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Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby RetroSicotte » 03 Jan 2018, 19:20

Lord Jim wrote:The RAF would have a fit if the Army was given a 30+ Km range air launched missile.


If they did it'd be quite childish. As such I doubt they would.

In the end, the Army needs helos with such missiles after 16 of the Apaches got canned, and after the Royal Artillery is so painfully outdated in their range abilities. Operational need overrides who can boast about what over dinner.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Jan 2018, 19:28

RetroSicotte wrote: the Royal Artillery is so painfully outdated in their range abilities. Operational need overrides


Quite agree. And for how long have the extended-range precision munitions (anti-tank such not even in the book of projects) for the RA been treading water? As funding has either dried up, or been redirected to such fancy things as loitering (over a foot patrol!) munitions that, if by a miracle a worthy target could be found, would then do a kamikaze attack :crazy:

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby mr.fred » 03 Jan 2018, 20:18

Targeting abilities come before range every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Marginally longer range means nothing if you don’t know what you’re shooting at.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Jan 2018, 22:23

No the Army needs AH-64Es with Brimstone and its tube artillery and munitions updated. It needs the Wildcat to become a either a proper armed scout helicopter or dialled back to become a troop carrier. The fact that we are still retaining 50 Apache should be looked on gratefully. Everyone here knows what should be done across the Armed Forces, but I think each category on the Forum should have a Fantasy thread to meet this need.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 17 Jan 2018, 19:03

I agree after sending many happy week long visits at Wattisham its clear at the AAC needs new E's as the currant air-frames were worked in to the ground in Afgan. Brimstone being a big step up was being talked about. As for wildcat it is starting come good if it is allowed to go on

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Jdam » 19 Apr 2018, 16:47

I see from Gab's twitter the first Apache's have been flown to the states for to be rebuilt as E's. Happen a lot sooner than I though usually these thing drag on forever.

Any work on Brimstone with them yet?

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby R686 » 19 Apr 2018, 23:39

Jdam wrote:I see from Gab's twitter the first Apache's have been flown to the states for to be rebuilt as E's. Happen a lot sooner than I though usually these thing drag on forever.

Any work on Brimstone with them yet?


Would have thought you would save some $$ by using the QE as a ferry on her way over for fast jet trials.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Gabriele » 11 May 2018, 09:41

I'm not sure, but i think QE will "ferry" 40 Commando and helicopters to the US for exercise while she heads there for the first F-35 embarkation. Which, if confirmed, probably means embarking them in UK waters first, probably in June. Maybe first Apache embarkation then...? I look forwards to that.

Would have thought you would save some $$ by using the QE as a ferry on her way over for fast jet trials.


Maybe? Not sure. The first airframes they sent were, i believe, stored ones which might not exactly be ready to fly. Once in the US, they'd still need to be carried to Boeing somehow.

Not to mention that this would have instantaneously put some 8 months of delay on the start of the programme. QE could in theory carry a whole lot of helicopters at once, but again this might not be workable as they would have to be parked up somewhere (probably at a cost) because they won't enter the remanufacture process all at once, for obvious reasons.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 12 May 2018, 17:22

Would they be "embarked" or shipped in transportation cases/stands?

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 May 2018, 17:36

I think the Apaches were ferried (on planes!) back and forth between A-stan and here (for their deep maintenance) in batches
... which brings the question that relates to their overall number going down:
were they always the same couple of batches, or spread evenly across the whole fleet ?

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Ron5 » 29 May 2018, 17:49

From Aviation Week:

Britain Gearing Up For Remanufactured Apache Fleet

Tony Osborne

In April, two of Britain’s Apache helicopters were transported to the U.S. to begin an upgrade program that will align the fleet more closely with those operated by the U.S. Army and other allies.

Britain plans to upgrade 50 of the 65 Apaches that remain in the Army Air Corps’ inventory to the AH-64E standard under the UK’s Apache Capability Sustainment Program, becoming the first foreign Apache customer to carry out the remanufacturing process on its fleet. The first British AH-64E is due to emerge in mid-2020.

Boeing has already churned out more than 300 AH-64Es from its plant in Mesa. These have been remanufactured aircraft for the U.S. Army or new-build models for customers in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region.

As much as 60% of UK’s WAH-64s will be re-used in the remanufacturing process
UK plans to arm its Apaches with the MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface missile

But Britain’s aircraft are also rather different to begin with. When the UK first signed up to purchase its Apaches—designated WAH-64D Mk. 1—in 1996, not only did it want them assembled in the UK, but it also wanted to equip them with a different engine, the then-Rolls-Royce/Turbomeca (now Safran RTM322) to improve commonality with other aircraft in the British inventory, such as the Leonardo EH-101 Merlin.

While the use of the engine gave the Apache a notable enhancement in performance compared to the GE-powered AH-64D, particularly in Afghanistan, the additional cost of assembly in the UK and the numerous UK-only modifications made the aircraft prohibitively expensive to purchase. Critics described the aircraft as “gold-plated” and, according to some reports, they were almost twice the price of the U.S. Army’s standard AH-64Ds.

