AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter
"Now if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has a chaingun, rocket pods AND some of the most modern missiles of the time. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
- – Sir Patrick Stewart from the film Ted.
You know it, you love it. Whether you're a gamer, have ever seen a few modern war films, or are just a military buff, you should already know what it is. It's the fucking Apache helicopter in service of American (Boeing), British (AgustaWestland) and Israeli armed forces - although Israel adopted them in 1990 and the Brits in 2004. It is currently fielded by at least seventeen nations. Obviously, no Apache for anyone except America in Team Yankee. Nor anyone else who bought them long after 1986 for that matter. Unless Battlefront wants to go full crazy for their alternate history game or wants some extra cash.
In Team Yankee
As helicopters go, the Apache is a frightening beast. Along with Thermal Imaging, it has a 'take-all-comers' loadout of:
- Hellfire ATGMs and their AT25 that will make short work of any tank it can get its sights on while it hovers well out of the range of AA.
- for infantry or soft vehicles (or if another helo tries to get rowdy), there's your M230 with ROF 6 AP 8 if you hover. I pity the non-armored fool that thing is pointed at...
- In case of artillery parking lot, once per game you can drop an AT4 Salvo onto their top armor of mostly zero. Not a sure kill, but it certainly will hurt a lot.
Like all NATO helos it has the Hunter Killer special rule: use terrain as concealment and unless you fire, you're concealed and only being hit on a roll of 6+.
As is mostly the case with such units, the downside is cost: two Apaches will hurt you for 12, the full platoon of four for 24. They're expensive, but just like the Cobra, in the right conditions they'll murder the hell out of any Soviet that has the misfortune of being in front of them.
The Boeing AH-64 Apache strangely enough, shares its origins with the A-10 Warthog. Because USAF flyboys like to play fast and loose with the CAS mission and believe every problem on the ground can be solved with strategic bombing. In the 1970s, Lockheed's compound helicopter the AH-56 Cheyenne made chair force generals shit their collective panties. As allowing the US Army to have such a chopper would make them irrelevant during CAS missions and look like bigger idiots than they already were (see Century Series fighters, F-111 and lack of a gun on the F-4). This forced them to stop thumbing their noses at the Fighter Mafia's CAS proposal. Having no choice but to adopt the Warthog in order to force the Army into canceling the AH-56.
In the end, the Army got what it wanted, then issued an RFP for a conventional Attack Helicopter. In 1975, Boeing's YAH-64 won the contract over Bell's YAH-63. The first combat mission was George HW Bush's illegal invasion of Panama. While the true test of the Apache's effectiveness came during the Gulf War. Out of 277, only one AH-64 was shot down during Desert Storm via close range RPG. The only real issues the army experienced were logistics and workload. During operation Allied Force in 1999 other problems also cropped up. Post-2000 variants don't have those issues. It was obviously due to the inferior tools, technology and training of the day. The Apache's biggest successes were during the Afghan and Iraq Wars. Many of the choppers that were shot down were eventually restored to working order.
The typical armament of the AH-64 is the M230 30mm Chaingun. A huge pain in the ass to reload. The rockets it mounts are either Hydra 70s, CRV7s or APKWS. Missile options consist of AGM-114 Hellfire, AIM-92 Stingers(the A2A version of the Stinger), Israeli Spikes, and hilariously, the AIM-9 Sidewinder (mostly for its anti-radar brother, the AGM-122 Sidearm, so it can serve as a discount low altitude wild weasel). The AH-64D Longbow variant has 2 additional stations on the wingtips for missiles.
The most significant upgrade is the AH-64E Guardian. Allowing the gunner to control RQ-7 Shadow or MQ-1C Grey Eagle drones for recon or additional firepower.
Proposed upgrades for the Apache are a laser weapon system (a likely upgrade from the M230 because again, reloading it sucks ass) and replacing the tail fan with a pusher propeller. The latter will increase its speed to 185 knots and range to 460 NMI, from 158 knots and 257 NMI, respectively. It also extends the wings, adding two hardpoints for a total number of six. Since the Cheyenne the USAF whined about was one of the earliest compound helicopters. If the AH-64E Block 2 Compound were adopted, it would be the ultimate irony, if that upgrade ever became reality. It would look like the Army is metaphorically poking the flyboys in the eye with one hand while flipping the bird with the other.
The Apache will mostly likely serve alongside and eventually be replaced by the US Army with the Sikorsky–Boeing SB1-Defiant in the 2030s. Another Compound Helicopter like the Cheyenne, the Defiant is the contract winner of the Future Vertical Lift program alongside the Bell V-280 Valor, a tiltrotor aircraft more advanced than the V-22 Osprey.
It is also a gender.
|US Forces in Team Yankee|
|Tanks:||M1 Abrams - M60 Patton - M551 Sheridan - RDF/LT|
|Transports:||M113 Armored Personnel Carrier - UH-1 Huey - AAVP7 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Troops:||US Mech Platoon - Marine Rifle Platoon - Huey Rifle Platoon - HMMWV Machine Gun Platoon - Light Motor Infantry Platoon|
|Artillery:||M106 Heavy Mortar Carrier - M109 Howitzer - LAV-M - M270 MLRS|
|Anti-Aircraft:||M163 VADS - M48 Chaparral - M247 Sergeant York - HMMWV SAM|
|Tank Hunters:||M901 ITV - HMMWV-TOW - LAV-AT|
|Recon:||M113 FIST- M113 Scout Section - HMMWV Scout Section - LAV-25 - Bradley Fighting Vehicle|
|Aircraft:||A-10 Warthog - AV-8 Harrier - AH-1 Cobra Attack Helicopter - AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter|