US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

Defense forces worldwide fly two variants of the AH-64 Apache multi-mission combat helicopters: the AH-64A Apache and the next-generation version, the AH-64D. Equipped with radar, the aircraft is known as the AH-64D Apache Longbow. Without radar, it is the AH-64D Apache. (In the United Kingdom , where all next-generation Apaches have radars, Apaches produced by AgustaWestland are being fielded by the British Army under the designation AH Mk1.)

Click to view AH-64 cut away photo / AH-64 in Japan

AH-64D Apache Longbow

The combat proven AH-64D Apache Longbow, the newest version of the AH-64 Apache fulfills the attack helicopter and reconnaissance requirements of numerous armed forces worldwide. Apache Longbow is in production at The Boeing Company in Mesa , Ariz.

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Boeing is producing the world's most advanced multi-role combat helicopter for the U.S. Army and a growing number of international defense forces. Some 1,400 Apaches have been delivered to customers around the world since the Apache went into production in the early 1980s. The 500th AH-64D Apache Longbow was delivered Aug. 26, 2004 .

The U.S. Army has established programs designed to keep its Apache fleet at the leading edge of technology for the next 30-plus years. The U.S. Army is working with Boeing and the U.S. Congress to adopt next-generation technologies ?to be included in what will be known as Block III enhancements ?to keep pace with U.S. Army transformation to the Future Force.

Open systems architecture, advanced avionics, the Joint Tactical Radio System and other enhancements will give the Apache Longbow even greater capabilities over the next several decades. Continuing enhancements for U.S. Army Apaches also will benefit new and future international Apache customers.

The Apache Longbow has continued to demonstrate its warfighting capabilities during Operation Iraqi Freedom, logging thousands of combat hours in support of allied troops while maintaining high readiness rates. In all, more than 200 Apaches have served in Iraq . Many Apache units remain in Iraq in support of allied forces, and more Apache units will rotate into theater as long as American soldiers are present.

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

The program received a major boost in October 2000 when the U.S. Army raised its total Apache Longbow orders to 501 with a second five-year, multi-year contract with Boeing for 269 additional remanufactured Apache Longbows.

The final aircraft for the first multi-year Apache Longbow contract of 232 and the first Apache Longbow for the follow-on second multi-year contract were rolled out for the Army in April 2002. Multi-year contracts are saving millions of dollars by giving the U.S. Army more aircraft than would be available under single-year funding over the same period. The multi-role Apache has accumulated more than 1.5 million flight hours since its first flight.

US ARMY AH-64 Apache HelicopterInternational Apache Longbows

In addition to the U.S. Army, a growing number of allied nations have chosen next-generation Apaches to meet their armed helicopter requirements. A total of eight international defense forces are under contract or have selected AH-64D variants for their multi-role missions, including Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, The Netherlands, the Republic of Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Fielding Efforts Continue

The first fully equipped U.S. Army unit with AH-64D Apache Longbows was fielded in November 1998.

Ten U.S. Army Apache Longbow battalions have been certified as combat ready. The tenth unit was certified in June 2004 and fielding of additional units continues.

Prior to fielding Apache Longbows in Iraq , the U.S. Army's next generation combat helicopters had been fielded to numerous destinations internationally.

In early 2002, Apache Longbows were sent to the Middle East to participate in the Operation Desert Spring training exercise. In July 2002, the U.S. Army deployed an Apache Longbow battalion to Germany . In late 2001, the U.S. Army deployed an Apache Longbow battalion to the Republic of Korea .

U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Longbows flew during Operation Iraqi Freedom in early 2003, marking the first use of Apache Longbows in combat. Reports from the U.S. Army show that Apaches played key roles in many combat assignments during Operation Iraqi Freedom, and U.S. Army Apaches continue to serve in Iraq today.

An Apache Longbow blade-fold system, developed by Boeing in 2003, allows a single C-5A aircraft to transport and rapidly deploy six Apache Longbows ?including their flight crews, reassembly technicians and their tools ?to a combat theater. The U.S. Army demonstrated this system in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, showing the aircraft could be ready for combat as quickly as two hours after arrival.

Nine U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) and two U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) components are now flying the AH-64 Apache. The ARNG attack battalion in Arizona flies the more advanced AH-64D Apache Longbow; all other units in the Reserve Component fly the AH-64A Apache.