When it came to replacing these aircraft, Britain—controversially at the time—decided to go the Foreign Military Sales route, aligning the aircraft with the U.S. Army and replacing the RTM322 engine with the General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft, a powerplant is not used in any other British military helicopter.

However, British Army commanders see significant benefits from being able to access a larger spares resource, as well as from the data collected from the larger fleet to improve maintenance scheduling. The UK is considering taking a similar approach to future purchases of the CH-47 Chinook, including the MH-47G model, aligning more closely with the U.S. Army-model aircraft.
Britain has dispatched its first WAH-64 Apaches to the U.S. for remanufacturing; the first UK AH-64E should be redelivered in mid-2020.

“Taking key kit off the aircraft, refurbishing it and re-using it . . . putting on a new fuselage and wiring harnesses comes at the fraction of the price of a new aircraft,” says David Koopersmith, vice president and general manager of Boeing’s Vertical Lift division.

“It provides tremendous value, and drives life-cycle costs down. . . . I believe all our current Alpha and Delta-model customers will come back and remanufacture their aircraft to Echo models.”

So far, the UK has signed contracts for 38 of the 50 aircraft, and it had been expected that contracts for the remaining 12 would follow at the end of 2017, but this has not yet happened.

According to the UK Defense Ministry, the U.S. government asked the UK to split the order into two parts to better fit with their production plans. The first of Britain’s Apaches to undergo the upgrade are aircraft that were in storage at the Apache main operating base at Wattisham, England. These were stored when the size of the operational Apache force was reduced after the aircraft’s involvement in Afghanistan.

The Apaches are airlifted to Huntsville, Alabama, and delivered to Science and Engineering Services, a Boeing contractor that will disassemble the aircraft and identify components that can be reused in the AH-64E assembly process. If necessary, those that can be retained will be refurbished and then sent along to Mesa to be made ready for the production line.

In standard AH-64D to E conversions, the engine nacelles would be retained. But because the British aircraft used different engines, the nacelles feature several differences making them incompatible with the GE engine, so new-build nacelles will be used. The British aircraft will also be among the first non-U.S. Army aircraft to use fuselages built by India’s Tata Advanced Systems.

So far, all AH-64E fuselages have been produced by Korea Aerospace Industries. Overall, around 700-800 parts will be refurbished and re-used, including the various onboard sensors and the composite horizontal stabilizer. In total, around 60% of the components from the UK’s WAH-64 will be re-used.

Even aircraft that are being re-manufactured are assembled on the same production line as new-build Apaches. So called Shadow kits are assembled combining the reused and new-build parts to be used in assembly, for the people on the production line, so producing the British Apaches will be no different than building a brand-new machine for the U.S. Army.

As well as building the aircraft, Boeing’s UK business will also support the aircraft and provide crew training, although initial training for the first cadre of UK AH-64E pilots will take place with the U.S. Army at Fort Rucker, Alabama. Few details have emerged about the facilities that will eventually support the Apache fleet, but Boeing is hoping to establish a new facility at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, England, where it has been working on the retrofit of a digital flight-control system on the Chinook.

The new British Apaches will also feature some UK-specific equipment. The success of the Selex (now Leonardo)-developed Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS) has prompted the British Army to retain the system for the AH-64E, albeit with a new Leonardo-developed radar- warning receiver.

As with the aircraft, the elements of HIDAS are being taken from stored aircraft first.

Using the HIDAS allows the UK to keep the system up to date using its own collected electronic warfare data rather than having to consult a third party. Britain has also quietly requested the Manned-Unmanned Teaming-Extended system, enabling the potential control of British Army UAVs such as the Thales Watchkeeper or other future platforms.

All of the UK aircraft will be equipped with the Longbow fire-control radar as standard, unlike in the U.S. Army, where a small number of aircraft per battalion are fitted with it.

The UK is also exploring the integration of the MBDA Brimstone air-to-ground missile, following successful trials of the weapon from the helicopter in the summer of 2016. The Brimstone would supplement the Hellfire as the primary weapon on the UK fleet and be fired from the M299 launcher used to fire the Hellfire.

The British Army will also continue to use the CRV7 unguided rocket launcher; but there are still no plans for a laser-guided rocket system.

MBDA revealed in March that it was developing a standard version of the weapon that would enable it to be carried on fast jets, helicopters or unmanned aircraft systems, as the UK also wants to be able to launch the weapon from its Eurofighter Typhoons and Protector drones.

Main gate approval for the Brimstone integration—part of the UK procurement process that comes prior to a contract signing—is expected in the third quarter of 2019.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby serge750 » 03 Jun 2018, 18:27

When QE goes to America in the Autumn for a joint exercise with the RM / USMC & F35b flight trials, If some Apache's are onboard would it make sense to leave them in the US after the wargames so they could be upgraded ?

