AH-64 Apache helicopters are the current attack helicopter of the United States Army. U.S. attack helicopters differ from "armed helicopters" in that they have no troop or cargo lift capability, but only for weapons use.
It can operate in day or night, and in all weather. Its combat roles include close air support as well as battlefield air interdiction, although its ability to penetrate alerted air defenses, without support from other arms, is not that of a high-performance fighter-bomber. With surprise, however, it can be a potent deep strike weapon. AH-64's, with navigational assistance from United States Air Force MH-53 special operations helicopters, struck the first target in the 1991 Gulf War, an Iraqi early warning radar.
Its rated maximum speed is 145 knots. Depending on the model, it has a maximum gross weight of 230-240 nmi, which can be extended with modular fuel tanks.
The crew normally wears night-vision goggles when appropriate. The AH-64D has major avionics upgrades, including a mast-mounted millimeter wave radar and fire-and-forget control for its Hellfire missiles. Using the Longbow radar and control system, AH-64D can engage 16 simultaneous targets with Hellfires that the guiding or additional Apaches fire. The Hellfires also can be guided by OH-64 Kiowa Warrior scout helicopters equipped with Longbow.
- There is an emergency evacuation capability for six soldiers to sit outside the helicopter, strapped down to the covers of ammunition compartments