The Boeing AH-64 Apache (/əˈpætʃi/) is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage, and four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons for carrying armament and stores, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has significant systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
The Apache began as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra. The prototype YAH-64 was first flown on 30 September 1975. The U.S. Army selected the YAH-64 over the Bell YAH-63 in 1976, and later approved full production in 1982. After purchasing Hughes Helicopters in 1984, McDonnell Douglas continued AH-64 production and development. The helicopter was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986. The advanced AH-64D Apache Longbow was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, with over 2,400 AH-64s being produced by 2020.
The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64. It has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. It has been built under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. American AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. British and Dutch Apaches have seen deployments in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
AH-64 Apache CHARACTERISTICS
Crew: 2 (pilot, and co-pilot/gunner)
Length: 58 ft 2 in (17.73 m)
Fuselage length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
Height: 12 ft 8 in (3.87 m)
Empty weight: 11,387 lb (5,165 kg)
Gross weight: 17,650 lb (8,006 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-701 turboshaft engines, 1,690 shp (1,260 kW) each (upgraded to 1,890 shp (1,409 kW) T700-GE-701C for AH-64A/D from 1990)
Main rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
Main rotor area: 1,908.5 sq ft (177.31 m2) 4-bladed main-rotor and 4-bladed tail-rotor in non-orthogonal alignment
Blade section: root: HH-02; tip: NACA 64A006
Maximum speed: 158 kn (182 mph, 293 km/h)
Cruise speed: 143 kn (165 mph, 265 km/h)
Never exceed speed: 197 kn (227 mph, 365 km/h)
Range: 257 nmi (296 mi, 476 km) with Longbow radar mast
Combat range: 260 nmi (300 mi, 480 km)
Ferry range: 1,024 nmi (1,178 mi, 1,896 km)
Service ceiling: 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
Disk loading: 9.8 lb/sq ft (48 kg/m2)
Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (0.30 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; Air-to-Air Stinger (ATAS); AGM-65 Maverick and Spike missiles may also be carried.
Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman AN/APG-78 Longbow fire-control radar (Note: can only be mounted on the AH-64D/E)
The AH-64 is adaptable to numerous different roles within its context as Close Combat Attack (CCA).