The Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) (formerly Hughes) AH-64A Apache is the Army’s primary attack helicopter. It is a quick-reacting, airborne weapon system that can fight close and deep to destroy, disrupt, or delay enemy forces. The Apache is designed to fight and survive during the day, night, and in adverse weather throughout the world.
The principal mission of the Apache is the destruction of high-value targets with the HELLFIRE missile. It is also capable of employing a 30MM M230 chain gun and Hydra 70 (2.75 inch) rockets that are lethal against a wide variety of targets. The Apache has a full range of aircraft survivability equipment and has the ability to withstand hits from rounds up to 23MM in critical areas.
The AH-64 Apache is a twin-engine, four bladed, multi-mission attack helicopter designed as a highly stable aerial weapons-delivery platform. It is designed to fight and survive during the day, night, and in adverse weather throughout the world. With a tandem-seated crew consisting of the pilot, located in the rear cockpit position and the co-pilot gunner (CPG), located in the front position, the Apache is self-deployable, highly survivable and delivers a lethal array of battlefield armaments. The Apache features a Target Acquisition Designation Sight (TADS) and a Pilot Night Vision Sensor (PNVS) which enables the crew to navigate and conduct precision attacks in day, night and adverse weather conditions.
An on-board video recorder has the capability of recording up to 72 minutes of either the pilot or CPG selected video. It is an invaluable tool for damage assessment and reconnaissance. The Apache’s navigation equipment consists of a doppler navigation system, and most aircraft are equipped with a GPS receiver.
U.S. Army Develops Apache ‘Version 6’ Update: Here
The U.S. Army is developing a Version 6 update of the Boeing AH-64E Apache that by 2018 will enhance its fire-control radar, expand its ability to communicate with unmanned aircraft and soldiers on the ground, and increase onboard processing speeds. The work was underway as the service sought approval for its first multi-year procurement of the fearsome attack helicopter.
The “heavily software dependent” Version 6 capabilities will be implemented on the latest-model Apache by April 2018 at a cost of $298.5 million, according to a “Justification and Approval” document signed in April 2015 by Heidi Shyu, the Army’s senior procurement executive.
The technology insertions can be retrofitted at Apache unit locations, said Apache project manager Col. Jeffrey Hager, who briefed reporters on the project last month at the Boeing Defense manufacturing facility in Mesa, Arizona.
AUSA 2016: US Army to complete AH-64E Version 6 and MUM-TX operational testing this year: Here
Meanwhile, the Version 6 improvements for the AH-64E are expected to include a new maritime targeting mode, as well as aided target detection/classification; multimode laser image blending; a radar frequency interferometer (RFI); passive ranging/range extension; fire-control radar enhancements; Longbow integrated maintenance support system ground analysis software improvement; an interactive electronic technical manual upgrade; and Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) embedded diagnostics. The upgrades are designed to be retrofittable onto the aircraft at the unit location.
The Apache has state of the art optics that provide the capability to select from three different target acquisition sensors. These sensors are:
– Day TV. Views images during day and low light levels, black and white.
– TADS FLIR. Views thermal images, real world and magnified, during day, night and adverse weather.
– DVO. Views real world, full color, and magnified images during daylight and dusk conditions.
Prominent in this picture, on the nose of the aircraft, is the day TV system, thermal imaging sight and direct view optics. All of these aid the pilot and co-pilot in acquiring and engaging multiple targets simultaneously in different environments. Photo by Peter Davies Crown Copyright
Arrowhead® Modernized TADS/PNVS Receiver for the Apache
Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-PNVS)
Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (M-TADS)
Identify targets and deliver high quality images, right into a pilot’s helmet display. In real time. In any condition.
This mission-critical receiver integrates within the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (M-TADS) as well as the Modernized Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-PNVS), to help ensure safe flight in the most blinding conditions. With real-time high quality images, pilots can avoid difficult-to-detect obstacles, like wires, during low-altitude flights. Even in complete darkness.
With enhanced reliability and streamlined field maintenance, operation and support costs have also been lowered by as much as 60 percent. Source drs.com
AUSA 2016: US Army awards Lockheed Martin USD49 million for Apache sensor upgrade work: Here
The US Army has awarded Lockheed Martin a USD49.3 million contract to upgrade the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor (M-TADS/PNVS) on the Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopter, the company announced on 3 October.
