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
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.
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 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 @arronlee33
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
ATAS to become a standard air-to-air component for Apache AH-64E: Here
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
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
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 Dec 14, 2016
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