AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter

AH-64A Apache attack helicopter in flight

The AH-64 Apache, the world's premier attack helicopter, was designed to be an extremely tough survivor under combat. In 1983, Hughes Helicopters Inc., later McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems, won the prestigious Collier Trophy for the design of the AH-64 Apache.

The prototype Apache made its first flight in 1975 as the YAH-64, and in 1976, Hughes received a full-scale development contract. In 1982, the Army approved the program, now known as AH-64A Apache, for production. Deliveries began from the new McDonnell Douglas plant at Mesa, Ariz., in 1984 -- the year Hughes Helicopters became part of McDonnell Douglas.

A target acquisition and designation sight/pilot night vision sensor (TADS/PNVS) and other advanced technologies add to its effectiveness in the ground support role. To reduce costs and simplify logistics, the Apache uses the same T700 engines as the Army's Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter and its naval cousin, the SH-60 Seahawk.

Highly maneuverable and heavily armed, the combat-proven Apache helicopter is today the backbone of the U.S. Army's all-weather, ground-support capability. The AH-64D Apache Longbow, which first flew as a prototype on May 14, 1992, provides a quantum leap in capability over the AH-64A. The Apache Longbow's fire-control radar and advanced avionics suite give combat pilots the ability to rapidly detect, classify, prioritize and engage stationary or moving enemy targets at standoff ranges in nearly all weather conditions. There is also an international Apache export version.

By August 2004, Boeing had delivered 500 AH-64D Apaches to customers worldwide. The aircraft features fully integrated avionics and weapons and state-of-the-art digital communications capabilities that enable real-time transfer of battlefield information. Its enhancements make it more survivable, readily deployable and easier to maintain.

AH-64 Apache home page

First flight: Sept. 30, 1975
Model number: AH-64
Rotor diameter: 48 feet
Length: 48 feet 2 inches
Height: 15 feet 3 inches
Ceiling: 21,000 feet
Range: 260 miles
Power plant: Two 1,900-shaft-horsepower GE T700 turboshaft engines
Top speed: 192 mph