Lockheed Martin is responsible for producing 42 Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) upgrade kits and spares as part of Lot 1 production under the deal. M-DSA provides the ability to more rapidly identify targets and co-ordinate with troops on the ground. Its modular design also reduces operation and support costs, according to Lockheed Martin.
Lockheed Martin receives a $337 million contract to supply new M-TADS/PNVS for Apache attack helicopters: Here
The AH-64E Apache helicopter is slated to receive new eyes as Lockheed Martin receives a $337 million contract to supply multiple countries with the latest in target acquisition.
The Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor or M-TADS/PNVS system has been ordered by the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the company announced on Monday.
The contract is an initial task between the defense contractor and the U.S. Army that would see an “indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity” of services at the tune of at least $2 billion in potential orders over a five-year period of performance of the enhanced system to U.S. and international customers.
The Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (M-DSA) is currently in production and modernizes the M-TADS/PNVS system. It brings color to the Apache cockpit.
High Reliability Turret
The High Reliability Turret will replace the legacy TADS turret assembly as the structure that interfaces with the Apache aircraft and houses the M-TADS/PNVS sensors. It also houses the motors that drive the azimuth and elevation movement of the sensors. High Reliability Turret provides reliability and maintainability improvements, resulting in operation and support cost savings of more than $695 million over the life of the Apache. It provides performance improvements that help the pilot track targets more effectively and mitigate the effects of aircraft vibration on the M-TADS/PNVS system.
The Apache has four articulating weapons pylons, two on either side of the aircraft, on which weapons or external fuel tanks can be mounted. The aircraft has a LRF/D. This is used to designate for the Hellfire missile system as well as provide range to target information for the fire control computer’s calculations of ballistic solutions.
The LONGBOW FCR has a very low probability of intercept. It rapidly and automatically searches, detects, locates, classifies, and prioritizes multiple moving and stationary targets on land, water and in the air in all weather and battlefield conditions from standoff ranges. Target coordinates are automatically available to other sensors and weapons for target confirmation, rapid engagement, and reduced fratricide. Target data is digitally available through the data modem for real-time transfer to other platforms and command posts. The self-contained Radar Frequency Interferometer provides rapid and accurate identification and azimuth to enemy air defense units. High system reliability and two-level maintenance maximize operational availability and reduce support costs. Source lockheedmartin.com
The Apache fully exploits the vertical dimension of the battlefield. Aggressive terrain flight techniques allow the commander to rapidly place the ATKHB at the decisive place at the optimum time. Typically, the area of operations for Apache is the entire corps or divisional sector. Attack helicopters move across the battlefield at speeds in excess of 3 kilometers per minute. Typical planning airspeeds are 100 to 120 knots during daylight and 80 to 100 knots at night. Speeds during marginal weather are reduced commensurate with prevailing conditions. The Apache can attack targets up to 150 km across the FLOT. If greater depth is required, the addition of ERFS tanks can further extend the AH-64’s range with a corresponding reduction in Hellfire missile carrying capacity (four fewer Hellfire missiles for each ERFS tank installed).
US Army RDECOM – AH-64E Apache Guardian Attack Helicopter Technology Upgrades & Improvements
Data from Jane’s Information Group, Bishop
- Crew: 2 (pilot, and co-pilot/gunner)
- Length: 58.17 ft (17.73 m) (with both rotors turning)
- Rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
- Height: 12.7 ft (3.87 m)
- Disc area: 1,809.5 ft² (168.11 m²)
- Empty weight: 11,387 lb (5,165 kg)
- Loaded weight: 17,650 lb (8,000 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-701 turboshafts, 1,690 shp (1,260 kW) [upgraded to T700-GE-701C (for AH-64A/D from 1990), 1,890 shp (1,409 kW)] each
- Fuselage length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
- Rotor systems: 4 blade main rotor, 4 blade tail rotor in non-orthogonal alignment
- Never exceed speed: 197 knots (227 mph, 365 km/h)
- Maximum speed: 158 knots (182 mph, 293 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 143 knots (165 mph, 265 km/h)
- Range: 257 nmi (295 mi, 476 km) with Longbow radar mast
- Combat radius: 260 nmi (300 mi, 480 km)
- Ferry range: 1,024 nmi (1,180 mi, 1,900 km)
- Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m) minimum loaded
- Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)
- Disc loading: 9.80 lb/ft² (47.9 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (0.31 kW/kg)
- Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun with 1,200 rounds as part of the Area Weapon Subsystem
- Hardpoints: Four pylon stations on the stub wings. Longbows also have a station on each wingtip for an AIM-92 Stinger twin missile pack.
