Boeing presents its new generation of AH-64 v6Apache helicopters
The “Modernized Apache” have a higher lethality compared to their predecessors, being able to fire 600 projectiles per minute
The legendary AH-64 v6Apache helicopters, considered the best combat helicopters in the world, take a further step towards modernization. And it is that Boeing, at the annual meeting of the AUSA 2022 – the largest exhibition forum of the Army in the United States – has presented the “Modernized Apache”, a “beast” that has greater agility, interoperability, lethality, capacity survivability and range compared to its previous version.
Among its new capabilities, its update in the technological field stands out after integrating advanced mission systems to increase interoperability with the network and reduce cognitive effort, as well as new open architecture systems such as MOSA (Modular Open System Approach), that achieves maximum interoperability and faster commissioning with more advanced capabilities.
Also, these new advanced mission systems have the objective of increasing interoperability with the network. Along with this, it has sensors that have better connectivity, as well as greater resistance in all domains and operations, in all environmental conditions.
Greater operability and enhancements in capabilities
In addition, it has various improvements in its capabilities with the adoption of new electro-optical and infrared sensors that allow it to increase the detection and identification distances of the targets. On the other hand, its radar systems have been renewed and it has a new capacity to operate in association with unmanned aerial vehicles, currently used in multiple international operations.
At the moment, the goal of the US Army is to have a fleet of more than 800 AH-64E v6 Apaches and continue to improve their upgrades. The latest model also has a detection capacity of 256 potential targets at a time in a range of up to 16 kilometers, and can reach speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour.
As for the transport of weapons, the new Apache can incorporate up to 16 Hellfire missiles, guided by laser, which can kill the battle tanks. In addition, they can direct up to 76 rockets against unarmored targets and have a powerful 30mm nose cannon, capable of firing 600 rounds per minute.
As announced by Boeing, the new Apache will be digitally designed, which will facilitate its production and efficiency. In addition, they have indicated that intelligent support will be implemented to offer “an industry-leading comprehensive digital life cycle”, in order to “provide unmatched capabilities and save costs and time”.
Considered the best helicopter in the world
The Apache is the main attack helicopter of the United States Army. Its ability to carry out attack missions against multiple ground and air targets, as well as its operational capacity to operate during the day and at night, have made it the favorite, not only for the United States, but also internationally. In addition to the United States Army, Japan, Israel, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Greece have this type of aircraft, among others.
From the United States, the Apache has been used in different wars and invasions, being used for the first time in the invasion of Panama in 1989, as well as in the Gulf wars, the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan or in the Kosovo war. For their part, countries such as Israel have used these helicopters in conflicts such as those in Lebanon or in the Gaza Strip itself.
In fact, the creation of these helicopters was born as a “military response” by the United States Army after the country’s failure in the Vietnam War, a conflict in which American helicopters, including the Bell UH – 1 Iroquois, suffered heavy casualties. In this aspect, the US air forces, which had the Phantom II F-4, A-6 Intruder or the F-100 and F-105, dropped 150,000 tons of explosives – 40,000 in just two days on Hanoi and Haiphong ― in massive attacks that killed more than 100,000 North Vietnamese.
At present, with the conflict that we are experiencing in Europe after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the member countries of NATO have increased their defense budget in order to strengthen their arms industry. In the case of Poland, and in relation to Apaches, the Government of Poland has recently selected Boeing’s AH-64 Apache for its KRUK attack helicopter program.
Following this decision, Boeing congratulated Poland on the purchase, noting that “a selection of Apache strengthens military ties between the United States and Poland by improving interoperability and cooperation between Poland, the United States Army and NATO nations.”