For much of the post-WWII era, US helicopter pilots have been trained to fly “low and fast.” This was based on combat experience in Korea and Vietnam. In the urban environments of Iraq and Afghanistan, however, flying low and fast has made helicopters more vulnerable to a number of threats: terrain, wires/powerlines, rocket propelled grenades, small arms fire, and shoulder-fired missiles.
Enter the Arrowhead system. Arrowhead is an electro-optical and fire control system that AH-64 Apache helicopter pilots use for combat targeting of their Hellfire missiles and other weapons, as well as flying in day, night, or bad weather missions. The system also provides accurate targeting at high altitudes, a practice that also has its drawbacks. This free-to-view Spotlight article covers the Arrowhead’s characteristics, components, contacts, consequences, and contracts.