Monday, March 23, 2009
American AH-64D Apache Longbow
AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter
The Apache Longbow is an improved and upgraded version of the AH-64A. With increased survivability, better bad-weather performance, avionics and weapons, the Longbow is the most sophisitcated attack helicopter in service.
The most striking difference in appearance of the Longbow is the radar dome atop the main rotors. The fire control radar can locate, classify and prioritise more than 128 targets, in all weathers. The radar selects targets for the AGM-114D Longbow missiles which can be fired in full 'fire-and-forget' mode up to ranges of 12km.
A major advantage of the Longbow radar being situated above the rotors is that it allows the Apache AH-64D to stay masked behind terrain as it aquires and engages targets. The A model Apache had to either pop up fully to scan the battlefield, leaving it exposed, or rely on target data from other sources such as OH-58D Kiowa scout helicopters.
Apache AH64-D longbow
The Longbow project was initiated following lessons learnt during Desert Storm, 1991. The Longbow Apache variant entered into service in the US military in October 1997.
A british variant, the WAH-64 LONGBOW APACHE entered into service with the UK Airmy Air Corps in July 2004 and has since seen action in Afghanistan.
AH-64D Apache Longbow Specifications
The Apache Longbow is named after the millimeter-wave radar atop the rotor mast. The Longbow radar can see through fog, smoke and rain to aquire a clear 360 degree electronic picture of the battlefield.
AH-64D LONGBOW FEATURES
improved flight performance from 2 GE T700C powerplants
balistic armor protects crew from ground fire
2 - With Pilot seated above and behind Weapons Systems Officer
Two General Electric T700-GE-701
L - 17.73m W - 5.227m H - 4.64m
11,800 lbs (empty)15,075 lbs (standard loudout)
150 kt (279 kph)
400 km - internal fuel 1,900 km - internal and external fuel
M230 30mm Cannon (typical loudout of 1200 rounds)Hydra 70mm FFAR Folding Fin Aerial Rockets (in pods of 19) AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire Missiles (up to 16) Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm air-to-air missiles
Northrop Grumman millimetre-wave Longbow radarTADS (AN/ASQ-170) PNVS (AN/AAQ-11) Honeywell Integrated Helmet And Display Sighting System (IHADSS) AN/APR-39A(V) radar warning receiverAN/ALQ-144 infra-red countermeasuresAN/AVR-2 laser warning receiverAN/ALQ-136(V) radar jammerHelicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS) (WAH-64)