Army Weapons and Equipment

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Rotary Wing

The AH-64A Apache Helicopter provides day, night and adverse weather attack helicopter capability. The Apache is the Army's primary attack helicopter. It is a quick-reacting, airborne weapon system that can fight both close and deep to destroy, disrupt or delay enemy forces.

The Apache first entered service inventories in 1984. The aircraft is designed to fight and survive throughout the world. It is equipped with a target acquisition designation sight and a pilot night-vision sensor that permits its two-person crew to navigate and attack in darkness and adverse weather. The Apache's principal mission is to destroy high-value targets with the Hellfire missile. It also is capable of empioying a 30 mm M230 chin-mounted automatic cannon and Hydra 70 rockets that are lethal against a variety of targets.

The Apache has a maximum speed of 145 knots. It has a maximum gross weight range of 240 nautical miles (A model) and 230 nautical miles (D model) with range extension capability using internal and external tanks. The Apache has a full range of aircraft survivability equipment and the ability to withstand hits from rounds up to 23 mm in critical areas. Apache ordnance consists of the Hellfire Missile (RF/SAL versions), 2.75-inch rockets (all versions) and 30 mm HEI rounds.

The AH-64D Longbow is being fielded through a combination of new production and remanu facture of AH-64A aircraft. The AH-64D incorporates the Longbow fire-control radar (FCR), capable of being used day or night, in adverse weather and through battlefield obscurants. The AH64D consists primarily of the integration of a mast-mounted millimeter-wave fire-control radar, a radar frequency interferometer and a radar frequency fire-and-forget Hellfire missile.

The Longbow's digitized target acquisition system provides automatic detection, location, classification, prioritizing and target handover. The AH-64D cockpit is redesigned to digitize and multiplex all systems. The manpower and personnel integration program (MANPRINT) crew stations have multifunction displays to reduce crew workload and increase effectiveness. The AH-64D provides a truly coordinated rapid-fire (16 separate targets within one minute) capability to the maneuver force commander on a 24-hour basis and in any conditions.

July 2008 saw the first flight of the Apache Longbow Block ITI prototype aircraft, ahead of schedule. A successful limited user test was completed in November 2009 as a critical requirement needed for awarding an initial production contract before the end of 2010.

Slated for fielding beginning in 2011, the Block III will feature: Future Modular Force connectivity - seamless global information grid communications; Level IV unmanned aircraft system control; increased survivability - extended range sensors and weapons; a cognitive decision aiding system; improved aircraft performance; and reduced operations and support cost and logistics footprint.

The OH-58D Kiowa Warrior fills the Army's armed reconnaissance role for air cavalry units. The Kiowa Warrior fleet continues to exceed readiness goals, while executing at an operational tempo five times the normal rate. It is a two-seat, single-engine, observation, scout/ attack helicopter with four main rotor blades.

The Kiowa Warrior utilizes a thermalimaging system, a low-light television, and a laser rangefind er /designator in a mastmounted sight situated above the main rotor. The aircraft is equipped with a variety of weapon systems including: He 11 fi re, 2.75-inch rockets and a .50-caliber machine gun. The aircraft operates autonomously at standoff ranges providing armed reconnaissance, command and control, and target acquisition /designation for Apache: helicopters and other airborne weapons platforms in day, night and adverse-weather conditions. The active Army and the National Guard fly Kiowa Warriors.

The Kiowa Warrior Cockpit and Sensor Upgrade Program (CASUP) was approved to ensure that the warfighter has the latest mission equipment technology and to guarantee that it remains a viable asset in the nation's arsenal through 2025. …