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Apache Block III

bobbymike

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Army Building First Block III Apache

Arlington, Va. - The U.S. Army has begun construction on the first fuselage of its next-generation AH-64 Block III Apache helicopter.

The new attack helicopter will be built with a stronger engine, improved avionics, better computer networking capability and increased maneuverability when compared with current models, service officials said. The first Block III aircraft -- now being built at a Boeing facility in Mesa, Ariz. - will roll off the production line this fall, said Lt. Col. Dan Bailey, product manager for the program. The first two aircraft will be used for developmental purposes, and the next five after that will be used to train the first unit equipped, he said. The Apache Block III aircraft will begin to be fielded with units by the end of 2012, Bailey said. Overall, the Army plans to acquire 690 Block III Apaches between now and 2026 at a production rate of roughly two battalions per year, beginning in FY 2013. Of this amount, 643 will be re-manufactured aircraft and 56 will be "new builds," Bailey explained. As part of its preparation of the Block III Apache, the program completed a "logistics demonstration" in March designed to show that the aircraft will be maintainable once fielded. The demonstration checked on the avionics, wiring, gear boxes, cockpit seat and electronics, among other things.

"We walked through all of these tasks to find the issues and things that needed to be fixed. This demonstrates that the aircraft will be sustainable and maintainable in the future, thus easing the burden on the warfighter," Bailey said. "We thought we would need a full three months for this, but we finished three weeks early and found that only 2 percent of the overall tasks needed refinement."

The Block III Apache features a 701D engine, composite rotor blades, improved networking and communications avionics, and an Improved Drive System of the 21st Century -- known as IDS-21 -- Face Gear Transmission. "The new 701D engine has a significant increase in reliability based on new coating, new metal and increased airflow which allows it to operate at higher temperatures," Bailey said.

Source : US Army
 

fightingirish

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The U.S. Army says the new AH-64D Block III Apache has so much improvements that it should be designated as the "AH-64E".
Source: http://defense.aol.com/2012/10/22/army-loves-ah-64d-block-iii-enough-to-call-it-easy-will-taliban/
 

Triton

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http://youtu.be/vpz18HrHjZY

Source:
http://globalmilitaryreview.blogspot.com/2011/06/taiwan-to-get-ah-64-block-iii-apache.html
 

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fightingirish

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US Army RDECOM - AH-64E Apache Block III Attack Helicopter Technology Upgrades & Improvements
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_lru9On2u4
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_lru9On2u4
 

Triton

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Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian

http://youtu.be/N73-6xVSUrA

Boeing's New Apache: A Soldier's Guardian

Source:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2013/04/ah-64e-apache-guardian.html
 

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yasotay

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Well I'm glad the Army finally got a Quarterback.
 

TaiidanTomcat

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yasotay said:
Well I'm glad the Army finally got a Quarterback.

A9oR2TdCcAAY0Mz.jpg
 

Grey Havoc

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http://defense.aol.com/2013/04/30/sec-army-mchugh-says-no-choice-but-accept-apache-transmission-sw/
 

bobbymike

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http://aviationweek.com/defense/improving-apache-future?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20180530_AW-05_374&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=15043&utm_medium=email&elq2=220b5df966c047be994766ad3dfdab7d

With more than 350 AH-64E Apaches delivered and potential customers showing interest, the latest version of Boeing’s attack helicopter looks set to be the most successful so far in terms of sales.

The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021, says Steve Wade, vice president for Boeing’s attack helicopter programs and site executive at its Mesa facility.

“This will be an historically high build rate,” says Wade, and it is being driven by customer requests for deliveries during the 2021-22 time period.
 

Moose

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sferrin said:
Are these rebuilds or new builds?
Combination of new and re-built. Most of the orders are countries rebuilding their inventory, new-builds seem to be limited to countries which need to expand their Apache force or which don't have existing birds to upgrade.
 

sferrin

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So this:

"The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021"

isn't actually true as they're not building that many aircraft.
 

yasotay

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sferrin said:
So this:

"The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021"

isn't actually true as they're not building that many aircraft.

Well first they have to fix the ones the Army has decided to stop taking delivery of.
 

