Poland seeks purchase of 96 Apache attack helicopters from US, making second-largest fleet in the world

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The Polish military is seeking to purchase 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters from Boeing, tripling an earlier request for 32 aircraft Thursday.

The purchase would grant Poland the 2nd largest fleet of Apaches in the world, behind the United States. The Boeing-produced aircraft is among the most advanced attack helicopters in the world. First entering service in 1984, the Apache has seen numerous updates to its weapons, engines and communications equipment.

“Boeing is honored the Government of Poland has selected the AH-64E Apache for the Polish Armed Forces’ new attack helicopter fleet,” Boeing wrote in a Thursday statement. “An Apache selection strengthens U.S-Polish military ties by enhancing interoperability and cooperation between Poland, the U.S. Army and NATO nations.”

“During the procurement process, Boeing established significant cooperative partnerships across the Polish government and industry. Our partnership with the Polish Armaments Group, in particular, will continue to expand as we implement training and sustainment efforts with local industry,” the statement continued.

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The price tag for the purchase has yet to be announced, but individual aircraft can cost up to $140 million, depending on how they are outfitted.

Poland’s new fleet of Apaches would replace its outdated, Soviet-designed Mil Mi-24 fleet.

The purchase comes as tensions between Russia and the West continue to escalate. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is nearing its seventh month and shows no sign of slowing down.

President Joe Biden’s administration announced an additional $2 billion in military funding for Ukraine and 18 other European countries facing threats from Russia.

The package will focus on long-term military support rather than the ammunition and equipment included in past aid packages, the administration says. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the announcement Thursday morning, just minutes after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a separate $675 million package of military equipment for Ukraine.

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The pair of packages put the total military aid provided by the U.S. to Ukraine at over $15 billion since President Biden entered office.

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