Boeing has been awarded a USD295.8 million firm-fixed-price foreign military sales contract for eight AH64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters for Indonesia, the Department of Defence (DoD) disclosed on 27 January.
The contract will be complete by 28 February 2018.
When the deal was first announced by the US government in August 2013 the value was estimated to be USD500 million, suggesting that follow-on contracts for equipment and weapons will follow shortly.
Indonesian army chief of staff General Budiman previously told reporters that the Apaches will be deployed to a number of bases, including the Berau installation in East Kalimantan.
The announcement that a contract has been awarded brings to an end a process that first began in late 2011. At that time, Indonesia said it was looking to acquire surplus AH-64D Apache Longbows from European stocks to augment its existing fleet of Mi-35 attack helicopters procured from Russia in 2008.
However, no European seller emerged and in the meantime production of the AH-64D had ceased. In January 2014 Army Chief of Staff General Budiman told state media that the Indonesian Army would instead procure eight new-build AH-64Es instead.
While these helicopters are being procured as part of a wider revamp of Indonesia's rotary-winged combat capabilities, they are specifically being brought to help the country protect its economic interests in the South China Sea. Four helicopters will be deployed on the Natuna Islands, close to Indonesia's maritime borders with Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam.
Indonesia is not involved in any of the disputes over contested South China Sea islands, but Beijing's 'nine-dotted-line' claim overlaps Jakarta's ambitions for its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Natuna Islands region.