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‘Can Destroy Anything’: US Army’s New Apache Helicopter Has Arrived

‘Can Destroy Anything’: US Army’s New Apache Helicopter Has Arrived

Summary and Key Points: Since its introduction in the 1980s, the AH-64 Apache has become synonymous with American airpower and remains a key component of the U.S. Army’s arsenal. The latest variant, the AH-64E, boasts significant improvements including software updates, improved sensors, and advanced avionics.

-Boeing’s upgrades to “Link 16” features and the addition of the General Electric T901 engine increase the aircraft’s speed and operational capabilities.

-The AH-64E can reach speeds of 155 mph, has a range of 345 miles and an operational ceiling of 20,000 feet. With advanced target acquisition systems, the Apache remains a formidable force capable of deploying conventional weapons and future energy weapons. Equipped with state-of-the-art countermeasures, the AH-64E is poised to be a significant asset in U.S. and allied forces well into the 2060s.

AH-64E Apache: The Next Evolution of America’s Legendary Attack Helicopter

When the AH-64 Apache was introduced in the 1980s, no one could have expected its success. Decades later, the Apache has become synonymous with American airpower. Indeed, it carries much of the U.S. Army’s air combat heritage.

Although the Apache was initially designed as a multi-role helicopter, it has essentially evolved into a powerful attack helicopter.

This helicopter is so popular and widespread on battlefields around the world that numerous variants have been produced by Boeing. used by the armies of multiple allies.

The latest and most advanced Apache variant to come online is the AH-64E. Boeing’s Apache “E” model was contracted to the U.S. Army in late 2021. According to Boeing’s official press release, the “E” will “include software updates and improvements to the pilot interface.”

Boeing is upgrading the Apache helicopter with features known as “Link 16.” Link 16 described with Defense News “An open systems architecture that will allow for easy technology additions later.” In other words, Boeing is making the Apache AH-64E model upgradable in a way that will ensure it is a relevant and lethal contributor to the battlefields of today and tomorrow. Other upgrades include: Defense News The reports state that it is related to “an optimized route and attack planning capability.”

Some Improvements

Another feature the Pentagon is working on in the new version of Apache is The Army’s Advanced Turbine Engine, built by General Electric Aerospace. That new T901 engine, combined with the drivetrain and tail rotor improvements in the new Apache, will propel this bird to around 155 mph (not bad for a rotorcraft). The “E” model has improved sensors as well as avionics suites.

The AH-64E has an operational ceiling of approximately 20,000 feet and a range of approximately 345 miles when fully loaded.

The Apache’s target acquisition and designation systems have been further improved, giving pilots of these two-seater aircraft a more accurate and reliable means of detecting and tracking enemy forces from greater distances.

Some key elements of Apache offensive capabilities remain in the “E” model. The primary offensive system is M230 30mm chain guncapable of firing up to 625 rounds per minute. Like previous models, this bird can carry sixteen rounds AGM-114 Hellfire missiles – these laser-guided missiles are very effective against armored targets. And like previous Apaches, the AH-64E can be deployed Hydra 70 rocket capsules Can be used against both soft and hard targets.

To adapt to the multipolar geopolitical environment that America has entered, engineers, talent To deploy directed energy weapons (DEW) from the AH-64E. The U.S. military has been trying to develop DEW for years. Slow progress has been made, and more is yet to come. The existence of pylons capable of deploying such advanced weapons should indicate to observers that the Americans are close to having reliable and effective DEW capabilities.

Nothing Is Like This

Defensively, the “E” is equipped with state-of-the-art countermeasures to protect against enemy threats. An advanced electronic warfare suite, including radar warning receivers and infrared countermeasures, helps the AH-64E evade detection and defend against incoming missiles.

The AH-64E Apache is expected to remain in service for years to come. With ongoing upgrades and modernization efforts, the helicopter’s capabilities are continually enhanced to meet the evolving needs of the Army and its allies.

In fact, the Army anticipates that the “E” version of the Apache attack helicopter will continue to be a major feature of the U.S. Army’s arsenal Towards the 2060s.

Author Experience and Expertise: Brandon J. Weichert

Brandon J. WeichertNational Interest national security analystis a former congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who contributes to The Washington Times, Asia Times and The-Pipeline. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower, Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy. His next book, A Disaster of Our Own Making: How the West Lost Ukraine, is due out Oct. 22 from Encounter Books. Follow Weichert on Twitter @BizBrandon.

All images courtesy of Creative Commons or Shutterstock.

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