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AH-64D Longbow Apache JG-4501, JGSDF, 2010s
General Background
In the early 1970’s the US Army wanted a replacement for the AH-1 Cobra so companies submitted proposals. In July 1973 the list was shortened to Hughes and Bell with each building a prototype in 1975. The Army selected the Hughes helicopter because its landing gear was more stable and the main rotor was more damage tolerant. In 1981 3 pre-production AH-64As were given to the Army for testing and named Apache. The Apache went into production in 1982 and has evolved into one of the deadly machines over the battle field.
The Aircraft
In 2001 Japan chose the Fuji built AH-64DJP Apache Longbow to replace their Fuji AH-15 Cobras. Initially sixty aircraft were ordered with the first Apaches arriving in 2006. But of the sixty ordered the number was reduced to only thirteen because by 2013 Boeing would discontinue manufacturing parts for the D variant as well as an extremely high cost per helicopter. In 2017 the JGSDF began to operate only one squadron of ten AH-64DJP Apaches with the remaining three going to training units. AH-64D JG-4501 BuNo 02-0001 first wore serial N3216N.
Specifications :
Manufacturer/s Hughes Helicopters - 1975/1984
McDonnell Douglas – 1984/1997
Boeing Defense, Space & Security – 1997/Present
Role: Attack Helicopter
Crew: 2 X (Pilot + Co-Pilot/Gunner)
Fuselage Length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
Length/Both Rotors Turning: 58.17 ft (17.73 m)
Width: 17 ft (5.23 m))
Height: AH-64D NR (Non Radar) - 12.7 ft (3.87 m)
AH-64D Longbow - 16.2 ft (4.95 m)
Rotor Diameter 48 ft (14.63 m)
Engine: 2 X General Electric T700-GE-701C Producing 1,890 shp Per Engine
Range: 1,180 mi (1,024 nmi / 1,900 km)
Cruise Speed: 165 mph (143 kts / 265 km/h)
Max Speed: 182 mph (158 kts / 293 km/h)
Combat Radius: 300 mi (260 nmi / 480 km)
Climb: 2,500 ft/min (12.7 m/s)
Minimum Load Service Ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
Armament: Guns – 1 X 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 Chain Gun W/1,200 Rounds (As Part Of Area Weapon Subsystem) Hard Points – 4 X Pylons On Stub Wings Rockets Hydra 70 mm CRV7 70 mm APKWS 70 mm Air-To-Ground Missiles 8 X AGM-114 Hellfire 4 X AIM-92 Stinger Spike Missiles