Moose

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sferrin said:
So this:

"The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021"

isn't actually true as they're not building that many aircraft.
You're talking to the wrong person if you're looking for a defense of Boeing marketing, but the rebuilds they're doing are rather comprehensive and can rival a new-build when it comes to total man hours invested.
 

sferrin

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Moose said:
sferrin said:
So this:

"The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021"

isn't actually true as they're not building that many aircraft.
You're talking to the wrong person if you're looking for a defense of Boeing marketing, but the rebuilds they're doing are rather comprehensive and can rival a new-build when it comes to total man hours invested.

Never said they weren't comprehensive, just that they weren't additional airframes. In other words the force isn't getting any bigger. When one says, "we're building 70 Apaches a year and are going to bump that to 100 a year" well, 70 - 100 more Apaches added to the force is a HUGE difference from, "we're upgrading the existing force".
 

yasotay

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Some of those will be new build. For export and as replacement for lost airframes.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
Moose said:
sferrin said:
So this:

"The airframer is currently producing around 70 Apaches each year at its Mesa, Arizona, plant. But the company is targeting a significant ramp-up in activity, with plans to produce as many as 100 aircraft a year starting around 2021"

isn't actually true as they're not building that many aircraft.
You're talking to the wrong person if you're looking for a defense of Boeing marketing, but the rebuilds they're doing are rather comprehensive and can rival a new-build when it comes to total man hours invested.

Never said they weren't comprehensive, just that they weren't additional airframes. In other words the force isn't getting any bigger. When one says, "we're building 70 Apaches a year and are going to bump that to 100 a year" well, 70 - 100 more Apaches added to the force is a HUGE difference from, "we're upgrading the existing force".

Even under the old POR quantity, the total Apache inventory does increase at least relative to FY14.
The last number I saw was an Army acquisition objective of 767 AH-64Es.
 

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Apache Vers. 6 with upgraded naval capability :

Even before the latest update, the AH-64 was built to handle salt-water conditions via anti-corrosive components, especially the rotor blades. Version 6 items include changes for naval users to the radar and fire control. The radar now takes into account the sea state (how rough the seas are) to obtain more accurate detection and identification of ships and display that information as a unique icon on the multifunction flat-screen displays in the cockpit. Detection range of that radar has been increased from eight to 16 kilometers. This makes the AH-64E more useful for users in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Korea where swarms of small armed boats are a danger. Version 6 optimizes the AH-64E fire control system for detecting, identifying and attacking such small boats. Another popular Version 6 feature is improvements to the engine and the rotors. Still on the to-do list are requests for changes in the rotor folding capability that allow rotors to be folded and unfolded more quickly for storage on ships.


 
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Grey Havoc

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A bit odd since only a very short while ago the U.S. Army was dismantling it's amphibious capability.
 

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Imagine they build a combined expeditionary force with M109 and their new long range ammo. Any data linked Apache will decimate anything floating around the ship in no time (if I do remind well, Longbow radar has multi-tracking functions).

Would be interesting to have an ammo with dual boost.
 
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timmymagic

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Apache Vers. 6 with upgraded naval capability :

Even before the latest update, the AH-64 was built to handle salt-water conditions via anti-corrosive components, especially the rotor blades. Version 6 items include changes for naval users to the radar and fire control. The radar now takes into account the sea state (how rough the seas are) to obtain more accurate detection and identification of ships and display that information as a unique icon on the multifunction flat-screen displays in the cockpit. Detection range of that radar has been increased from eight to 16 kilometers. This makes the AH-64E more useful for users in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Korea where swarms of small armed boats are a danger. Version 6 optimizes the AH-64E fire control system for detecting, identifying and attacking such small boats. Another popular Version 6 feature is improvements to the engine and the rotors. Still on the to-do list are requests for changes in the rotor folding capability that allow rotors to be folded and unfolded more quickly for storage on ships.



Are they adopting the UK developed flotation kit as well on the E variant?
 

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I'm surprised that the range of the Longbow is so short. :confused:
 

yasotay

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Apache's have been doing littoral operations for the last decade. With the growing concern for operating in the global commons, the development of the sea search capability of the Longbow radar finally became a priority. Before that the air-air capability was the priority so as to assist in dealing with low flying UAS. The ability to link to Joint assets will no doubt be a plus. FYI Apaches participated in the USN led "Sinkex" training event this last year for the first time. As did Army MLRS.
 

