will be able to use them from next year. It was expected that the first batch of these latest generation planes will arrive in Morocco in 2022, but they are still being finalized and technical modifications will be added to this order. Full delivery is scheduled for 2025.
The FRAs have ordered 24 Apache AH 64 E type helicopters, under a purchase contract signed with Boeing Aircraft Industry in June 2020.
This is the first time that Morocco has acquired these combat aircraft, which have been considered the best attack helicopters since their launch in 1989.
Several countries use them, including the twin-engine version developed by McDonnell Douglas (currently Boeing). These are Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, India and the United Kingdom .
The cost of an AH-64A is estimated at over $14.5 million per helicopter. The United States has more than 700 aircraft, Egypt 43, the United Arab Emirates have more than thirty, Great Britain about sixty. The Kingdom will be the second country in Africa to acquire this attack helicopter, after Egypt.
The capabilities of an Apache are very diverse, it is equipped with a 30 mm caliber M230 chain gun turret. The range is 1,500 m and the deflection limited to 11° upwards (+30° for the EC665 tiger) which limits the possibilities of air-to-air combat and can carry different types of rockets and missiles.
It also has the option of carrying Hellfire air-to-surface missiles or Hydra 70mm missile modules. It has a great ability to navigate a range of different environments, and contains an accurate targeting system capable of providing target information whether it is night, day or sea.
Moroccan soldiers trained to fly these helicopters during maneuvers on the African Lion this week. Four Utah National Guard helicopters were delivered to Agadir El Massira airport for the Moroccan-American exercise maneuvers.
The training included joint, multi-domain, multi-component and multinational missions, with the goal of improving interoperability among participants and setting the stage for strategic access.