|This page is about the American attack helicopter AH-64D. For other versions, see AH-64 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The AH-64D is a rank VII American attack helicopter with a battle rating of 10.7 (AB/SB) and 11.0 (RB). It was introduced in Update 1.97 "Viking Fury".
The AH-64D Longbow, provides great manoeuvrability, incredible acceleration and overall providing a great speed of up to 319 km/h in arcade and 295 km/h in realistic and simulator game modes. It is as fast as the Japanese AH-64DJP but the title of fastest AH-64D belongs to the British Army variant called the AH Mk.1. The U.S. Army AH-64D Longbow is able to do manoeuvres other helicopters can only dream about, from barrel roles, flips to loops. Which allow it to evade enemy missiles with ease and surprise, poor enemy tankers who will be helpless to defeat it.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 1,000 m)
| Max altitude|
Survivability and armour
The AH-64D Apache longbow, has only limited armour protection installed with bullet proof glass only being installed on the pilot windscreen. The helicopter uses Kevlar boron carbide, composite martial which is limited only to instrument, floor and side panels around the cockpit. It does not provide the same level of protection as seen on other helicopters such as the Mi-28N.
- Bullet proof glass installed only for the pilot - 22 mm thick.
- Installation of Kevlar boron carbide, composite martial only on the: Seats, cockpit side panels, Gunner floor panels and pilot instrument panel - 20 mm thick.
Modifications and economy
|CCIP (Guns)||CCIP (Rockets)||CCIP (Bombs)|
The AH-64D is armed with:
- A choice between two presets:
- 1 x 30 mm M230E-1 cannon (1,200 rpg)
- 1 x 30 mm M230E-1 cannon + 30 x countermeasures
The AH-64D can be outfitted with the following ordnance presets:
- Without load
- 8 x ATAS (AIM-92) missiles
- 76 x Hydra-70 M247 rockets
- 4 x AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles
- 8 x AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles
- 16 x AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles
- 120 x countermeasures
Custom loadout options
|Hydra-70 M247 rockets||19||19||19||19|
|AGM-114K Hellfire II missiles||2, 4||2, 4||2, 4||2, 4|
|ATAS (AIM-92) missiles||4||4|
|* Both countermeasure pods must be equipped together|
The AH-64D only has the following Defensive systems installed:
- Countermeasures - Up to 150 countermeasures can be installed.
- AMASE - Apache Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment.
- AIM-92 Stinger - AIM 92 Stinger missiles
When unlocked, countermeasures are not installed - this requires the Flares/Chaff module (tier I) to be researched and installed, this provides up to 30 countermeasures. The next module called AMASE (tier II) provides up to 150 countermeasures, the additional 110 countermeasures are installed on the wingtips of the helicopter. Then the last module called AIM-92 Stinger (tier III) allows for the installation of a maximum of eight AIM-92 Stinger missiles, which two are mounted on each wing tip.
Usage in battles
The AH-64D is very similar to the AH-64A Apache. The differences are the lack of an option to carry AIM-9L missiles, the new Longbow radar, improved Hellfires, and an improved ECM package. The Apache is an excellent helicopter for attacking ground targets, and can also hold its own against many enemy aircraft. Through adequate use of cover, teamwork, and game sense, the Apache can easily dismantle enemy teams. An Apache pilot must understand all of the tools at their disposal.
The Apache has an arsenal of weapons. The most effective anti-tank weapon in the Apache's arsenal is the AGM-114 Hellfire, which uses a top attack trajectory to destroy ground vehicles. There is functionally very little difference between the AGM-114B and K variants, used on early and late Apaches respectively.
Flying the Apache effectively can be more difficult than most players would imagine, processing information from optical sights, radar displays, and the radar warning receiver all at once can lead to information overload. If distracted by irrelevant information, a pilot can quickly lose situational awareness. Being successful in the Apache requires situational awareness above all else. Due to the fragility of the helicopter, any blindspot can lead to a quick and sudden death. Additionally, the mobility of the Apache is adequate but not impressive, so evasive manoeuvres are not always effective.
