AH-64 Apache helicopter: Aircraft profile

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Mission: Conducts rear, close, and shaping missions including deep precision strike.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Air to air view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter from the One Aviaiton Battalion, Charlie Company in-flight participating in a joint, British and American forces, live fire exercise.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Air to air view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter from the One Aviaiton Battalion, Charlie Company in-flight participating in a joint, British and American forces, live fire exercise.

Conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocatable targets, and provides armed reconnaissance when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions.

Entered Army Service: AH-64 (1984); AH-64D (1998)

Description and Specifications

The AH-64 Apache is The Army's heavy division/corps attack helicopter. The AH-64D Longbow remanufacture effort incorporates a millimeter wave fire control radar (FCR), radar frequency interferometer (RFI), fire-and-forget radar-guided HELLFIRE missile and cockpit management and digitization enhancements. The combination of the FCR, RFI, and the advanced navigation and avionics suite of the aircraft provide increased situational awareness, lethality and survivability.

* Combat Mission: 167 mph
* Combat Range: 300 miles
* Combat Endurance: 2.5 hours
* Length: 49 ft 5 in
* Mission Weight: 16,600 lbs
* Armament: HELLFIRE missiles, 2.75” rockets and 30mm chain gun
* Crew: 2 (pilot and co-pilot gunner)

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.

Manufacturer

Airframe - Boeing (Mesa, AZ); Fire Control Radar - Northrup Grummen (Linthicum, MD); Lockheed Martin (Owego, NY); MTADS/PNVS - Lockheed Martin (Orlando, FL); Boeing (Mesa, AZ)

Source: US Army

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The AH-64 Apache is an all-weather day-night military attack helicopter with a four-bladed main and tail rotor and a crew of two pilots who sit in tandem. The main fixed armament is a 30 mm M230 Chain Gun under the aircraft's nose. It can also carry a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire and Hydra 70 rocket pods on four hard points mounted on its stub-wing pylons. The AH-64 is the principal attack helicopter of the United States Army, and a successor to the AH-1 Cobra.

The Apache was designed by Hughes Helicopters in response to the Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program. McDonnell Douglas purchased Hughes Helicopters and continued the development of the AH-64 resulting in the AH-64D Apache Longbow which is currently produced by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. United States Army AH-64s have been in action in Panama, Gulf War, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Development

Advanced Attack Helicopter

Following the cancellation of the AH-56 Cheyenne in favor of USAF and Marine projects like the A-10 and Harrier, the United States Army sought an aircraft to fill an anti-armor attack role that would still fall under Army command (the 1948 Key West Agreement having forbidden the Army from commanding fixed-wing aircraft). The Army wanted an aircraft better than the AH-1 Cobra in firepower, performance and range. It would have the maneuverability to fly nap-of-the-earth (NoE) missions. To this end, the US Army issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) for an Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH) in 1972.

Proposals were submitted by five manufacturers: Bell, Boeing-Vertol (teamed with Grumman), Hughes, Lockheed, and Sikorsky. In 1973, the U.S. Department of Defense selected finalists Bell and Hughes Aircraft's Toolco Aircraft Division (later Hughes Helicopters). This began the phase 1 of the competition.

Each company built prototype helicopters and went through a flight test program. Hughes' Model 77/YAH-64A prototype first flew on September 30, 1975, while Bell's Model 409/YAH-63A prototype first flew the following day. After evaluating test results, the Army selected Hughes' YAH-64A over Bell's YAH-63A in 1976. Reasons for selecting the YAH-64A included its more damage tolerant four-blade main rotor and the instability of the YAH-63's tricycle landing gear arrangement.

The AH-64A then entered phase 2 of the AAH program. This called for building three preproduction AH-64s, and upgrading the two YAH-64A flight prototypes and the ground test unit up to the same standard. Weapons and sensor systems were integrated and tested during this time, including the new Hellfire missile. Into production

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army (USA) AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, armed with AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and 2.75-inch rocket pods in flight during a test conducted at the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas facility, located near Mesa, Arizona (AZ).AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army (USA) AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter, armed with AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles and 2.75-inch rocket pods in flight during a test conducted at the Boeing/McDonnell Douglas facility, located near Mesa, Arizona (AZ).

