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Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

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Timmymagic
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 06 Jun 2019, 23:42

Tempest414 wrote:I will be spending a week at Wattisham in the summer where I will also be visiting Marham , Honington and 16 air Assault at Colchester so if there are any questions anyone would liked asked I would be happy to put them forward


I'd genuinely be interested in views on other weapons other than Hellfire/Brimstone on Apache. If any work or thought is going into getting a munition with smaller warhead on Apache E (perhaps LMM, APKWS or CRV7-PG). Even with the proposed variable warhead for Brimstone I would have thought there would have been a requirement for something with a bit less bang.
Also any thoughts on anti-uav from Apache. Is is cannon only, perhaps with different ammo or will we see Starstreak or LMM integrated with that in mind.
And finally. Manned/Unmanned teaming will be a thing for US Apache E. Is the UK looking in that direction at all.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 07 Jun 2019, 08:02

All good questions I will put them on the list

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby SKB » 28 Jun 2019, 17:41

*

*at sea from QE.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby SKB » 29 Jun 2019, 12:30

And now there are three!

Image

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby jonas » 02 Aug 2019, 09:10

Some clarification in regards to the numbers ordered :-

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/mod-con ... e-ordered/

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Gabriele » 05 Aug 2019, 15:32

Apache remanufacture order is one of few things that i wouldn't worry about. There is nothing mysteryous on the lack of an announced contract for the last 12: they will be part of the next (and last) US Multi Year Production contract, which won't be announced for a a few more months.
The last 12, in fact, fall outside the production lots covered by current production contract arrangements.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 15 Aug 2019, 09:40

I was at Wattisham last week and two were loaded on to lorries and taken for refit following striping down.

other things being talked about was that the aircrews are split over wanting Hellfire 11 or Brimstone still a lot of love for hellfire. They are looking at how LMM performs on wildcat but at its per unit cost it would seem to offer a good cheap option along side hellfire or Brimstone. first reports coming back from those who have flowen the E say as a weapons platform it is a step change as it should be however it still lacks the raw power of the UK D's which could come home to roost down the line . Also those who have been flying from the deck of QE say that anyone with some time on type could land on as the there is so little movement and the vis-q's are so good. other things were that following years in Afgan the deployments to Europe over the last year have been a eye opener in terms of how Apache can be used and operated and the need to get back to basics

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Gabriele » 18 Aug 2019, 22:29

however it still lacks the raw power of the UK D's


Weird. I'm pretty sure i read that the new engines and new transmission actually delivered more useable power than the AH1's combination.

Anyway, as the US Army will transition to the T901 ITEP engine in the coming years, it is pretty likely that british examples will have their engine changed as well before there is much of a chance to deal with power problems.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Aug 2019, 11:48

Gabriele wrote:Weird. I'm pretty sure i read that the new engines and new transmission actually delivered more useable power than the AH1's combination.


That was my understanding. I thought the first time the UK's Apache's had managed to actually use their additional power from the RTM's was in Afghanistan due to the mismatch between the power the engines could deliver and the power that the transmission could routinely handle. In Afghan the effect of hot and high operations limited the power output, therefore the UK Apache's could use their additional power to operate at 100% whereas US and Dutch were down to 80% normal power. Which partly explains their removal of the Longbow radar to save weight. To be fair some US Apaches were also operating at higher altitude than UK examples in Kunar and Logar so suffered even more.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Aug 2019, 11:51

Tempest414 wrote:other things being talked about was that the aircrews are split over wanting Hellfire 11 or Brimstone still a lot of love for hellfire.


Is that anything to do with integration with the platform, rather than the weapon?

Tempest414 wrote: They are looking at how LMM performs on wildcat but at its per unit cost it would seem to offer a good cheap option along side hellfire or Brimstone.


Any mention of CRV-7 going forward? Thought LMM would actually be more expensive than Hellfire on a individual basis. It would be nice to have CRV-7 with an APKWS and LMM as both can target different things.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Aug 2019, 12:38

You might be right but I find it hard to believe a LMM costs more than a Hellfire II.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Aug 2019, 14:02

Lord Jim wrote:You might be right but I find it hard to believe a LMM costs more than a Hellfire II.