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Jun 2018, 22:23

They will just keep flying them across in twos and threes as they are drip fed into the refurbishment programme. The Army needs to keep as many available as it can just in case.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 28 May 2019, 15:22

I have always wondered why we have not bought the APKWS kits for the CVR-7s used by out Apaches? It seems to be a no brainer acquisition to give the platform an intermediate precision weapon between the 30mm Chain Gun and the Hellfire Missiles. The have now developed and improved version allowing all the warhead options to be used without their prior modification to fit the laser seeker. The CVR-7 is a very effective and flexible weapon system in its own right with its solid AP warhead able to penetrate most AFVs except Main Battle Tanks, and there is a warhead for almost any mission.
https://www.janes.com/article/88533/nav ... e-contract

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 28 May 2019, 16:13

Lord Jim wrote:I have always wondered why we have not bought the APKWS kits for the CVR-7s used by out Apaches?


APKWS is the most elegant engineering solution out there for converting unguided rockets to guided. But CRV-7 has its own manufacturer who developed their own precision guided version the CRV-7 PG. Apparently it had a Laser Guided version, GPS guided and a Radar Homing version. But that was in 2007. No-one ever ordered it...

The UK has instead developed the LMM. Which does a similar role (smaller warhead than Hellfire or Brimstone), but also protects manufacturing in the UK, but has a slightly different target set. LMM is also more expensive, has a smaller warhead than CRV-7 (without the warhead options) and whilst shorter has a less compact multi launcher system.

Truth is I'm sure the AAC would love to have a CRV-7 PG and LMM/Starstreak 2 on Apache, and the AAC and Navy having CRV-7 PG and Brimstone on Wildcat. But at present they're happy enough to get Apache E and Brimstone. The entire story of how Apache and Wildcat don't share any weapons, despite Brimstone, CRV-7 PG and LMM/Starstreak clearly being relevant to both platforms will likely be a story one day. I'm sure its not due to the users not wanting them...

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Timmymagic » 29 May 2019, 21:11

Timmymagic wrote:The entire story of how Apache and Wildcat don't share any weapons, despite Brimstone, CRV-7 PG and LMM/Starstreak clearly being relevant to both platforms will likely be a story one day. I'm sure its not due to the users not wanting them...


I should add. We know that LMM could be integrated easily to Apache as trials were done with Starstreak for the US Army. We know that CRV-7 PG could be easily added to Apache as they're designed to be as plug and play as possible (admittedly no-one has fired CRV-7 from Wildcat, although they did in trials from Lynx yonks ago). And we know that fit tests were undertaken with Hellfire on Lynx 3, so Brimstone would fit (but would need a straightforward firing campaign). Hopefully over the coming years there will be a bit of tidying up of these gaps.

Mind you Merlin could do with some missile integration as well...

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby SKB » 03 Jun 2019, 14:38

Apache lands on QE class carrier for the first time


(British Army)
An Apache Attack Helicopter belonging to 656 Sqn Army Air Corps has made its debut landing aboard the 65,000-tonne flagship of the Royal Navy - HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Under Joint Helicopter Command, the Attack Helicopter will begin a series of tests and evaluations in what is known as the Platform Ship Integration Testing or PSITs for short.

Over a three-day period, the Apache will be assessed for its compatibility with the ship’s operating systems – how it’s manoeuvred around the flight deck and in the cavernous hangars below, maintenance and arming, testing on the giant lifts which bring the aircraft up on deck, along with a host of other tests.

Once the PSITs have been successfully negotiated in Portsmouth, HMS Queen Elizabeth will take to sea with Apache aboard for its sea trials in July where it will conduct landings and take-offs from a pitching and rolling deck.

Only on completion of this,. will the Apaches be officially certified to be able to operate from both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales, when she becomes operational.

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(MoD/British Army)

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby serge750 » 03 Jun 2019, 18:37

AWSOME !!! thanks for sharing, looks so tiny on her flightdeck

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby bobp » 03 Jun 2019, 20:45

Great pictures. I assume the sea trials will be starting soon. Does anyone know if the flotation device that was developed ever got manufactured and fitted.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Dahedd » 04 Jun 2019, 08:35

I think that's the flotation bags on top of (&below?) the "wings" . If you zoom in on the first pic there's bags above the wing & something new between the weapons pylons.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Gabriele » 04 Jun 2019, 09:46

The square panel on the side of the fuselage beneath the cockpit, too, is part of the kit.
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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby bobp » 04 Jun 2019, 12:11

Thanks for that.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Jun 2019, 16:17

This should also be relevant to the above.
https://www.janes.com/article/88989/us- ... ape-system

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Dahedd » 04 Jun 2019, 23:00

Lord Jim wrote:This should also be relevant to the above.
https://www.janes.com/article/88989/us- ... ape-system


If as suggested in the article the flotation system (at least the US version anyway) cuts into fuel & ordnance can we expect the layout of the Army Apache in the tests to be the new fit? One of the rocket pods being replaced by the extra fuel tank.

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Re: Apache Attack Helicopter (British Army Air Corps)

Postby Tempest414 » 05 Jun 2019, 23:14

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 but please no silly questions


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