In 1981, three pre-production AH-64As were handed over to the U.S. Army for Operational Test II. The Army testing was successful, but afterwards it was decided to upgrade to the T700-GE-701 version of engine, producing 1,690 shp (1,259 kW). In late 1981, the AH-64 was named the "Apache" keeping with the Army's traditional use of Native American tribal names for its helicopters. Hughes was approved for full scale production in 1982. In 1983, the first production helicopter was rolled out at Hughes Helicopter's facility at Mesa, Arizona. In 1984, Hughes Helicopters was purchased by McDonnell Douglas for $500 million. Hughes later became part of The Boeing Company with the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas in August 1997. In 1984, the incremental or flyaway cost for the AH-64A was US$7.8 million and the average unit cost was approximately US$14 million with development costs included.

In 2004, General Electric Aviation began producing more powerful T700-GE-701D engines, rated at 2,000 shp (1,500 kW) for AH-64Ds. The total cost of the AH-64D program is US$10.5 billion through April 2007.

Design

The AH-64 is powered by two General Electric T700 turboshaft engines with high-mounted exhausts on either side of the rotor shaft. The Apache has a four-blade main rotor and four-blade tail rotor. The crew sits in tandem, with the pilot sitting behind and above the copilot-gunner in an armored crew compartment. The crew compartment and fuel tanks are armored against 23 mm gunfire. The helicopter is designed to remain flyable after sustaining hits by 23 mm rounds.

The helicopter is armed with a 30 mm M230 Chain Gun that can be slaved to the gunner's Helmet mounted display, fixed to a locked forward firing position, or controlled via the Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS). The AH-64 carries a range of external stores on its stub-wing pylons, typically a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Hydra 70 general-purpose unguided 70 mm (2.75 in) rockets, and AIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles for defense. In case of emergency the pylons also have mounting points for personnel transfer (mounting points are handles normally used by maintenance personnel).

The AH-64 is designed to endure front-line environments and to operate during the day or night and in adverse weather using avionics and electronics, such as the Target Acquisition and Designation System, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS), passive infrared countermeasures, Global Positioning System (GPS), and the Integrated Helmet And Display Sight System (IHADSS).

Operational history

United States

The Apache was first used in combat during the 1989 invasion of Panama, Operation Just Cause. The AH-64A Apache and the AH-64D Apache Longbow have played important roles in several Middle Eastern wars, including the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. The Apaches were proven to be excellent tank hunters and also destroyed hundreds of armored vehicles (mainly of the Iraqi army).

During Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991, eight AH-64As guided by four MH-53 Pave Low IIIs, were used to destroy a portion of the Iraqi radar network to allow bomber aircraft into Iraq without detection. This was the first attack of Desert Storm. The Apaches carried an asymmetrical load of Hydra 70 flechette rockets, Hellfires, and one auxiliary fuel tank each. During the 100-hour ground war, a total of 277 AH-64s took part. Apaches destroyed over 500 tanks, numerous armored personnel carriers and many other vehicles during Operation Desert Storm.

Deployment to the Balkans took place during the disputes in Bosnia and Kosovo in the later 1990s, but the Apache encountered problems which reduced their effectiveness considerably. Criticisms included lack of training for the crews, deficiencies in night vision equipment, in fuel tanks and in aircraft survivability. An Apache crashed during training in Albania on April 27, 1999. Eventually the entire fleet in the Balkans was grounded for two weeks in December 2000. Major General Dick Cody, commanding officer of the 101st Airborne at the time, wrote a strongly worded memo to the US Army Chief of Staff about the failures in training and equipment.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, several Apaches were damaged in combat, including one captured by Iraqi troops near Karbala on March 24, 2003, and shown on Iraqi television. The captured helicopter was destroyed via air strike one day after it was downed. The March 24 attack, against an armored brigade of the Iraqi Republican Guard's Medina Division, was largely unsuccessful: US officials claimed that it was because the tank crews had set up a "flak trap" in broken terrain, employing their guns to good effect while Iraqi officials claimed that the Apache was shot down by a old farmer with a Brno rifle because "it was a terrible nuisance". The helicopter came down intact and neither the pilot nor co-pilot were injured in the incident. More recently two Apaches were lost along with their crews between January 28 and February 2, 2007 to Iraqi insurgent ground fire in Taji and Najaf.

