Is the Apache Attack Helicopter Really Obsolete?

Is the Apache Attack Helicopter Really Obsolete?

The AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter has been in service since the 1980s. Since then the enemy has developed new high tech air defense networks with a range of over 300 kilometers. Some even go as far as to say the entire concept of attack helicopters is obsolete. But new doctrine, tactics and technology could keep the rotary aircraft in style well in the future.

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Written by: Chris Cappy & Diego Aceituno
Edited by: Savvy Studios
Produced by: August Dannehl

Most other attack helicopters around the world can’t carry anywhere near that much weight, usually having only 2 or 4 anti-tank missiles. The four hardpoints on the Apache’s stub wings can also be configured with different types of ordnance for different missions including Hydra rocket pods or AIM-92 Stinger air to air missiles. You might be wondering why you would want a smaller 2.7 inch diameter unguided hydra rocket but it’s because they are used for saturation attacks to engage multiple targets hiding in a forest for instance. This allows you to suppress enemy air defense systems in a wide area.

We talked a fair bit about doctrine but what is one of the main tactics the Apache uses? It’s called the pop up attack where you hide behind a mountain or terrain feature then pop up just long enough to get a target lock and launch a fire and forget missile before ducking down below cover again. The Longbow millimeter-wave Fire Control Radar is what allows the helicopter to peak above ridgetops and acquire a detailed picture of the battlefield that pierces rain and dense fog.

The radar can track 128 separate targets, lock onto 16 at a time for engagements, and an integrated Aided Target Identification & Classification System can automatically prioritize contacts based on threat levels. Targeting data is shared among allied Apaches, allowing one to spot targets while others remain hidden.
Credit to : Task & Purpose

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