Using cover is a very important part of staying alive in the Apache. Always stay behind a hill or building in ground battles. When exposing yourself in order to fire on the enemy, be mindful to not gain too much altitude. Most importantly, always listen to your RWR and MAW. If you hear an alarm, take evasive action immediately.
The biggest improvement of the later Apache variants is the ability to mount the Longbow radar system. This system, if used properly, will help maintain situational awareness.
Additionally, it is important to know when to use flares. Flares are extremely effective against heat-seeking missiles, but useless against any other missiles. It is the responsibility of the Apache pilot to recognize the threat and decide whether to use flares or not. For Apaches with MAW (missile alert warning), there is an option for flares to be dispensed automatically.
Using the Longbow radar
The radar of the Apache should be used as a secondary tool when engaging ground targets. The radar is not effective in obtaining target lock for ground vehicles. The AGM-114L radar guided Hellfire is not in the game, so guidance of Hellfires should be done by using the FLIR thermal imaging camera to lase targets. However, the radar is still useful in detecting enemy aircraft. By using the multi-function menu to switch radar mode, the radar will begin to search for air rather than ground targets. Keeping track of enemy aircraft is vital to survival in the Apache, as any plane can make quick work of the Apache if the helicopter is unprepared.
Air-to-air (Stinger and gun)
The Apache is surprisingly potent in air-to-air combat. Engagements should be conducted primarily through the use of the Stinger missile. The Stinger is a simple but effective air-to-air missile. It has an excellent seeker head and can obtain all aspect lock on almost any air target within 3-5 km (even propeller aircraft with a low heat signature). However, the Stinger can be easily fooled by flares or outmanoeuvred by a fast enemy aircraft. The best way to use the Stinger against enemy aircraft is when they are heading directly towards you. If fired at the right second, most enemies will struggle to dodge a Stinger.
If the enemy gets close, the 30 mm autocannon can be extremely effective. The gun will automatically aim with optical lock, so Apache pilots can aim accurately while taking evasive manoeuvres.
Close-range air-to-ground (gun and rockets)
At close range, the Apache has excellent offensive capability. The 30 mm autocannon is incredibly accurate even at surprisingly far distances. This cannon uses a High Explosive Dual Purpose round that can engage lightly armoured targets. Rocket pods can also be used, with the CCIP computer helping maintain accuracy even at further distances. Be careful when trying to use the Hellfire missile at close range. It can do a direct attack at closer ranges (rather than its usual top attack) but if fired at an odd angle, it may not have time to manoeuvre onto the target if fired at closer ranges.
The problem with trying to engage at close range is that doing so will put the Apache in huge amounts of danger. Enemy tanks will be able to quickly destroy the Apache with their main guns or anti-aircraft machine guns.
Long-range air-to-ground (Hellfire)
At longer ranges, the Hellfire missile can be used to full effect. The Hellfire will guide on its target as shown in the attached diagram. This is known as top attack. Being that it takes this path to the enemy target, the Hellfire can take upward of 30 seconds to reach its target at longer ranges. Do not fire at enemies that are about to move to cover, and make sure to fire multiple missiles at once in order to deal maximum damage. Because the Hellfire is laser guided, multiple missiles can be fired at once. They should be fired at intervals of 5-10 seconds, where between missiles the Apache can switch to a new ground target. This will allow for the quick destruction of multiple enemies. This tactic can be incredibly effective. Although the time to target for the most recently fired Hellfire is available on the HUD, pilots will have to keep track of all the missiles they have fired by memory and quick calculations.
Combatting enemy anti-aircraft vehicles can be a challenge. Always remain in cover and move unpredictably in combat. Use the radar warning receiver to obtain the general direction of enemy AA, and then attack with a Hellfire. An effective strategy is to fire a Hellfire, break optical lock to gain cover and avoid counterfire, and then pop back up and get lock again several seconds before the Hellfire hits. This strategy if applied correctly will result in a hit, as the Hellfire is smart enough to begin following the laser designator again once the Apache re-obtains its lock.
Pros and cons
- Excellent ground attack armaments (Hellfire missiles and 30 mm autocannon)
- Excellent air-to-air capability with the Stinger missile and radar
- Adequate speed and manoeuvrability
- Advanced countermeasure system with radar warning receiver (RWR) and Missile Alert Warning
- Longbow radar
- Hellfire missiles have limited self-guidance abilities from certain positions
- Hellfire missiles need line-of-sight for guidance.
