Major Acquisition Programs: Longbow Apache Attack Helicopter (AH-64)

Friday September 15, 2006

What is it? The Longbow Apache Attack Helicopter (AH-64) is a two-engine, four-bladed, tandem seat, attack helicopter armed with a 30mm cannon, 2.75" rockets, and Hellfire missiles. It is the heavy attack helicopter of the current and future force. It is capable of conducting the full spectrum of warfare from Stability and Support Operations to Major Combat Operations. It conducts the missions of armed reconnaissance, close combat, mobile strike, and vertical maneuver when required in day, night, obscured battlefield and adverse weather conditions, in support of the joint/combined arms commander's scheme of maneuver.

What has the Army done? The Apache helicopter has continued to demonstrate its high level of effectiveness, survivability, and lethality in combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Nonetheless, the Army determined critical capability gaps that currently exist in the areas of aircraft performance, digital interoperability, operations and support, multi-spectral sensors, and cognitive decision aiding. These identified capability gaps served as the basis for determining the corresponding requirements and next set of upgrades to the Apache helicopter.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? The Army is modernizing the Apache fleet to the Block III configuration (AH-64D). Longbow Block III addresses the critical capability gaps in the areas of aircraft performance, digital interoperability, operations & support, multi-spectral sensors, and cognitive decision aiding. These capability gaps are being addressed through the incorporation of several hardware and software technology insertions into the aircraft.

For more additional information on Longbow Apache Attack Helicopter (AH-64)

For more information on this and other topics see Addendum J in the Army Posture Statement.


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  • Fallen (DNH)
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  • B36 News - 15 September 2006 (BS)
  • Opportunity Missed - Afghanistan (BS)

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"Now remember, we had $56 billion worth of shortages when we crossed the berm going north into Iraq. A lot of that shortage was in the Guard and Reserve, because by requirement, we had to put our best readiness into our active force, which was our operational force, not our strategic reserve, like the Guard and Reserve were. So we're trying to rectify decades' worth of decisions and priorities. And I think if you take a look at the amount of money we put in our program, which is about four or five times the historical average, that $23 billion we put in there is almost five times any previous program that we've had. It is a statement of commitment."

GEN Peter Schoomaker, CSA HASC Readiness Hearing
27 Jun 06


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