American AH-64Ds are currently flying in Iraq and Afghanistan without the Longbow Fire Control Radar as there are simply no armored threats for coalition forces to deal with.

The vast majority of Apache helicopters that have taken heavy combat damage have been able to continue their assigned missions and return safely to their bases. For example, of the 33 Apaches employed in the March 24, 2003 attack, 30 were damaged by Iraqi ground fire with several being damaged beyond repair, but only one of these did not make it back to base.

Israel

The Israeli Air Force uses the Apache to strike various targets with guided missiles. The AH-64A attacked and destroyed some of Hezbollah outposts in Lebanon during the 1990s, attacking in many weather conditions — day and night. During the al-Aqsa Intifada, the IAF used the Apaches to kill senior Hamas figures, such as Ahmed Yasin and Adnan al-Ghoul, with guided missiles. In the Israel-Lebanon conflict of July – August 2006, two IAF AH-64A helicopters collided, killing 1 pilot and wounding 3, all critically. In another incident in the conflict, an IAF AH-64D Longbow crashed, killing the two pilots, due to a malfunction in the rotor hub.

United Kingdom

The UK operates an improved version of the Apache Longbow called the Westland WAH-64 Apache, and is designated Apache AH Mk1 by the British Army. Westland has built 67 WAH-64 Apaches under license from Boeing replacing the engines with more powerful Rolls-Royce units, able to generate an additional 25% thrust over US-made models. A folding blade assembly for naval operations is another important change, allowing British Apaches to operate alongside and in support of amphibious operations, flying from Royal Navy warships and auxiliaries. The Westland Apache replaced the Westland Lynx AH7 as the British Army's tactical attack helicopter. The WAH-64s are currently deployed in Afghanistan, where they are serving with distinction, in support of UK and Coalition forces in the south of the country. British WAH-64 Apaches are using the Longbow Fire Control Radar in Afghanistan, saying that it improves situational awareness and avoidance of other aircraft during tactical maneuvers.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: US Army (USA) Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Doug Gabram, Battalion Commander, and USA Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) Greg Tuberville, Gun-pilot, taxi a USA AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter to the runway for another combat mission from Forward Operating Base (FOB) Speicher, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Both are assigned to the 1st Battalion (BN), 101st Aviation Regiment (AVN), Fort Campbell, Kentucky (KY).AH-64 Apache helicopter: US Army (USA) Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Doug Gabram, Battalion Commander, and USA Chief Warrant Officer 5 (CWO5) Greg Tuberville, Gun-pilot, taxi a USA AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopter to the runway for another combat mission from Forward Operating Base (FOB) Speicher, Iraq, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. Both are assigned to the 1st Battalion (BN), 101st Aviation Regiment (AVN), Fort Campbell, Kentucky (KY).

The Netherlands

Royal Netherlands Air Force ordered 30 AH-64D Apaches in 1996, after leasing 12 AH-64As. The radar domes were not included, hence the Dutch AH-64Ds are not referred to as Longbows. Their first deployment was in Djibouti, Africa. They were also deployed alongside US AH-64s in support of NATO peacekeeping forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2004, Dutch AH-64s were deployed as part of the Netherlands contribution to Multinational force in Iraq. At the same time Dutch Apaches were also deployed to Kabul as part of the Netherlands contribution to ISAF. In February 2006, the Netherlands contribution to NATO forces in Afghanistan was increased from 600 to 1,400 troops and 6 AH-64s were sent in support.

