All About Indian Air Force AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter [Fully Explained]

The  AH-64E Apache is the sixth advanced version of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. It was Formerly known as AH-64D Block III but later in 2012, it came to be recognized as s AH-64E Guardian to display its grown capabilities.

The Boeing AH-64 Apache is an American twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement and a tandem cockpit for a crew of two. It has a sensor suite positioned on the tip for target acquisition and night vision equipment. It is lashed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun. Furthermore, it is placed between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage.

Also Read: Difference Between Apache AH-64 Attack Helicopter VS Mi-35 Attack Helicopter

The Apache is developed by the Hughes Helicopters of the United States Army as the Model 77 under the Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the previous AH-1 Cobra.

The AH-64E have many advanced capabilities such as improved digital connectivity, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System,  the capability to control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), full IFR capability, and improved landing gear with more powerful T700-GE-701D engines to accommodate more power. 

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About: IAF CH-47 Chinook Helicopter

Indian Air Force has 22 AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopters which makes our air defence very powerful. Read this article to know about the AH-64E Apache Attack Helicopter and its specifications and how is it helping the Indian Armed forces. 

History 

The AH-64 is the world’s most advanced multi-role combat helicopter, which was developed by the USA under the Advanced Attack Helicopter (AAH) program started in 1972. The need for the AH-64 attack helicopter was felt after the AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter, as it had some fault lines and less war field compatibility.  In July 1973, the  Bell and Hughes Aircraft’s Toolco Aircraft Division (later Hughes Helicopters) were finally selected for the production of AH-64 Apache Attack Aircraft. 

Moving forward in the production line, establishing better parameters and technological advancements, the AH-64 E Apache attack helicopter was developed. The AH-64E has a better digital connection, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, and more powerful T700-GE-701D engines with updated face gear transmission to allow greater power, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) control capabilities, complete IFR capability, and improved landing gear. 

and New composite rotor blades that were successfully tested in 2004 boost cruising speed, climb rate, and cargo capacity. This model is also fit for maritime operations. Its full speed production was approved on 24 October 2012. 

Design 

The AH-64 Apache attack helicopter has a four-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor. Rotor blades are the wing of the helicopters. The pilot and co-pilot/gunner sit in tandem, with the pilot seated behind and above the co-pilot/gunner. This helicopter provides the capability of the two crew members to engage with the helicopter by using the weapon engagements independently.  The AH-64 is powered by two General Electric T700 turbo shaft engines with high-mounted exhausts on either side of the fuselage. 

One of the revolutionary features of the Apache was its helmet-mounted display, the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS)  among its capabilities, either the pilot or gunner can slave the helicopter’s 30 mm automatic M230 Chain Gun to their helmet, making the gun track head movements to point where they look.  The M230E1 can be alternatively fixed to a locked forward-firing position or controlled via the Target Acquisition and Designation System (TADS). 

It can work perfectly in the nighttime too and has a special ability to perform in front line environments. There are many sensors and onboard avionics that allow Apache to perform better in harsh night conditions. 

It carries numerous weapons and advanced technological artillery such as  30 mm M230E1 Chain Gun, AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missiles, and Hydra 70 general-purpose unguided 70 mm (2.756 in) rockets. An Apache can hold 288 Hellfire missiles, which are enough to destroy any tank. The AH-64E can control unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), used by the U.S. Army to perform aerial scouting missions.

Operational history

The AH-64 E Apache attack helicopter has an operational history in the USA, Israel, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and India also. It has participated in  Operation Desert Storm also known as Gulf War. In that war, the eight Apaches were responsible to destroy Iraq’s radar network. It has been a major player in Operation Cast Lead in 2008 instead of Israel. The Apaches were the contribution of the Netherlands to NATO. The AH-64s were used in the war of the Yemen Civil War. Likewise, India has acquired 22, AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and six more are in line to be acquired. 

Specifications

Indian Air Force has an AH-64 E Apache attack helicopter. We have provided the specifications including the vertical rate of climb and maximum level flight speed right below in the table. Check it out:- 

Length 48.16 ft
Height 15.25ft(4.64 m)
Wing Span 17.15 ft (5.227 m)
Primary mission Gross weight 15075 lb
Vertical Rate of climb  More than 2000 ft per minute 
Maximum Rate of Climb More than, 2800 ft per minute
Maximum level flight speed More than 150 Knots 

Indian case

India is the sixth nation to select the Apache attack helicopter after it has been chosen by several defence forces. The Indian Air Force has a fleet of 22 AH-64E attack Apaches. In the year 2020, Boeing came into an agreement with the government of India for the acquisition of six AH-64E Apache attack helicopters for the Indian Defence forces. 

AH-64E is the world’s best attack helicopter till now. And it is suitable for maritime operations. Because most of the focus on geopolitics is coming towards the Indo-Pacific region, it was very important for India to strengthen its maritime defence capabilities.

In the context of land, Apache attack helicopters can play an important role in defence from the external aggression being shown at the LAC.  India has acquired 22 AH-64 E Apache Attack helicopters till now. The first eight US-made Apache AH-64E multi-role combat helicopters were inducted into the Indian Air Force at Pathankot Air Base as part of the Helicopter Unit (HU) 125 Squadron (Gladiators) on September 3, 2019. The second HU 137 Squadron is based out of Jorhat, Assam

It can be sued for multi missions like security, reconnaissance, and peacekeeping operations, apart from attack operations. This simply indicates the growing defence strength of the Indian army and the extent to which India is prepared for any outer attack. 

Some Facts about AH-64 Apache attack helicopter:-

  • The Apache is regarded as the world’s most ferocious, lethal, survivable, transportable, and maintained multi-mission helicopter. It has a top speed of roughly 290 km/h.
  • It can affect an assault in 30 seconds.
  • It has a top speed of 889 metres per minute.
  • It has an endurance of 3 hours and 9 minutes.

Conclusion

The  AH-64E Apache is the sixth advanced version of the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. It was Formerly known as AH-64D Block III but later in 2012, it came to be recognized as s AH-64E Guardian to display its grown capabilities. It has a Modernized Target Acquisition Designation System which provides accurate target information in any weather. It also has night vision navigation capability. Furthermore, it has a fire radar control system that can help in locating air and ground targets even in the maritime environment. The AH-64E Apache attack helicopter is currently the most lethal and advanced. It has helped in strengthening the power of the Indian Air Force and the overall defence of India. 

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Mausami Sharma

    Intern at SSBCrackExams. An avid reader, UPSC aspirant and a curious defence aircraft researcher. Pursuing my Interest in global politics and diplomatic studies.

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