Boeing and the US Army have signed a $151.9m contract for 11 new AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopters.

The new aircraft, to be built in the Lot 11, Block II configuration, are in addition to the 16 new AH-64D Apache Longbows already under contract and to the AH-64A Apaches being remanufactured under a multi-year contract with the army. Boeing will begin assembly in 2008 at its manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona, where Apaches have been built since the program's inception.

Apache Longbow helicopters are used extensively in the desert and in other extremely harsh environments. Boeing says the helicopter features fully integrated avionics and weapons, plus a modem that can transmit real-time, secure digitised battlefield information to air and ground forces. It can rapidly detect, classify, prioritise and engage stationary and moving opposition targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather environments.