Other users

In September 2003, Greece ordered 12 AH-64D (in addition to the already existing fleet of 20 AH-64A+) for a total cost of $675 million (presumably including weapons and support), indicating a gross unit cost for the AH-64D of $56.25 million. Singapore purchased a total of 20 AH-64D Longbow Apache aircraft in two batches between 1999 and 2001. The United Arab Emirates purchased a total of 30 AH-64A helicopters in 1991 and 1994, which they are now upgrading to AH-64D specification. Kuwait has purchased 16 Longbow helicopters. Other countries with the Apache include Egypt, Israel, Japan and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan has ordered 12 Apache Longbow for its various anti-terrorism missions. South Korea is reviewing plans to purchase 36 AH-64D while simultaneously co-developing a domestic attack helicopter, the Korean Attack Helicopter, (KAH) under the KAH program with partnership from Eurocopter, which will be based on the Eurocopter Tiger.

The Republic of China (Taiwan) plans to purchase 30 AH-64D from 2008 onwards for its Army. India also issued a request for proposal for 22 attack helicopters for the Indian Air Force. The Apache Longbow is one of the three types competing in order to be supplied to the IAF in the future.

Variants

AH-64A

The AH-64A is the original production attack helicopter. It is powered by two GE T700 turbo-shaft engines. The crew sit in tandem in an armored compartment.

The helicopter is armed with a 30 mm M230 chain gun that can be slaved to the gunner's helmet-mounted gunsight. The AH-64A carries a range of external stores on its stub-wing pylons, including a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, Hydra 70 general-purpose unguided 70 mm (2.75 in) rockets, and AIM-92 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles for defense.

AH-64B

In 1991 after Operation Desert Storm, the AH-64B was a proposed upgrade to 254 AH-64As. The upgrade included new rotor blades, a Global Positioning System (GPS), improved navigaton systems and new radios. Congress approved US$82 million to begin the Apache B upgrade. The B program was canceled in 1992. The radio, navigation, and GPS modifications, would later be installed on most A-model Apaches as part of an upgrade program.

AH-64C

Additional funding from Congress in late 1991 resulted in a program to upgrade AH-64As to an AH-64B+ version. More funding changed the plan to upgrade to AH-64C. The C upgrade would include all changes to be included in the Longbow except for mast mounted radar and newer engines. However, after 1993, the C designation was dropped.

The upgrades would go forward. However, since the only difference between the C model and the radar-equipped D model was the radar, which could be moved from one aircraft to another, a decision was made to not distinguish between the two versions, despite the presence or absence of the radar.

AH-64D

The advanced model, the AH-64D Apache Longbow, is equipped with an improved sensor suite and weapon systems. The key improvement over the A-variant is the AN/APG-78 Longbow dome installed over the main rotor which houses a millimeter-wave Fire Control Radar (FCR) target acquisition system as well as the Radar Frequency Interferometer (RFI). The elevated position of the radome allows detection and (arcing) missile engagement of targets even when the helicopter itself is concealed by an obstacle (e.g. terrain, trees or buildings). Further, a radio modem integrated with the sensor suite allows a D-variant Apache to share targeting data with other AH-64Ds that do not have a line-of-sight to the target. In this manner a group of Apaches can engage multiple targets but only reveal the radome of one D-variant Apache. Apaches that include all of the improvements of the Longbow Apache, with the exception of the Fire Control Radar are still designated as "AH-64D Apache Longbows", as the radome is removable and interchangeable between aircraft.

The aircraft was updated with more powerful T700-GE-701C engines, and a fully-integrated cockpit. The forward fuselage of the aircraft was expanded to accommodate new systems. In addition, the aircraft receives improved survivability, communications, and navigation capabilities. Most existing capabilities of the AH-64A Apache are retained.

The first of the upgraded Block II Apaches was delivered to the US Army in February 2003. Block II includes upgrades to the digital communications systems to improve communications within the 'tactical internet'.

Block III improvements, slated for 2008 onwards, include increasing digitization, the joint tactical radio system, enhanced engines and drive systems, capability to control UAVs, new composite rotor blade and landing gear upgrades. The new blades, which successfully completed flight testing in May 2004, increase the Apache's cruise speed, climb rate and payload capability. The Block III System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract was awarded to Boeing in July 2006. Export Apaches

A number of other models have been derived from both AH-64A and AH-64D for export. The British-built Westland WAH-64 Apache (assembled from kits purchased from Boeing) is based on the AH-64D with several different systems, including newer, more powerful engines.

