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AH-64D Apache Combat Helicopter gets upgraded

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November 3, 2011

Image Gallery (16 images)

Boeing has now produced more than 1200 of its fearsome US$20 million AH-64 multi-role attack helicopters, but with the first deliveries of the latest AH-64D Apache Block III this week, the capabilities of the 36 year old design have been lifted significantly.

The Block III Apache incorporates 26 new technologies, a vastly improved 3,400 shaft horsepower drive system with a split-torque face gear transmission, a new composite main rotor blade, an enhanced digital electronic control unit, better performance and more payload, which effectively equals either more range, or more firepower.

If the first 51 units produced under Low Rate Initial Production go well, the U.S. Army intends to buy another 640 units, with many military forces worldwide considering adding the rotorcraft to their fleets.

One of the most visually distinctive weapons of the modern battlefield, the AH-64 was the first aircraft to use the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS) which apart from being entirely in keeping with the already menacing-looking helicopter, offers the pilot or co-pilot the ability to point the 30 mm automatic M230E1 Chain Gun wherever he/she looks, or to designate a target and let the Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS) take over.

The all-hours, all-weather AH-64D Apache is deployed by more than a dozen countries including the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Greece, Kuwait and Egypt with several more likely to order AH-64D Apache Block IIIs in the coming year.

One of the many distinctive features of the AH-64D is its flexible weapons loadout which is carried on the rotorcraft's stub-wing pylons.

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8 Comments

re; DUFFBAG

It\'s a weapon system, designed help soldiers convince people intent on hurting the innocent to change their mind. Something that tossing marshmallows has never done.

Slowburn

I love the ugliness and the nastiness of that bird. If it\'s lethal, it should look the part! :D

socalboomer

If only they could work out how to shoot food out this thing.. I\'m sure it would be much cheaper... and far more effective. XD

DUFFBAG

I still say,,, you see one of these coming,,, or don\'t see one coming for that matter. You better run like the wind!!! But really nothing can save you from the clutches of the Apache.

Joe Sobotka

Love my babies, but why did you throw in the \"A\" model and Block II \"D\" model pictures? If you didn\'t get enough of the new kid on the Block I understand the latter, but throwing in pictures of Desert Storm - era Apaches confuses the mundanes. Flying Tigers! Apaches own the night!

BTW, Joe: don\'t bother running; you know the rest....

Mike Keeran

What about altitude? Thats what we\'re lacking right now, choppers that can operate at high altitudes. I love this chopper but it\'s a cold war relic, you could put the same gear on a Blackhawk and get the same results.

Mr. Spock

Within a decade drones will be doing the majority of the work this weapons platform is now doing. So what is the point in the long run of these overbuilt and expensive systems?

Jake Dhillon

re; Mr. Spock

Side by side seating vastly reduces the capability of an attack helicopter. Blackhawk helicopters can not survive in the environment that the Apaches call home.

re; Jake Dhillon Ten years is a long time. We might come to the conclusion that drones are a terminally bad idea by then.

Slowburn
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