Can carry AH64 Apache Sidewinder missiles

Boeing AH-64D "Longbow Apache"

The Apache attack helicopter was developed primarily to combat battle tanks. It is the most powerful, most expensive but also most complex attack helicopter in the world. With the extensive sensor phalanx, targets can be detected with radar ("longbow" radar), infrared and video and then fought with supersonic rockets up to 8 km away. The enormous sensor array has also resulted in the AH-64 attack helicopter no longer having to rely on the OH-58 reconnaissance helicopter to find its target. But it has also led to the fact that of all attack helicopters, the Apache requires by far the longest standing times and an excess of personnel for maintenance purposes. Even in relay operation in the area of ‚Äč‚Äčoperation, a large number of system specialists and an extensive spare parts store are required, from the very first moment.

In the Apache, two pilots sit one behind the other in a well-armored cockpit crammed with electronics. The Apache does not have a "hold", instead it can carry around 2,800kg of weapons or additional tanks at four suspension points and the tips of two wings.

The biggest problem with an Apache mission in Afghanistan is its short range of only around 480 km. It is possible to carry up to four external tanks with 870 liters of fuel each, but this automatically reduces the armament. Since there is no air refueling facility, bases would have to be built within Afghanistan in the long term or a conveniently located airfield would have to be occupied by airborne troops in order to get by with the short range and without additional tanks. In addition, there is the complex and extensive logistics that would be required to make the aircraft ready for use and also to keep them.

The well-known threat picture within Afghanistan - no air targets and only a few and no modern battle tanks - also allows conclusions to be drawn about the possible armament. In addition to the 30mm on-board cannon with 1,200 rounds and an 870 liter external tank, 4 radar / infrared guided "Hellfire" anti-tank missiles with a range of ~ 8km and 38 unguided 70mm "Hydra" missiles with a range of ~ 3km could be carried. Equipped in this way, deployment radii of around 350km to 400km with a mission duration of just over 3.5 hours or transfer ranges of around 780km would be realizable.
The price of an Apache Longbow is roughly USD 20 million.

Boeing AH-64D "Longbow Apache":
Length: 17.76 m
Rotor diameter: 14.63 m
Take-off weight: 9,525 kg
Drive: 2 x T700-GE-701C with 1,890WPS each
Speed: up to 255 km / h
Altitude: maximum 3,500 to 4,500 m
Range without air refueling: up to 480 km
Armament: 1 automatic cannon 30mm, up to 4 x 4 "Hellfire" anti-tank missiles or up to 4 x 19 70mm "Hydra" missiles and up to 2 x 2 "Stinger" air-to-air missiles or 2 x 1 "Sidewinder" Air-to-air missile or 2 x 1 "Sidearm" anti-radar missile


Back to overview:
The weapons with which America strikes back