Sea Apache

A naval version of the AH-64A was proposed for the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy from 1984 to 1987. Multiple concepts were studied with altered landing gear arrangements, improved avionics and weapons. Funding for the naval version was not provided and the Marine Corps continues to use the AH-1 SuperCobra as of 2008.

Specifications (AH-64A)

General characteristics

* Crew: 2: pilot, CPG (co-pilot/gunner)
* Length: 58.17 ft (17.73 m) (with both rotors turning)
* Rotor diameter: 48 ft 0 in (14.63 m)
* Height: 12.7 ft (3.87 m)
* Disc area: 1,809.5 ft² (168.11 m²)
* Empty weight: 11,387 lb (5,165 kg)
* Loaded weight: 18,000 lb (8,000 kg)
* Max takeoff weight: 21,000 lb (9,500 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× General Electric T700-GE-701 and later upgraded to T700-GE-701C & T700-GE-701D (1990-today) turboshafts, -701: 1,690 shp, -701C: 1,890 shp -701D 2,000 shp (-701: 1,260 kW, -701C: 1,490 kW) each
* Fuselage length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
* Rotor systems: 4 blade main rotor, 4 blade tail rotor in non-orthogonal alignment

Performance

* Never exceed speed: 197 knots (227 mph, 365 km/h)
* Maximum speed: 158 knots (182 mph, 293 km/h)
* Cruise speed: 143 knots (165 mph, 265 km/h)
* Combat radius: 260 nm (300 mi, 480 km)
* Ferry range: 1,024 nm (1,180 mi, 1,900 km)
* Service ceiling 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
* Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)
* Disc loading: 9.80 lb/ft² (47.90 kg/m²)
* Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (310 W/kg)

Armament

* Guns: 1× M230 30 mm (1.18 in) cannon, 1,200 rounds
* Rockets: Hydra 70 FFAR rockets
* Missiles: combination of AGM-114 Hellfire, AIM-92 Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder

More photos:

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left side view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left side view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter prototype during a demonstration flight. It is equipped with an M230A1 30mm automatic cannon and AGM-114A Hellfire tactical air-to-surface missiles.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A right front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter parked on an apron.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A right front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter parked on an apron.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A right front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter parked on an apron.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A right front view of a YAH-64 Apache helicopter parked on an apron.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An Army AH-64A Apache helicopter returns from an assault mission during the joint services Exercise SOLID SHIELD '89.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An Army AH-64A Apache helicopter returns from an assault mission during the joint services Exercise SOLID SHIELD '89.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An air-to-air right side view of a Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 (HM-12) RH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter followed by an AH-64A Apache helicopter.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An air-to-air right side view of a Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12 (HM-12) RH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter followed by an AH-64A Apache helicopter.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An air-to-air right side view of an AH-64A Apache helicopter.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An air-to-air right side view of an AH-64A Apache helicopter.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter in-flight.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter in-flight.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An aircraft maintenance crew member removes the blades from an AH-64 Apache helicopter in preparation for its shipment to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An aircraft maintenance crew member removes the blades from an AH-64 Apache helicopter in preparation for its shipment to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64 Apache helicopters sit parked on the flight line.AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64 Apache helicopters sit parked on the flight line.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache assault helicopter is parked on the flight line prior to an Army flying mission. Air Force Detachment 3, 5th Weather Squadron provides airborne weather teams to support Army aviation units such as the XVIII Airborne Corps and subordinate units, including the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Special Operations Command and the 7th Special Forces Group.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache assault helicopter is parked on the flight line prior to an Army flying mission. Air Force Detachment 3, 5th Weather Squadron provides airborne weather teams to support Army aviation units such as the XVIII Airborne Corps and subordinate units, including the 82nd Airborne Division, 1st Special Operations Command and the 7th Special Forces Group.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Three AH-64A Apache helicopters, their main rotor blades having been removed, wait to be loaded aboard U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft during Exercise Market Square III. The helicopters are assigned to Co. A, 1st Aviation Bn., 82nd Airborne Division.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Three AH-64A Apache helicopters, their main rotor blades having been removed, wait to be loaded aboard U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft during Exercise Market Square III. The helicopters are assigned to Co. A, 1st Aviation Bn., 82nd Airborne Division.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: U.S. Army UH-60A Blackhawk helicopters and one AH-64A Aplache helicopter, second from right, conduct a mass takeoff during Operation Desert Storm.AH-64 Apache helicopter: U.S. Army UH-60A Blackhawk helicopters and one AH-64A Aplache helicopter, second from right, conduct a mass takeoff during Operation Desert Storm.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A soldier performs maintenance on an AH-64 Apache helicopter during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A soldier performs maintenance on an AH-64 Apache helicopter during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Several AH-64A Apache helicopters sit idle on the flight line during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Several AH-64A Apache helicopters sit idle on the flight line during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A C-5A Galaxy aircraft taxis past a row of AH-64 Apache helicopters during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A C-5A Galaxy aircraft taxis past a row of AH-64 Apache helicopters during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A soldier prepares to refuel an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter as several AH-64 Apache helicopters approach from behind during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A soldier prepares to refuel an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter as several AH-64 Apache helicopters approach from behind during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter in flight during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A left front view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter in flight during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Two AH-64 Apache helicopters depart for a training flight during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Two AH-64 Apache helicopters depart for a training flight during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter takes off from an air base during Operation Desert Shield. The helicopter is carrying four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and a 19-round launcher for 2.75-inch folding-fin aerial rockets on its wing pylon.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter takes off from an air base during Operation Desert Shield. The helicopter is carrying four AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and a 19-round launcher for 2.75-inch folding-fin aerial rockets on its wing pylon.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64A Apache helicopter passes overhead as ground crewmen prepare three OH-58D Kiowa helicopters for flight during Operation Desert Shield. An M-978 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) fuel tanker is at right.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64A Apache helicopter passes overhead as ground crewmen prepare three OH-58D Kiowa helicopters for flight during Operation Desert Shield. An M-978 Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT) fuel tanker is at right.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Airmen roll an AH-64A Apache helicopter off a C-5A Galaxy aircraft at an air base during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Airmen roll an AH-64A Apache helicopter off a C-5A Galaxy aircraft at an air base during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64A Apache advanced attack helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division stand ready at a forward operating base during Operation Desert Storm. Three OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters are behind the Apaches.AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64A Apache advanced attack helicopters of the 101st Airborne Division stand ready at a forward operating base during Operation Desert Storm. Three OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters are behind the Apaches.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64A Apache anti-tank helicopter of the XVIII Airborne Corps, armed with AGM-114A Hellfire anti-tank missiles, is prepared for a mission during Operation Desert Storm.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64A Apache anti-tank helicopter of the XVIII Airborne Corps, armed with AGM-114A Hellfire anti-tank missiles, is prepared for a mission during Operation Desert Storm.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter takes off in front of the Capitol building before the National Victory Celebration parade honoring the coalition forces from Desert Storm.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter takes off in front of the Capitol building before the National Victory Celebration parade honoring the coalition forces from Desert Storm.