States with ARNG units flying Apaches include Arizona , Idaho , Mississippi , Missouri , North Carolina , Pennsylvania , South Carolina , Tennessee , Texas , and Utah . The USAR units flying Apaches are located in Kentucky and Texas . Texas is the only state with both ARNG and USAR Apache battalions.

ARNG units have been fully engaged in operations around the world including Operation Enduring Freedom, Bosnia and Kosovo.


Boeing is working closely with the U.S. Army and its international customers to ensure the continued superiority of the Apache Longbow.

Planned enhancements include a Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor, new digital communications systems, cognitive decision-aiding, and connectivity with unmanned aerial vehicles.

In addition to recent combat successes, U.S. Army Apache Longbow aircraft demonstrated their advanced capabilities in April 2001 during the Army's Division Capstone Exercise at Fort Irwin , Calif. During the field test, 16 Apache Longbows participated in the division-level exercise that evaluated the 21st century capabilities of the Army's warfighting systems.

Apache Longbows have greater weapons accuracy at longer ranges and have the ability to fight more effectively at night and in nearly any weather.

The Apache Longbow's advanced communications and network-centric combat capabilities give battlefield commanders the ability to effectively manage 21st century conflict arenas in real time.

On reconnaissance missions, Apache Longbow aircrews detect objects of interest without being detected and digitally send images and precise target locations to other air and ground stations.

The Apache Longbow's fully integrated suite of multi-spectral sensors and digital communications provides real time situational awareness and allows members to know exactly where they are, where their friends are and where the aggressor is.

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache HelicopterApache Longbows are continually improved to ensure relevance for operators around the world. The Apache is designed to effectively assimilate technological enhancements. Similar advancements will take place throughout the life of the aircraft.

Continuously expanding digital communications capabilities increases the number of on- and off-board sensors/systems that enable the Apache to exchange real-time information.

Apache's digital connectivity, powerful new sensors, individual weapon systems, advanced training devices and maintenance support systems are all designed in anticipation of changing requirements and growth.

Such improvements ensure full mission capability and reduced operating costs throughout the full spectrum of operations during peacetime and during combat operations.

Aerobatic Maneuvers Demonstrate Agility

In September 1999, a series of dramatic aerobatic maneuvers, performed by an AH-64D Apache Longbow for the first time in public, showcased the aircraft's maneuverability and agility.

The Apache Longbow performed a series of loops and rolls, hammerhead stalls and split-S maneuvers at full mission gross weights. Boeing pilots also reported that the AH-64D performed better during the aerobatic tests than its predecessor, the combat-proven AH-64A Apache.

In earlier tests from July 30 through Aug. 9, 1999 , the Apache Longbow proved its versatility by performing 12 agility demonstration sorties in more than 14 flight hours at gross weights exceeding 16,000 pounds (7,264 kg).

Since its first aerobatic demonstration, the Apache Longbow has performed these dramatic maneuvers during numerous air shows in the United States , the United Kingdom , France , Turkey , Australia , Singapore and the Republic of Korea .

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

To validate the Apache Longbow capabilities, Boeing built six prototypes. All six prototypes flew on or ahead of schedule and demonstrated the advanced capabilities of the improved Apache aircraft.

During the U.S. Army's Force XXI field exercises in 1996 at Fort Irwin , Calif. , two Apache Longbow aircraft put on a tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP) clinic in the California desert. Key U.S. Army officers characterized the Apache Longbow's performance as 搕he quintessential example?of how the U.S. Army will dominate the digital battlefield of the 21st century.

In these and earlier U.S. Army operational tests, six Apache Longbow prototypes competed against standard AH-64A Apaches using a threat array developed to test the combat capabilities of the two Apache designs against a lethal and digitized force consisting of heavy armor, air defense and countermeasures.

The exercises clearly demonstrated that AH-64D Apache Longbow:

is 4 times as lethal (hitting more targets) than the AH-64A, the most capable and advanced armed helicopter in the world until Apache Longbow entered service
is 7 times as survivable than the AH-64
meets or exceeds U.S. Army requirements for both target engagement range and for probability of acquiring a selected target (specific requirements and results are classified
can easily detect and engage moving and stationary targets on an obscured battlefield at maximum range when optical systems are rendered ineffective
can use multiple sensors either individually or in concert with one another to detect and engage targets which dramatically increases mission area flexibility
has the ability to initiate the radar scan, detect and classify more than 128 targets, prioritize the 16 most dangerous targets, transmit the information to other aircraft, and initiate a precision fire and forget attack ?all in less than a minute.

