AH-64 Apache Longbow

Nearly half of all U.S. Apaches were deployed to Saudi Arabia following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. During Operation Desert Storm on 17 January 1991, eight AH-64As guided by four MH-53 Pave Low IIIs destroyed part of Iraq's radar network in the operation's first attack, allowing the attack aircraft to evade detection.

The Apaches each carried an asymmetric load of Hydra 70 flechette rockets, Hellfires, and one auxiliary fuel tank. During the 100-hour ground war a total of 277 AH-64s took part, destroying 278 tanks, numerous armored personnel carriers and other Iraqi vehicles.

One AH-64 was lost in the war, to a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) hit at close range; the Apache crashed, but the crew survived.

I recall our AH-1 Cobras preforming much better than the Apaches early on. The Apaches suffered from inadequate engine filters and the sand prematurely wore the rotors out.

The rotor issue was fixed fairly quick with added layers of epoxy.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 (pilot, and 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: 17,650 lb (8,000 kg)

  • Max. takeoff weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)

  • Fuselage length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)

  • Rotor systems: 4 blade main rotor, 4 blade tail rotor in non-orthogonal alignment

  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric T700-GE-701 turboshafts, 1,690 shp (1,260 kW) [upgraded to T700-GE-701C (for AH-64A/D from 1990), 1,890 shp (1,409 kW)] each

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)

  • Range: 257 nmi (295 mi, 476 km) with Longbow radar mast

  • Combat radius: 260 nmi (300 mi, 480 km)

  • Ferry range: 1,024 nmi (1,180 mi, 1,900 km)

  • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m) minimum loaded

  • Rate of climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)

  • Disc loading: 9.80 lb/ft² (47.9 kg/m²)

  • Power/mass: 0.18 hp/lb (0.31 kW/kg)

Armament

  • Guns: 1× 30 mm (1.18  in) M230 Chain Gun with 1,200 rounds as part of the Area Weapon Subsystem

  • Hardpoints: Four pylon stations on the stub wings. Longbows also have a station on each wingtip for an AIM-92 Stinger twin missile pack.

  • Rockets: Hydra 70 70 mm, CRV7 70 mm, and APKWS 70 mm air-to-ground rockets

  • Missiles: Typically AGM-114 Hellfire variants; AIM-92 Stinger and Spike missiles may also be carried.



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