SEOUL, June 8 (UPI) -- The first of 30 Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters has arrived in South Korea for delivery to the South Korean Army.
The Ministry of Defense said the aircraft recently arrived by ship and that remaining aircraft would be delivered by early next year.
"This is a project that will enhance our rapid-reaction power in preparation for North Korea's armored power threats and local provocations," The Ministry of Defense said. "The model was selected in April 2013, and the first delivery was made at the Boeing factory located in Arizona in November of last year. As of early this year, all requisite ammunition, supportive equipment, repair parts, etc. has been transferred."
The AH-64 first came into service in 1986. The "E" variant, formerly known as the AH-64D Block III, features improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, more powerful engines and the capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles. It also features new composite rotor blades.