Afghan Field Report: British WAH-64Ds

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WAH-64Ds(click to view full) When the USA and the Netherlands deployed their AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters to Afghanistan, the Longbow millimeter-wave radar that sits atop the rotor didn’t accompany them. The Dutch helicopters didn’t have that option due to budget pressures, and the Americans decided that the mast-mounted radar would just compromise performance against an opponent that had no armored vehicles to track, and no weapons that made fire-and-forget missile tactics necessary. The British thought about it, and decided to take a different tack. Their WAH-64s were equipped with RTM322 Mk250 engines [PDF], giving them commonalities with the EH101 Merlin fleet and 2,260 shp – a 19% boost over the 1,890 shp GE T701Cs that power most other Apaches. With power to spare and additional internal fuel tanks, they kept the radars on and focused on finding ways to use them in theater… WAH-64D w. Marines(click to view full) The Apaches are exceeding their planned flight hours by 20-30%, and Aviation Week Ares reports that British Apache Longbows are using the radars for a variety of roles. The Longbows can act as aerial coordinators, using their radars to keep track of other helicopters, jets, and UAVs in their airspace […]

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