- Easily destroyed by main adversary (Ka-50 & Ka-52) and enemy aircraft
The AH-64D Apache Longbow is an improved version of the AH-64A Apache. The AH-64B was not a production designation but instead was a proposed designation, and the AH-64C was later redesignated to the AH-64D because of their similarity. As such, the AH-64D was the second US Army production Apache variant.
The US Army began to draft plans to upgrade the existing AH-64A Apache fleet in the late 1980s. The upgrade centered around the Northrop Grumman APG-78 Longbow millimetric-wavelength fire-control radar. McDonnell Douglas converted four AH-64As in 1992 as a proof of concept. After this, production of the AH-64D, the designation for the upgraded AH-64As, began. The Longbow radar is mast-mounted, and it allows the usage of AGM-114L Hellfire 2 anti-tank guided missiles. Previous Hellfire variants required a continuous line-of-sight for the laser designator, while the Hellfire 2 has fire-and-forget capability. The APG-78 Longbow radar can also detect, classify, and prioritize twelve targets at once. It can "see" through fog and smoke, which can prevent the operation of infrared or TV systems.
Additionally, the AH-64D features improved electronics and avionics. The landing gear fairings are extended forward in order to accommodate more equipment, and the forward avionics bay has been expanded to incorporate more equipment as well. In 1999, the US Army ordered 530 AH-64A Apaches to be upgraded to the AH-64D variant. The AH-64D entered service in 1995. The AH-64D is in service with the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the Netherlands.
In the early 1970s, the US Army was keen to adopt a more powerful attack helicopter, with improved anti-tank capabilities and performance over the existing AH-1 Cobra in service at the time. As a result, the Army initiated the "Advanced Attack Helicopter" (AAH) program in November of 1972, requesting design proposals from a number of prominent American helicopter manufacturers.
Subsequently, various designs were proposed by Bell, Boeing, Hughes, Lockheed and Sikorsky. Of all the proposals, the Army picked two designs for further development - Hughes' Model 77 (YAH-64) and Bell's Model 409 (YAH-63).
After conducting their maiden flights on the 30th of September and the 1st of October, 1975, respectively, further testing of the two prototypes showed deficiencies in the fields of survivability and undercarriage stability on Bell's Model 409. As a result, Bell's design was excluded from the competition, while Hughes' design was declared as the winner of the AAH program in 1976.
Following this, work on refining the YAH-64's design continued throughout the late 1970s. As part of this further development, the YAH-64 was optimized for the use of the newly developed AGM-114 Hellfire missile, which was in development since 1974. By the end of the '70s and going into the early '80s, the AH-64 was considered ready for full scale production. In 1981, the first pre-production machines were built, while the first production models began rolling off the assembly lines in 1983. Since then, the Apache has been produced in a huge numbers, participating in virtually every scale military operation of the US Army: Panama, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc. Israel became the first foreign operator of the Apache named AH-64 Peten, where this helicopter saw intense combat in Lebanon and Gaza strip.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- [Devblog] AH-64 Apache: The Rotary Chieftain
- [Wikipedia] AH-64D
- [US Army] Apache Attack Helicopter AH-64D/E
- [Military Today] Boeing AH-64D Longbow Apache
- [Army Technology] Apache Attack Helicopter (AH-64A/D)
|Fighters||P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35|
|Bombers||B-17E · B-17E/L · B-17G-60-VE|
|Export||P-26A-34 · B-17G|
|Attack||AH-64A · AH-64D|
|Export / Licensed||▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64A Peten · ▄WAH-64D · ▅AH-64DJP · AHS|
|See Also||Tupolev Design Bureau · Westland Helicopters · Fuji Heavy Industries|
|For Boeing-built ships, see Boeing Marine Branch|
|Cobra||AH-1F · AH-1G · AH-1Z|
|Apache||YAH-64 · AH-64A · ▃AH-64A Peten · AH-64D|
|Huey||UH-1B · UH-1C · UH-1C XM-30|