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How does drones get controlled in an Apache? Does the gunner just looks at video feeds? How does the workload gets managed given that two men crew was needed to make good use of the helicopter to start with?

Is small boats is really a threat in the national security sense or just falls into the great search for missions for budget justifications?
 

yasotay

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Is small boats is really a threat in the national security sense or just falls into the great search for missions for budget justifications?

A rocket propelled grenade or burst of .51 caliber bullets into the search/track radar on a frigate or destroyer might be considered very effective. Especially if there are ASM to follow up the boat attacks. Since it is the US Navy asking the US Army to be funded for the mission I am inclined to disagree that it is mostly a budget justification.
 

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Is small boats is really a threat in the national security sense or just falls into the great search for missions for budget justifications?

Clearly not a existential threat to the United States, but then very little is. Tactically, yes, it's a real threat. The US lost 17 sailors and very nearly a destroyer (Cole) to an explosive boat. Granted, that was in port, but newer developments like the drone boats seen in and around Yemen certainly make it credible that a ship at sea could be severely damaged or sunk by such weapons. The Saudis had one of their frigates damaged and two crew killed by a drone small boat off Yemen not too long ago.


 

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Any combination flying sensors and modern naval artillery can achieve standoff advantage over small boats. The ship lasers would blind low tech opponent at a fast rate when they cross the horizon. All aircraft with a payload can also be used to attack boats without air defense capability, including existing naval helos.
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Low intensity small boat attacks are likely to depend heavily on sneakiness and exploit low readiness. Aircraft with long endurance (aka drones) and coverage is likely suitable, as are vehicles that can get really, really close for identification which also favors unmanned vehicles as opposed to manned vehicles operating with long range standoff sensors.

Massed small boat attack can get dealt with by running from them (how expensive was LCS due to speed again?), and actually spending money with expensive munitions to shoot back. Small boat saturation attack is unlikely to catch a opposition unaware in both strategic and tactical levels and existence of cheap counter measure and complete lack of flexibility of this force structure makes it a rather unreasonable strategy to pursue.
 

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I'm not inclined to go point-by-point through this, but you're missing the point.

Sure, there are other systems on the table that can help defeat small boat swarms, including drones, other aircraft, and lasers. This Apache upgrade is one of several such items. None of the capabilities being added are there solely to deal with swarms. It's a general capability upgrade and this is just one application of that capability.
 

yasotay

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...and this is not a Naval Warfare discussion. The topic is Apache Block III.
 

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Seeing it as a US army driven upgrade probably was wrong. The upgrade makes a lot more sense for other customers like the UK that uses their helis on LHA, or Taiwan whose helicopters may one day be called upon to stop an amphib assault. This capability would also be useful for Indonesia.

Would it be a good idea for Taiwan to use Apaches to fight Chinese amphib assault directly or would it be better to deploy them deeper in land in the traditional counter armor role?
 

yasotay

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U.S. Army Apaches have been training with and operating in conjunction with the United States Navy for over a decade. Several of the U.S. Army Apache battalions are qualified to operate from US Navy ships. Deck qualification does not take weeks. There are standard training documents for this. This is done with some regularity.
 

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More Apache for South Korea:
On March 10, Bizhankook.com reported that the South Korean military has decided to buy more heavy-attack helicopters to lead the deployment across enemy lines should conflict erupt on the Korean Peninsula.

The new acquisition program will bring the number up to 72, essentially replacing the existing AH-1S Cobra 1:1, according to a report
 

isayyo2

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More Apache for South Korea:
On March 10, Bizhankook.com reported that the South Korean military has decided to buy more heavy-attack helicopters to lead the deployment across enemy lines should conflict erupt on the Korean Peninsula.

The new acquisition program will bring the number up to 72, essentially replacing the existing AH-1S Cobra 1:1, according to a report
That’s an interesting shift but I’m certainly not complaining. Has their Light Armed Helicopter or Armed Surion run into issues?
 

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@isayyo2 : So far we have no indication. But it's probable that LAH is seen more as an armed scout than an assault helicopter. And the more scouts, the more heavy helos you'd need...
 

yasotay

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Latest Apache has a greater variety of capabilities along with the capability to carry a significantly heavier load of missiles and rockets than most forms of LAH, although I am not well informed on the ROK LAH and Surion capabilities.
 

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