Weapons of war What makes an Apache tick

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The Apache is a twin-engined army attack helicopter developed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). It entered service with the US Army in 1984 and has been exported to Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UK.
The US Army has more than 800 Apaches in service, and more than 1,000 have been exported. The Apache was first used in combat in 1989 in the US military action in Panama. It was used in Operation Desert Storm and has supported low intensity and peacekeeping operations worldwide including Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo.
The first Apache Longbow was delivered in April 1997 to the US Army. The AH-64D Longbow was deployed by the US Army in Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and, from June 2003, in South Korea. The AH-64D Longbow is fitted with the Longbow millimetre wave fire control radar and the Longbow Hellfire missile. 501 AH-64A Apaches upgraded to AH-64D standard have been delivered to the US Army. Deliveries completed in August 2006.
An additional 13 new-build Apaches were initially ordered, along with another 11 in November 2006. The US Army ordered 96 additional remanufactured helicopters in January 2007 and 18 new-build helicopters in April 2007. During the same year, 30 AH-64Ds were ordered by the UAE. The first new-build AH-64D was delivered to the US Army in June 2007 and the first of the additional remanufactured helicopters in October 2007. The US Army awarded a $247m contract to Boeing in October 2010 to start low rate initial production (LRIP) of the AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter. Boeing will produce 51 AH-64D Apache Block III helicopters for the US Army under the LRIP contract. The first AH-64D Apache Block III helicopter was delivered to the US Army in October 2011. A 30mm automatic Boeing M230 chain gun is located under the fuselage. It provides a rate of fire of 625 rounds a minute. The helicopter has capacity for up to 1,200 rounds of ammunition.
The AH-64D is armed with the Lockheed Martin / Boeing AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire air-to-surface missile which has a millimetre wave seeker which allows the missile to perform in full fire and forget mode. Range is 8km to 12km. The Apache can be equipped with air-to-air missiles (Stinger, AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mistral and Sidearm) and the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS), formerly known as Hydra, family of guided and unguided 70mm rockets. Plans to arm the Apache with the advanced precision kill weapon system (APKWS) II, a laser-guided version of the Hydra were shelved in the FY2008 budget. The US Army awarded BAE Systems a development contract for the APKWS II in April 2006.
British Army AH mk1 helicopters are armed with the CRV7 70mm rocket system from Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Longbow Apache carries the combination of armaments chosen for the particular mission. In the close support role, the helicopter carries 16 Hellfire missiles on four four-rail launchers and four air-to-air missiles.
The Apache is equipped with two turboshaft engines, each providing 1,265kW. The American AH-64D has General Electric T700-GE-701 engines and the UK Apache is fitted with RTM322 engines from Rolls-Royce / Turbomeca. The AH-64 Apache can climb at a rate of 889m/min. The maximum and cruise speeds of the helicopter are 279km/h and 260km/h respectively. The ferry range and service ceiling of the helicopter are 1,900km and 6,400m respectively. The endurance is 3 hours 9 minutes. The helicopter weighs around 5,165kg, while the maximum take-off weight is 10,433kg.

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