Two of the most advanced attack helicopters in the world have officially arrived in Germany for use with the US Army 12th Combat Aviation Brigade.
To continue reading the rest of this article, please log in.
Create free account to get unlimited news articles and more!
Both AH-64E Version Six Apache Guardians were delivered by US Air Force C-17 transport aircraft to Wiesbaden Army Airfield in Clay Kaserne on 1 September, replacing two of the unit’s AH-64 Delta aircraft.
The new Apaches are the first of an anticipated 24 helicopters scheduled to be delivered to the Forward Deployed Corps unit in Europe as part of the 12th CAB modernisation program.
The AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter features multiple enhancements to sensors, software and weapon systems and has the capability for interoperability within the multi-domain operational ecosystem. It is armed with semi-active or radar guided air-to-ground Hellfire missiles, 2.75-inch Hydra rockets and an M230 30mm chain machine gun (625 rounds per minute).
“This new aircraft gives us so many more capabilities,” said US Army 1st Lieutenant Brigit Duffy, a maintenance platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Attack Battalion), 12th CAB.
“There are upgrades on so many different aspects of the aircraft, which will better aid our abilities to support our allies here in the European theatre.”
The brigade has previously sent pilots to US Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Novosel in Alabama for initial training on the aircraft, while maintainers are scheduled to be trained in Germany beginning in October with an estimated completion date in January 2024.
Twelfth CAB brigade standardisation officer Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Weisskopf said the Apache brings affordable modular open systems architecture capability to serve as a centrepiece in the multi-domain operations battlefield for decades to come.
“This aircraft will allow use of the AGM-179 joint air-to-ground missile and future integration of the Spike NLOS (a multi-purpose, electro-optical/infrared missile system),” he said.
“It also has a full instrument suite allowing IFR (flying in clouds) allowing us to deploy in bad weather.”