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Various helicopters approach the Mall as they arrive to take part of the National Victory Celebration. They include an SH-60 Sea Hawk and an AH-64 Apache at left with another Apache and an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior at right. The event is being held in honor of the Allied forces' liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Various helicopters approach the Mall as they arrive to take part of the National Victory Celebration. They include an SH-60 Sea Hawk and an AH-64 Apache at left with another Apache and an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior at right. The event is being held in honor of the Allied forces' liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter lifts off as the 82nd Aviation Brigade relocates in the desert during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter lifts off as the 82nd Aviation Brigade relocates in the desert during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: OH-58 Kiowa, AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk, UH-1 Iroquois and CH-47 Chinook helicopters conduct a flyover during the National Victory Celebration which is being held in honor of the Allied forces' liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.AH-64 Apache helicopter: OH-58 Kiowa, AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk, UH-1 Iroquois and CH-47 Chinook helicopters conduct a flyover during the National Victory Celebration which is being held in honor of the Allied forces' liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Lt. Col. Wolski of DPTMSEC Directorate receiving cockpit orientation prior to training flight in the AH-64 Apache helicopter.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Lt. Col. Wolski of DPTMSEC Directorate receiving cockpit orientation prior to training flight in the AH-64 Apache helicopter.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter of the 1/6 and 4/7 Cavalry in flight over Chick Do Island firing missiles.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache helicopter of the 1/6 and 4/7 Cavalry in flight over Chick Do Island firing missiles.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter flies over Bosnia and Herzegovina, during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter flies over Bosnia and Herzegovina, during Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 "Apache" helicopter from the 11th Aviation Battalion, Charlie Company, out of Tuzla, Bosnia, flies to a location to where it is going to participate in a live fire exercise over Glamoc, Bosnia, during Operation JOINT GUARD. JOINT GUARD is the multi-national peacekeeping mission that provides a climate of stability in the war-torn land of Bosnia-Herzegovina.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 "Apache" helicopter from the 11th Aviation Battalion, Charlie Company, out of Tuzla, Bosnia, flies to a location to where it is going to participate in a live fire exercise over Glamoc, Bosnia, during Operation JOINT GUARD. JOINT GUARD is the multi-national peacekeeping mission that provides a climate of stability in the war-torn land of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Air to air view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter from the One Aviaiton Battalion, Charlie Company in-flight participating in a joint, British and American forces, live fire exercise.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Air to air view of a U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter from the One Aviaiton Battalion, Charlie Company in-flight participating in a joint, British and American forces, live fire exercise.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: U.S. Army AH-64 "Apache" helicopters prepare for takeoff from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico for night operations during world's largest joint service, multi-national tactical air operations exercise. The "Apache" helicopters provide an offensive for the OPFOR (Opposing Force) against the coalition forces deployed to McGregor Range, New Mexico.AH-64 Apache helicopter: U.S. Army AH-64 "Apache" helicopters prepare for takeoff from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico for night operations during world's largest joint service, multi-national tactical air operations exercise. The "Apache" helicopters provide an offensive for the OPFOR (Opposing Force) against the coalition forces deployed to McGregor Range, New Mexico.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Renegade Troop, 4th Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado land at Fort Greely's Allen Air Field to participate in NORTHERN EDGE '98, an annual Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise involving air and ground units of all services. This is the first time Apache helicopters have ever landed at Fort Greely.AH-64 Apache helicopter: AH-64 Apache helicopters from the Renegade Troop, 4th Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado land at Fort Greely's Allen Air Field to participate in NORTHERN EDGE '98, an annual Joint Chiefs of Staff exercise involving air and ground units of all services. This is the first time Apache helicopters have ever landed at Fort Greely.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Six AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters put on a demonstration of their firepower in a simulated terrorist attack during the introduction ceremony at Hood Army Airfield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Six AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters put on a demonstration of their firepower in a simulated terrorist attack during the introduction ceremony at Hood Army Airfield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army AH-64 Apache Attach Helicopter moves up to check out an enemy, Russian made MT-LB Tracked Rocket launcher; during ASCIET (All Service Combat Identification Evaluation Test) training; held at the US Army's Training and Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A US Army AH-64 Apache Attach Helicopter moves up to check out an enemy, Russian made MT-LB Tracked Rocket launcher; during ASCIET (All Service Combat Identification Evaluation Test) training; held at the US Army's Training and Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache avoids a simulated explosion as it flies a mission at the `99 South Carolina Air National Guard Airshow, McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina, 2 May 1999.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64 Apache avoids a simulated explosion as it flies a mission at the `99 South Carolina Air National Guard Airshow, McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina, 2 May 1999.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A Marine AH-64 Apache helicopter of the Arizona National Guard (ANG) sits poised on the ground, engines running, in an attack posture during Weapons and Tactics Instructions Class (WTI) 2-99.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A Marine AH-64 Apache helicopter of the Arizona National Guard (ANG) sits poised on the ground, engines running, in an attack posture during Weapons and Tactics Instructions Class (WTI) 2-99.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters participate in a live fire demonstration for the National War College, at the Muli-Purpose Range Complex, during a visit to the US Army's Training Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.AH-64 Apache helicopter: US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters participate in a live fire demonstration for the National War College, at the Muli-Purpose Range Complex, during a visit to the US Army's Training Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Three US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters in a row might be too much for the Opposition Forces (OPFOR) during a sweep of the battle area during ASCIET (All Service Combat Identification Evaluation Test) training; held at the US Army's Training and Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Three US Army AH-64 Apache helicopters in a row might be too much for the Opposition Forces (OPFOR) during a sweep of the battle area during ASCIET (All Service Combat Identification Evaluation Test) training; held at the US Army's Training and Support Center, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter taxis out of Biggs Army Air Field, Texas, enroute to numerous air defense artillery sites. The Apache's are being used as close air support and aggressor aircraft during Roving Sands '99. Roving Sands is a one-of-a-kind event that is the world's largest Joint Tactical Air Operations exercise. It melds the Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Elements; Air Defense Artillery; and Aircraft; of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Multinational Forces, into a Joint Integrated Air Defense System (IADs).AH-64 Apache helicopter: A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter taxis out of Biggs Army Air Field, Texas, enroute to numerous air defense artillery sites. The Apache's are being used as close air support and aggressor aircraft during Roving Sands '99. Roving Sands is a one-of-a-kind event that is the world's largest Joint Tactical Air Operations exercise. It melds the Command, Control, Communications, and Computer Elements; Air Defense Artillery; and Aircraft; of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, and Multinational Forces, into a Joint Integrated Air Defense System (IADs).

