Everything You Need To Know About The Boeing AH-64 Apache Helicopter


Highly agile and heavily armed, the combat-proven Apache helicopter is the backbone of the US Army’s all-weather ground-support capability.

With its unmatched performance, advanced sensors, and connectivity, the AH-64E Apache is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter. It serves as the backbone of the United States Army’s attack helicopter fleet and a growing number of international defense forces. McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997, was the previous manufacturer of the Apache attack helicopter. It was designed to combat opposing armored forces while also supporting the infantry.

The Apache replaced the Bell Ah-1 Cobra helicopter, which served admirably in the Vietnam War and established air tactics for its successors. The first AH-64 prototype was completed in 1975, and mass production began in 1982. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the most noteworthy facts about the AH-64 Apache Attack helicopter that prove it’s the greatest helicopter ever used by the military.

8. It’s Designed To Operate In All Tactical Environments

via TheDrive

The Apache’s primary mission is to assist ground troops and engage ground targets. Additionally, the AH-64 Apache can operate ‘feet wet’ in conjunction with US Navy aircraft carriers and transport craft. This boosts both forces’ capabilities: army aircraft can now conduct missions across a broader swath of the globe, while the Navy can project force using cargo vessels. Interservice collaboration is critical to the US military’s performance, and this innovative usage of the Apache contributes to that achievement.

7. It’s Powered By Two General Electric T700 Turbo Shaft Engines

via Helis

The AH-64 is powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines boasting about 1,700 hp each and is equipped with high-mounted exhausts on either side of the fuselage. Each engine is connected to a simple gearbox via a driveshaft. The gearbox shifts the rotation angle by approximately 90 degrees and transfers power to the transmission. The transmission sends power to the main rotor assembly and a lengthy shaft that leads to the tail rotor. The rotor has been designed to enable far more maneuverability than a standard helicopter. A range of engine variants powers the Apache; Rolls-Royce engines power those in British service. General Electric Aviation began developing more powerful T700-GE-701D engines for AH-64Ds in 2004, rated at 2,000 hp (1,500 kW).

6. It’s Equipped With Air-To-Air Missiles And A 360-Degree Fire Control Radar

via Wikimedia Commons

US-made Apache AH-64E helicopters are outfitted with cutting-edge technology such as air-to-air Stinger missiles, a fire control radar with 360-degree surveillance, a single target tracking system for missions across land, air, and sea, and improved detection of smaller unmanned aerial vehicles. To add to the lethality of the helicopter, it carries the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), formerly known as Hydra, family of guided and unguided 70mm rockets.

5. It’s Able To Stand-Off And Engage Targets At A Distance

Keeping out of range is the Apache’s first line of defense against an assault. The helicopter was purpose-built to fly low to the ground and hide whenever possible to avoid hostile radar detection and to dodge heat-seeking missiles by lowering its infrared signature or the amount of heat it emits.

If the pilots use the onboard scanner to pick up radar signals, they can employ a radar jammer to confound the opponent. The new AH-64E Apache can detect 256 potential targets at once within a 10-mile range, prioritizing the most critical threats for immediate response.

4. It Has Night Vision Equipment

via MilitaryEmbeddedSystems

The AH-64 is built to withstand front-line conditions and operate during the day, night, and in bad weather, thanks to equipment like the Target Acquisition and Designation System, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS), passive infrared countermeasures, GPS, and the IHADSS. One of the Apache’s most effective features is its Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS), which provides helmet-mounted displays to the gunner and pilot positions.

With a simple turn of the head, each operator may connect directly to the M203 Chain Gun and aim at targets. What the helmet display shows can also be recorded and played back in post-mission debriefings on an in-flight recording suite. Night missions are carried out with the help of night vision equipment and a forward-looking infrared system. The pilot’s and gunner’s night vision components are installed on the pivoting nose installation, with the pilot’s component on top and the gunner’s component on the bottom.

3. It Can Climb 2,415 Feet A Minute

via Wikimedia Commons

The Apache gained notoriety in Afghanistan, where Taliban soldiers were more terrified of it than of a tank! A large part of this was due to the technologies aboard the Apache. A part of it was also due to the Apache’s speed; regardless of how fast a Taliban soldier or convoy was, they could never escape an Apache. The AH-64 measures 49.11 feet in length, 17.16 feet in width, and 16.24 feet in height. It weighs 11,800 lbs in its bare state and 22,282 lbs when fully loaded. It has a top speed of 165 mph and a range of 1,180 miles without the need to refuel. It can fly at a height of 9,478 feet and climb 2,415 feet in a minute.

2. The AH-64 Apache Helicopter Had The First Female Pilots

via US Naval Institute

Jacqueline Cochran helped pave the way for women’s aviation as one of the most prominent racing pilots of her generation. In 1953, she broke the sound barrier, set speed and altitude records, and lobbied unsuccessfully for the inclusion of female pilots in the military. Civilian women flew over the North Pole, around the world, and past the sound barrier, but the military rejected female pilots until the 1970s. The Navy was the first to train female helicopter pilots in 1974, and the Army quickly followed suit. After the 1990s, however, female pilots began to operate attack helicopters, with the AH-64 Apache serving as the first such aircraft. Shannon Huffman Polson was the first female pilot to hold that position, and she performed sorties over Bosnia.

1. Its Success Can Be Measured In Numbers

via US Army

The AH-64 Apache is one of the most successful combat aircraft in the world’s history. It also has the upper hand in terms of production. Back in 2013, the 2000th AH-64 Apache helicopter rolled off the assembly line at Boeing’s Mesa, Arizona factory. This is by far the largest production run of military aircraft ever. Currently, the United States owns more than 2,200 Apaches in various types and upgrades. Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates are other AH-64 users.