The latest price for Hellfire II (R) is 300 missiles for $30m for Kuwait. Which works out at $100,000 per missile (and that's assuming there are no other items in the contract). I can't see LMM coming in at much cheaper than that for a limited run of missiles, without the huge production run and efficiencies of Hellfire. It's hard to find the unit cost of each LMM due to the way it was ordered, plus the fact its late has probably added additional cost.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 19 Aug 2019, 18:58

Gabriele wrote:Weird. I'm pretty sure i read that the new engines and new transmission actually delivered more useable power than the AH1's combination.

Anyway, as the US Army will transition to the T901 ITEP engine in the coming years, it is pretty likely that british examples will have their engine changed as well before there is much of a chance to deal with power problems.


As I understand it the E with its new engines , trans and longer rotors come together to give more power and lifted however in hot and high the UK D's would still have the edge. but again this was what was said by those who have flown both types. it also has to be said that the AAC are looking forward to getting the E because it is a all round better aircraft

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 19 Aug 2019, 19:10

Timmymagic wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:other things being talked about was that the aircrews are split over wanting Hellfire 11 or Brimstone still a lot of love for hellfire.


Is that anything to do with integration with the platform, rather than the weapon?

Tempest414 wrote: They are looking at how LMM performs on wildcat but at its per unit cost it would seem to offer a good cheap option along side hellfire or Brimstone.


Any mention of CRV-7 going forward? Thought LMM would actually be more expensive than Hellfire on a individual basis. It would be nice to have CRV-7 with an APKWS and LMM as both can target different things.


As far as I can make out it is a lack of understanding as to what Brimstone will bring to the table they know Hellfire and how it works for them. As for CVR-7 it is on the list but money will be the main player. With LMM being fitted to Wildcat and stocks being built up it may be higher up the list two types one weapon and all that

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Aug 2019, 05:50

CVR-7 should automatically be part of the Apache Guardian's armoury. Little if any work will be required to have it certified for the new platform, we already have it and have stocks of the weapon. The only area of doubt is whether we decided it enhance the capability of the weapon system of add the LMM to the armoury to compliment both the CVR-7 and Hellfire/Brimstone. AS for choosing Hellfire II or Brimstone 2+, the latter should be the first choice. Whilst the performance data on both is limited, the fact that the latter can be launched form medium altitude form high performance jets may mean it has a higher performance and greater range. Once the Apache crews get their hands on Brimstone and start to realise its capabilities they should come around. Of course the latest variant of Hellfire could have similar performance and it might be decided to save a small amount by not certifying Brimstone on the Guardian.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 21 Aug 2019, 09:58

Tempest414 wrote:As far as I can make out it is a lack of understanding as to what Brimstone will bring to the table they know Hellfire and how it works for them.


I think Brimstone 3 has many advantages over Hellfire, especially in performance, but there are a couple of advantages that Hellfire R has over it at present, particularly around fusing (height of burst etc). These should be addressed by the MBDA Brimstone variant for helicopters that has been proposed. If that goes ahead, and its likely for the Protectors as well it should completely close the only remaining advantages that Hellfire has over Brimstone. We can then take advantage of the massively greater performance of Brimstone.

Tempest414 wrote:With LMM being fitted to Wildcat and stocks being built up it may be higher up the list two types one weapon and all that


I think LMM makes a lot of sense, particularly with its ability to engage aerial threats like UAV's. If they choose to mount it on Apache E it will be interesting to see what mount they choose for it. The 5 LMM pylon for Wildcat, or the 2 missile pod that was developed for Starstreak on Apache back in the day. This was mounted on the tip of the pylon so didn't occupy one of the main pylons, which was a really useful addition to the weapon load. It also could...should...lead to easy integration of Starstreak on Apache...

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Gabriele » 21 Aug 2019, 10:00

I think Brimstone 3 has many advantages over Hellfire, especially in performance, but there are a couple of advantages that Hellfire R has over it at present, particularly around fusing (height of burst etc).