US ARMY AH-64 Apache HelicopterThe AH-64A Apache, widely recognized as the most advanced, combat-proven attack helicopter in the world for the past decade, is the predecessor of today's more advanced, unmatched AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-mission combat helicopter.

The Boeing Company produced the AH-64A in Mesa , Ariz. , until 1997 when production in Mesa transitioned to the next-generation AH-64D Apache and AH-64D Apache Longbow. Now, more than 25 years since its inaugural flight, some 900 AH-64As are in service worldwide for the U.S. Army and five international customers. The Boeing Company celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first delivery of an AH-64A Apache in 2004.

The Boeing Company delivered 937 AH-64A Apaches ?821 to the U.S. Army and 116 to international customers, including Egypt , Greece , Israel , Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ?between 1984 and 1997. Today, most Apache customers are upgrading to the next-generation AH-64D Apache Longbow configuration.

Until fielding of the Apache Longbow, the versatile twin-turbine engine, 225-mph Apache was the only combat helicopter in the world capable of routine operations in daytime or darkness and in most inclement weather. The Apache uses laser, infrared and other high technology systems ?like the Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor ?to find, track and attack armored and other targets.

Armed with 16 laser-guided precision Hellfire missiles, 76 70mm rockets, or a combination of both, and a 30mm automatic cannon with up to 1,200 rounds of high explosive dual-purpose ammunition, the AH-64A was developed for the U.S. Army as an antitank weapon to counter a numerically superior force.

U.S. Army AH-64A Apaches have been employed in combat and peace keeping operations around the globe since 1989.

U.S. Army Apache helicopters played a key role in the 1989 action in Panama where much of its activity was at night when the AH-64A's advanced sensors and sighting systems were effective against anti-government forces.

Apache helicopters also played a major role in the liberation of Kuwait , destroying vital early warning radar sites, an action that opened the United Nations coalition's battle plan. During Operation Desert Storm, AH-64As were credited with destroying more than 500 tanks, plus hundreds of additional armored personnel carriers, trucks and other vehicles.

AH-64A Apaches also have helped keep the peace in Bosnia and have been called into service in Albania by the U.S. Army. The AH-64As continue to fly in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Both AH-64As and A-64Ds flew in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Reports indicate that Apaches played key roles in many combat assignments during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In all these operational employments, Apaches demonstrated the ability to perform when called upon, logging thousands of combat hours at readiness rates in excess of 85 percent. The AH-64A's advanced sensors and sighting systems proved effective in removing the cover of darkness from opposing forces.

The Army also has combat-ready AH-64A units in the United States , Germany and in Korea , where they play a major role in achieving the U.S. Army's security missions.

Nine U.S. Army National Guard (ARNG) and two U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) components are now flying the AH-64 Apache. The ARNG attack battalion in Arizona flies the more advanced AH-64D Apache Longbow; all other units in the Reserve Components fly the AH-64A Apache.

States with ARNG units flying Apaches include Arizona , Idaho , Mississippi , Missouri , North Carolina , Pennsylvania , South Carolina , Tennessee , Texas , and Utah . The USAR units flying Apaches are located in Kentucky and Texas . Texas is the only state with both ARNG and USAR Apache battalions.

ARNG units have been fully engaged in operations around the world including Operation Enduring Freedom, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Sep 2011, Boeing in Mesa, AZ receives a $60 million firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract modification, which will finance efforts to improve the attack helicopters’ existing reliability rate, ease of maintenance, and sustainability at home and in theater. Ongoing efforts of this sort aren’t unusual for military platforms, and platforms that are a prominent part of the force are more attractive because they’re able to multiply the benefits over a larger number of machines. Work will be performed in Mesa, AZ, with an estimated completion date of March 15/12. The bid was solicited through the Internet, with one bid received by the Army’s Aviation Applied Technology Directorate in Fort Eustis, VA (W911W6-07-D-0002).

US ARMY AH-64 Apache HelicopterUS ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

AH-64D

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

AGM-114

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

 

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

US ARMY AH-64 Apache Helicopter

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