SEATTLE (AP) _ Israel has arranged to buy nine AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters in a deal that could bring Boeing Co. nearly $500 million.

The Israeli government signed a letter of offer and acceptance with the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Army will contract with Boeing for the helicopters, related equipment, spare parts, ordnance, training and support after a foreign military sales agreement is arranged, the manufacturer said in a statement Monday.

Boeing is nearing completion of the first multiyear contract to deliver 232 remanufactured AH-64D Apache Longbows to the U.S. Army by the end of 2001.

Under the agreement signed last September, 269 AH-64As will be remanufactured into the Apache Longbow configuration through 2006.

The AG-64D features a modem for transmitting secure information to air and ground forces.

The Apaches are manufactured by Boeing's Mesa, Ariz., facility.