Going with Hellfire would be a stop-gap in any case. The US are about to transition to JAGM, so the British Army can waste some time, but ultimately must decide on either JAGM or Brimstone going ahead.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 21 Aug 2019, 10:05

Lord Jim wrote:S for choosing Hellfire II or Brimstone 2+, the latter should be the first choice. Whilst the performance data on both is limited, the fact that the latter can be launched form medium altitude form high performance jets may mean it has a higher performance and greater range.


I don't think there is any doubt that Brimstone 2 and 3 have vastly greater performance than any Hellfire variant.

Lord Jim wrote:Of course the latest variant of Hellfire could have similar performance and it might be decided to save a small amount by not certifying


Hellfire is on the way out. Last production orders for the US military have already gone in. They're on the JAGM train now....but the UK has already conducted Brimstone trials on Apache E and has said that it will be moving to a Brimstone only fleet on Apache, Protector and FJ.

Lord Jim wrote:CVR-7 should automatically be part of the Apache Guardian's armoury. Little if any work will be required to have it certified for the new platform, we already have it and have stocks of the weapon.


Pretty certain it will be. But the UK has not paid a huge amount of attention to guidance kits for rockets. Mainly due to money, but an APKWS solution would be an excellent addition (and comparatively cheap). Not sure if APKWS could be adapted for CRV-7 as the manufacturers were touting their own precision guided version that no-one bought (although it wasn't as elegant a solution as APKWS).

Although I'd love to see a CRV-7 with guidance kit, if we can get LMM integrated to Apache it opens up more capability by (possibly) opening a route to Starstreak integration. It could also lead to some sales to other Apache operators in the future with a fairly unique capability.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 21 Aug 2019, 10:07

Gabriele wrote:Going with Hellfire would be a stop-gap in any case. The US are about to transition to JAGM, so the British Army can waste some time, but ultimately must decide on either JAGM or Brimstone going ahead.


Yes. MBDA's future helicopter guided weapon adds in the capabilities that all the disparate Hellfire variants bring to the table whilst retaining Brimstone's big advantages (and from the published data Brimstone 2 and 3 seem to have considerable advantages over JAGM still in terms of range and fast jet integration that still isn't funded in the US)

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Aug 2019, 10:27

Isn't it the case that the CVR-7 can take any warhead that is fitted to the US Hydra if needed, but Bristol developed their own selection optimised for the rocket? Isn't the big difference the rocket motor between the two?

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Aug 2019, 14:27

Now this is just what I was told by one of the guys I was at Wattisham with who works for MBDA. He said that Brimstone is better in every way to Hellfire 11 also he is working on the launcher that allows Spear-3 to be launched from anything that can operate Brimstone as the launcher will translate for the weapon

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 22 Aug 2019, 11:28

Tempest414 wrote:also he is working on the launcher that allows Spear-3 to be launched from anything that can operate Brimstone as the launcher will translate for the weapon


I suspect that the common stores launcher will be just for fast jets. Can't imagine that the Apache would be able to deploy Spear as it will need significant forward velocity to run the turbojet, that is unless they strap on a rocket booster to bring it up to speed, but that would cost a fair bit for a marginal capability. Good news in other ways though as it does open the door perhaps to Brimstone and Spear carriage on the inner and mid pylons on F-35B for beyond first day of war operations.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Aug 2019, 11:41

Bang on it is more important for typhoon as it needs the launcher to translate for it where F-35 is a step ahead however if the said rock booster is designed for surface ships it could come in for Apache

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Oct 2019, 10:51

Posting on this thread as a 'price point' for our own contract:
" first announced in February when the U.S. State Department approved the upgrade of 28 Dutch AH-64D Apache attack helicopters to the AH-64E configuration for an estimated cost of $1.191 billion. The principal contractors are Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The Netherlands received its last Apache delivery in 2002 and the helicopters have become technically and operationally out of date after 20 years of service.

The first aircraft will be modernized beginning in 2021 and the first modernized Apaches will be reintroduced to the fleet by mid-2022"


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