- Rockets: Hydra 70 70 mm, CRV7 70 mm, and APKWS 70 mm air-to-ground rockets
- Missiles: Typically AGM-114 Hellfire variants; AIM-92 Stinger may also be carried.
1× 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun
1× 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun with 1,200 rounds as part of the Area Weapon Subsystem
The M230 is a single barrel, externally powered, electrically fired, chain driven weapon used on the Apache helicopters. It fires 30mm linkless ammunition.
|Designed by: Hughes|
|Manufactured by: Alliant Techsystems Inc.|
|Length: 167.64 centimeters 66 inches|
|Bore diameter: 30 millimeters 1.18 inches|
|Weight: 57.61 kilograms 127 pounds|
|Caliber: 30×113 millimeter|
|Rate of fire: 625 ± 25 shots per minute|
|Ammunition capacity: 1 200 rounds|
|Feed: linear linkless|
Recent photos show the Israeli Air Force AH-64D carrying Rafael “Spike” missiles.
Taken by Noam Menashe recently, the images in this post show IAF AH-64D “Saraf” of the 113 “Hornet” Squadron based at Ramon, Israel, carrying the indigenous Spike missile system in what appear to be the NLOS (Non-Line Of Sight) variant.
According to AFM, the photos have been cleared by the Israel Defense Forces censor proving that the missile system is now officially considered part of the Israeli “Saraf” armoury.
The NLOS is an ultra-long range version of the precision attack system believed to have a maximum range of up to 25 km and a weight of 70 kg.
According to Rafael, the SPIKE NLOS weapon system can be operated in either direct attack upon target detection using LOBL (Lock-on Before Launch) Mode or firing from stand-off in automatic navigation mode based on operator or target acquisition system provided coordinates (INS navigation).
A bidirectional RF data link enables transmission of the missile seeker video image to the operator as well as real-time updating or steering of the missile.
Indeed, along with the range and non-line of sight firing capability, the electro-optically guided Spike has the ability to switch between targets and abort its mission if the operator believes the initial target should no longer be engaged.
Spike NLOS can also receive target data from remote target acquisition systems, such as airborne UAVs, or remotely operated via networked command and control systems. The communications between the missile and operator is conducted over an optical fiber, enabling effective, broadband, secure two-way communications. Source theaviationist.com
ATAS to become a standard air-to-air component for Apache AH-64E: Here
Raytheon Missile Systems has entered a System Design and Development (SDD) contract with Boeing to integrate its FIM-92 Block 1 Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS) missile as a standard air-to-air component for the E-model Apache AH-64 attack helicopter.
FIM-92A Stinger Weapons System
The Stinger system consists of a Stinger round encased in its launch tube and a separate gripstock assembly.
The “fire-and-forget” Stinger missile employs a passive infrared seeker to home in on its airborne target. A passive infrared seeker emits no radiation that a target aircraft can detect, and, instead, guides on the infrared energy (heat) emitted by the target. Because the Stinger employs a passive homing seeker, it is a “fire-and-forget” weapon that needs no guidance from the operator after firing, unlike other missiles that track the reflection of a designator beam, requiring the operator to maintain a lock on the target. This allows a Stinger operator to take cover, relocate, or engage other targets immediately after firing a Stinger.
The Stinger system features a proportional navigation system, integrated Indentification Friend or Foe (IFF) interrogation, and threat adaptive guidance. Proportional navigation enables the missile to effectively hit moving targets by injecting a multiplier factor into course corrections so that the missile overcorrects for a target’s evasive maneuvers, leading the target to a successful interception. The integrated IFF subsystem allows the Stinger operator to query a target aircraft to determine if it is friendly. Before firing, the operator depresses a button on the gripstock assembly, emitting a coded radio signal. Aircraft equipped with friendly IFF systems will recognize the coded signal and respond with the appropriate coded reply. The IFF subsystem emits one tone if it authenticates a friendly aircraft, and another if the aircraft is unknown. The IFF subsystem is intended to prevent friendly-fire incidents. The Stinger’s threat adaptive guidance takesover in the final stages of its approach to the target, slightly shifting the missile’s aim from the target’s IR hotspot to more vulnerable areas of the aircraft.
