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Boeing AH-64 Apache

AH-64 Apache
Photo of tilted horizon showing helicopter flying above barren land with rectangular patches of green grass.
An AH-64 Apache from the U.S. Army's 101st Aviation Regiment in Iraq
Role Attack helicopter
National origin United States
Manufacturer
First flight 30 September 1975[1]
Introduction April 1986[2]
Status In service
Primary users United States Army
Produced 1983–present
Number built 2,400 as of April 2020[3]
Unit cost
  • AH-64A: US$20 million (2007)[4]
  • AH-64D: US$33M (2010)[5]
  • AH-64E: US$35.5M (FY2014)[6]
Variants AgustaWestland Apache

The Boeing AH-64 Apache (/əˈpæi/) 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.[3]

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.

  1. ^ "Boeing Marks 25th Anniversary of Apache First Flight Sept. 30". Boeing. 2 October 2000.
  2. ^ Haynes, Mary L. and Cheryl Morai Young, ed. "Department of the Army Historical Summary, FY 1987, Chapter 5: Modernizing and Equipping the Army". Center of Military History, United States Army, 1995.
  3. ^ a b Verdict Media (17 April 2020). "US Army takes delivery of 500th Boeing AH-64E Apache Helicopter". www.airforce-technology.com. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  4. ^ "Modernizing the Army's Rotary-Wing Aviation Fleet" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. 1 November 2007.
  5. ^ "United States Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Request" (PDF). Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller). February 2011.
  6. ^ "United States Department Of Defense Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Program Acquisition Cost By Weapon System" (PDF). Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)/ Chief Financial Officer. March 2014. p. 18.

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