AH-64 Apache helicopter: A pilot from the 157 Fighter Squadron, 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard is "rescued" by a UH-60 Blackhawk, as a AH-64 Apache provides cover in background, during a simulated combat search and rescue mission. Demonstrated at the SC ANG's Air Show on 2 May 2 1999 at McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina.AH-64 Apache helicopter: A pilot from the 157 Fighter Squadron, 169th Fighter Wing, South Carolina Air National Guard is "rescued" by a UH-60 Blackhawk, as a AH-64 Apache provides cover in background, during a simulated combat search and rescue mission. Demonstrated at the SC ANG's Air Show on 2 May 2 1999 at McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Texas, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, Texas, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, is pictured during an annual aerial gunnery exercise over Texas.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, First Cavalry Division lands at the Dalton/Henson Range Complex at Fort Hood, Texas, to reload and refuel during an annual aerial gunnery exercise.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An AH-64D Apache Longbow Helicopter from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, First Cavalry Division lands at the Dalton/Henson Range Complex at Fort Hood, Texas, to reload and refuel during an annual aerial gunnery exercise.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: An US Army (USA) AH-64 Apache helicopter lands to refuel near the town of Khowst, Afghanistan, before providing air support during Operation Mountain Sweep. Operation Mountain sweep is the largest US Military offensive in Afghanistan since Operation Anaconda.AH-64 Apache helicopter: An US Army (USA) AH-64 Apache helicopter lands to refuel near the town of Khowst, Afghanistan, before providing air support during Operation Mountain Sweep. Operation Mountain sweep is the largest US Military offensive in Afghanistan since Operation Anaconda.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Two AH-64 Apache helicopters depart for a training flight during Operation Desert Shield.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Two AH-64 Apache helicopters depart for a training flight during Operation Desert Shield.

AH-64 Apache helicopter: Aerial view of a US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shortly after takeoff at Hunter Army Airfield, GA. A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter is flying in the background.AH-64 Apache helicopter: Aerial view of a US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter shortly after takeoff at Hunter Army Airfield, GA. A US Army AH-64 Apache helicopter is flying in the background.

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