SPECIAL REPORT                                                                                                                                           FROM THE INTERNET

APACHE Helicopter

DJ takes a detailed report about the APACHE HELICOPTER from the INTERNET


The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter developed and built by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and is in service with the US Army and has been exported to Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.


The US Army took first delivery of the Apache in 1984. All AH-64A Apaches are to be upgraded to AH-64D with a more powerful engine by the year 2010. The AH-64D Longbow is fitted with the Longbow millimetric fire control radar and the Longbow Hellfire missile. The US Army have more than 800 Apaches in service and more than 1000 have been exported. A consortium of GKN Westland, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse and Shorts bid a version of the Longbow Apache for the UK Army attack helicopter requirement which was selected in July 1995. Assembly of the WAH-64D Longbow Apache is being carried out in the UK by GKN Westland.

The Apache was first used in combat in December 1989 in the US military action in Panama. The Apache was used again in the Gulf War in which 15 battalions were equipped with 288 Apache helicopters. The Apache has also supported low intensity and peacekeeping operations world wide including Turkey and Bosnia.


A 30 mm automatic McDonnell Douglas M230 Chain Gun is located under the fuselage. It provides a rate of fire of 625 rounds per minute. the helicopter has capacity for up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition.


The Longbow Apache, AH-64D, is equipped with the millimeter-wave Longbow radar from Westinghouse and the AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire missile from Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The Longbow fire control radar incorporates an integrated radar frequency interferometer for passive location and identification of radar emitting threats. An advantage of millimetre wave is that it performs under poor visibility conditions and is less sensitive to ground clutter. The short wavelength allows a very narrow beamwidth which is resistant to countermeasures.

The Longbow Apache can effect an attack in thirty seconds. The radar dome is unmasked for a single radar scan and then remasked. The processors determine the location, speed and direction of travel of a maximum of 256 targets. Longbow Hellfire has a millimetre wave seeker which allows the missile to perform in full fire and forget mode. Range is 8 to 12 kilometres. The Apache has been equipped with air-to-air missiles (Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm) and 2.75 inch rockets. Short Brothers of Belfast, Northern Ireland has been contracted by the US Army for the trial of the Starstreak missile on the Longbow Apache helicopter, and the integration with the Target Acquisition Designation Sight (TADS).

The Longbow Apache carries the combination of armaments chosen for the particular mission. In the close support role the helicopter carries 16 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles on four 4-rail launchers and four air-to-air missiles.


The Longbow Apache also has an improved reconnaissance capability. Modifications to the design include an integrated navigation system incorporating a global positioning system, GPS, Doppler navigation, inertial navigation, and air data/laser and radar altimeter navigation. A data modem provides the interface for the secure transfer of digital data with Joint-STARS which is the US Air force surveillance and target attack radar system, and with the UH-60 Black Hawk.


The Target Acquisition Designation Sight, TADS, designation AN/ASQ-170, and the Pilot Night Vision Sensor, PNVS, designation AN/AAQ-11, were developed by Lockheed Martin. The turret-mounted TADS provides direct view optics, television and three fields of view forward looking infra-red (FLIR) to carry out search, detection and recognition. The laser rangefinder/designator integrated with the TADS was developed by Litton Laser Systems. PNVS consists of a FLIR in a rotating turret located on the nose of the Apache immediately above the TADS. The image from the PNVS is displayed in a monocular eyepiece which is part of the Honeywell integrated Helmet And Display Sighting System, HADSS, which is worn by the pilot and by the copilot gunner.


The Apache is equipped with an electronic warfare suite consisting of: AN/APR-39A (V) radar warning receiver from Litton and Lockheed Martin; AN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasures set from Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company; AN/AVR-2 laser warning receiver from Hughes Danbury Optical Systems; AN/ALQ-136(V) radar jammer developed by ITT; and chaff dispensers.


The Apache has been designed for high survivability in combat. the helicopter can continue fight for a further 30 minutes following impact by 12.7 mm rounds directed from the ground. Some sections of the helicopter, such as the main rotor blades, are also tolerant to hits by 23 mm rounds. The crew stations are fitted with Kevlar seats. The cockpits are protected by boron armour shielding rated to provide protection against 12.7 mm rounds. The four blades of the main rotor can be folded or removed for transportation, and are specified to be tolerant to 23 mm shell impact.


The Apache is equipped with two turboshaft engines each providing 1265 kW. The American Apache has the type T700-GE-701 from General Electric and the engine chosen for the UK Apache is the type RTM322 from Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca. The engines mounted above the fins on either side of the fuselage are armour protected. The thermal signature of the helicopter has been reduced by incorporating a system of exhaust nozzles to reduce the temperature of the gases from the engine exhaust and the temperature of the external metal surfaces.

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An Apache Longbow armed with 16 Hellfire missiles, 8 under each wing.

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The Apache Attack Helicopter.

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The Apache has been designed for high survivability in combat.

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British Army Longbow Apaches will be equipped with CRV7 70mm rocket systems.

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An AH-64A Apache carrying AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles on its wingtips.

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Apache firing 1 of its 2.75 inch Hydra 70 rockets.

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Near Real-Time situational awareness schematic.

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The front and rear cockpits of the Apache AH-64D.