The Air-to-Air Stinger [ATAS] is an adaption of the man portable Stinger System. It is a light weight missile designed to engage low altitude targets.
|Manufacturer||Prime – Hughes Missile System Company
Missile – General Dynamics /Raytheon Corporation
|Propulsion||Dual thrust solid fuel rocket motor|
|Length||5 feet (1.5 meters)|
|Width||5.5 inches (13.96 centimeters)|
|Weight||12.5 pounds (5.68 kilograms)|
|Weight fully armed||34.5 pounds (15.66 kg)|
|Maximum system span||3.6 inches (9.14 cm)|
|Range||1 to 8 kilometers|
|Sight ring||10 mils|
|Fuzing||Penetration, impact, self destruct|
|Ceiling||10,000 feet (3.046 kilometers)|
|Speed||Supersonic in flight|
|USMC Units||Low-Altitude Air Defense (LAAD) Battalions: 3 active duty, 2 reserve|
|Guidance system||Fire-and-forget passive infrared seeker|
|Rate of fire||1 missile every 3 to 7 seconds|
|Type of fire||“Fire-and-Forget”|
Hydra 70 70 mm rockets and rocket pod
In the following, the nine main variants of the Hydra-70 rocket are presented:
The M151 HEPD is a unitary fragmenting 10-pound anti-personnel, anti-material warhead with the M423 Point Detonating Fuze. Upon detonation, the warhead fragments into thousands of small high velocity fragments. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
The M156 white phosphorus (smoke) is primarily used for target marking. The M156 has the same ballistic characteristics as the M151 warhead and is of similar construction. Filler for the M156 is 2.2 pounds of white phosphorus with a 0.12 pound bursting charge of composition B. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.65 pounds.
M229 High Explosive:
The M229 High Explosive warhead is a heavier version of the M151. The U.S. Army is currently not buying this variant. The fuzed warhead is 26″ long and weighs 17 pounds.
The M255A1 Flechette warhead consists of a nose cone assembly, a warhead case, an integral fuze, 1,179 60-grain flechettes and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary fuze (M439) is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS) Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters. At expulsion, the 1,179 60-grain, hardened-steel flechettes separate and form a disk-like mass which breaks up with each flechette assuming an independent trajectory. The flechette uses kinetic energy derived from the velocity of the rocket to produce the desired impact and penetration of the target. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 14 pounds.
M257 Illuminating Flare:
The M257 Illuminating warhead is designed to provide battlefield illumination and does not require the use of Infrared (IR) goggles. The M257 flare rocket can be launched by from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The M442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
M261 Multi-Purpose Submunition (MPSM):
The MPSM warhead (weight is 13.9 pounds) provides improved lethal effectiveness against area targets such as light armor, wheeled vehicles, materiel, and personnel. The M73 Submunitions are deployed over the target and descend almost vertically. The M261 Warhead is a cargo warhead consisting of a nose cone assembly, a case, integral fuze, nine submunitions, and an expulsion charge assembly. The primary M439 warhead fuze is remotely set with the Aerial Rocket Control System (ARCS), Multifunctional Display (MFD) or Rocket Management System (RMS) to provide a range from 500 meters to 7,200 meters.
M264 RP Smoke:
The M264 RP (red phosphorous) Smoke is used as a red phosphorous filled smoke rocket propelled by the Mk 66 motor and the smoke is deployed at a range set remotely from within the aircraft cockpit. The M264 warhead is used for smoke obscuration in the visible light spectrum. The fuzed warhead is 26.9″ long and weighs 8.6 pounds.
M274 Smoke Signature (practice):
The M274 warhead is a smoke/flash signature practice warhead used for pilot/gunner training missions and consists of a cast iron warhead modified with vent holes, an aluminum nose cap with firing pin, a M423 fuze safe and arming device, and a smoke/flash cartridge. The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
M278 Infrared Flare:
The M278 Infrared Flare warhead is designed for battlefield illumination for use with Infrared (IR) goggles. The flare rockets can be launched from either fixed wing or rotary-wing aircraft. The 442 motor burnout fuze functions after a 9-second delay. The fuzed warhead is 29.1″ long and weighs 11 pounds.
The fuzed warhead is 16.2″ long and weighs 9.3 pounds.
