AH-64 Apache – Warbird Wednesday Episode #219

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. Nose-mounted sensors help acquire targets and provide night vision. It carries a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun under its forward fuselage and four hardpoints on stub-wing pylons for armament and stores, typically AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. Redundant systems help it survive combat damage.

The Apache began as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra. The prototype YAH-64 first flew on 30 September 1975. The U.S. Army selected the YAH-64 over the Bell YAH-63 in 1976, and later approved full production in 1982. After acquiring Hughes Helicopters in 1984, McDonnell Douglas continued AH-64 production and development. The helicopter was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986. The advanced AH-64D Apache Longbow was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security. As of 2020, more than 2,400 AH-64s have been produced.

Primarily operated by the U.S. Army, the AH-64 has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. It has been built under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. American AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache to fight in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. British and Dutch Apaches were deployed to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001.