Technical details relating to the Army Air Corps WAH-64 Longbow Apache AH Mk.1: –
Construction: Conventionally built airframe with no mechanical “stealth” features. The 60°/120° tail rotor is noteworthy only when not rotating, similarly the swept main rotor blade tips.
Powerplant: Twin Rolls Royce Turbomeca RTM322 engines producing significantly more power than the standard Apache GE T700 engines. Though with the greater weight of the Longbow version this performance increase is welcome.
Avionics: Referred to incorrectly as a “fully-digital” aircraft, the avionics suite is nonetheless a major advance over all previous battlefield helicopters, with numerous integrated systems. The switch count in the cockpits is reduced dramatically compared to the analogue AH-64A. The most noticeable feature of the Longbow is the mast mounted MMW Radar which allows precise discrimination and identification of targets.
Sensors: The nose-mounted optical sensors are being upgraded as part of a £194m deal. This will introduce M-TADS/PNVS (Modernised Target Acquisition Designation Sight / Pilot Night Vision Sensor) to provide improved situational awareness and combat effectiveness.
Armament: The M230 30mm Chain Gun is backed up by up to 16 of the very expensive AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, as well as relatively inexpensive CRV-7 unguided rockets. A guide to the types of weapons fits that can be used is here.
Defensive Systems: These include the world leading HIDAS (Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids System), one of the most advanced defensive and counter-measures systems available.
Markings: FS14031 is the reference number for the overall paint scheme. This IR-suppressive muddy brown/black colour is called Olive Drab and depending upon lighting conditions, weathering and age can appear to the naked eye to be anything from mid-brown to jet black. Little else in the way of markings distinguish these aircraft, all stencilling is black, and in addition to the low-visibility “ARMY” titles and roundels on the boom, serial numbers are worn on the fin.
Overall height (including Longbow Radar) 4.95m
Overall Length (including main rotors) 17.76m
Fuselage length 15.54m
Main Rotor span 14.63m
Maximum weight 10,107kg
Maximum speed 141 knots
Un-refuelled range 900 miles (with 4 external under wing fuel tanks)
Typical combat radius 180 miles
Details of some of the developments and upgrades that have taken place to the AAC Apache fleet are detailed on the Apache Developments page