CRV7 70 mm short for “Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7”
CRV7 70 mm short for “Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7”, is a 2.75 inch (70 mm) folding-fin ground attack rocket produced by Bristol Aerospace in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
APKWS 70 mm air-to-ground rockets
AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missile
Primary Function: Air-to-surface and surface-to-surface point target/anti-armor missile
Prime Contractor: Hellfire Systems, LLC – A Boeing – Lockheed Martin Joint Venture
Propulsion: ATK (now Orbital ATK) solid propellant rocket motor (IM HELLFIRE Propulsion System);
AGM-114A: ATK M120E3; AGM-114B: ATK M120E4; AGM-114L: ATK M120E4
Length: 5.33 ft (1.62 m); AGM-114L: 5.77 ft (1.76 m)
Diameter: 7 in (17.8 cm)
Wingspan: 28 in (0.71 m)
Weight: 98 to 109 lbs (44.5 to 49.4 kg); AGM-114R: 109 lbs (49.4 kg)
Range: AGM-114 K/L/M/N: 4.97 miles (8,000 m)
AGM-114R fired at 3,000 ft (914 m):
4.97 miles (8,000 m) – LOAL, high trajectory
4.41 miles (7,100 m) – LOAL, low/direct trajectory
Guidance: Semi-Active Laser (SAL) seeker; AGM-114L: Millimeter wave (MMW) radar seeker
Warhead: AGM-114 A/C/F/K/K-2/L/P/P+: Shaped charge warhead
AGM-114F-A/K-2A/P-2A: Shaped charge warhead with frag sleeve
AGM-114M/N: Blast fragmentation warhead (AGM-114N is a thermobaric version with metal augmentation charge)
AGM-114R: Multi-purpose Integrated Blast Frag Sleeve (IBFS) warhead
MBDA Plans Brimstone 2 Missile Trial on AH-64 Apache: Here
Brimstone 2 precision attack missile
Brimstone 2 (SPEAR 2)
In March 2010 Brimstone was selected as the basis for the RAF’s requirement under the Selective Precision Effects At Range (SPEAR) Capability 2 Block 1 programme. The Demonstration and Manufacture (D&M) contract will increase the missile’s performance “significantly”, and convert the warhead and rocket motor to use insensitive munitions. Brimstone 2 will have an improved seeker, a more modular design and improvements to airframe and software for “an overall increase in performance with improvements in range and engagement footprint”, including a “more than 200% increase” in maximum range. A five-release test campaign in October 2013 culminated in a successful strike against a pickup truck travelling at 70 mph (110 km/h) in a cluttered road environment and Brimstone 2 is planned to enter service on the Tornado in November 2015.
|Warhead||HEAT tandem warhead|
|Crush (impact) fuze|
20+ km (12+ mi) from fixed wing, 12 km (7.5 mi) from rotor wingBrimstone II:
60+ km (37+ mi) from fixed wing, 40+ km (25+ mi) from rotor wing
|94 GHz millimetric wave Active radar homing and INS autopilot, dual-mode adds laser guidance
Accuracy = sub-1m CEP
|Flight control surfaces|
- Lockheed Martin / Northrop Grumman AN/APG-78 Longbow fire-control radar (Note: can only be mounted on the AH-64D/E)
T700-GE-701C (for AH-64A/D from 1990)
T700-701D (for AH-64E)
|Nominal Diameter (Inches)||15.6||15.6|
|Weight (lbs)||458 / 456||456|
Note Armor compared to Russian Mi-28 and Ka-52:
From the book of A. Mazepov, A. Mihkaev, V. Zenkin, A Zhirnov and A. Fomin about the Ka-50 called Polygon from 1996, on Page 31, there is said how the Armor was made on Ka-50 and after that also installed on Mi-28.
It is a 3 hardlinered armor, the inner cockpit section made of a full single titanium alloy “bathtub” covering both pilots, followed by a middle liner of ceramic plates, which caused trouble first after a single shot they break apart and lost all its protective abilities, they avoided that by covering this ceramic plates with kevlar/aramid that was glued on tightend and the outer liner which gives the aerodynamic shape and is made of alluminium alloy with a part carbon in it. The total armor per pilot for russian Ka-50 which they could use was about 300kg while the Apache uses about 90kg of armor per pilot. The Mi-28 has about 250-280kg which was mentioned somewhere else. The Ka-52 has less armor than both Mi-28 and Ka-50 spend for each pilot but it is still in the figure of 150-200kg. (Source:Russian Defense)
Source: voodoo-world.cz, Wiki
Updated Oct 11, 2017
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