Tag Archives: Apache

Poland now ponders on attack helicopters

Poland’s hesitation when it concerns miltary helicopters must drive manufacturers out of their minds, and Airbus Helicopters especially. The company saw a 3 billion USD deal for H225M Caracal choppers fall through earlier this year and now wants Poland to select the Tiger as its new attack helicopter. Best cards are for the AH-64 Apache and AH-1Z Viper, however.

Airbus Helicopters is ‘laying the groundwork’ for future Tiger production in Poland in the same way it has been doing with the Caracal, says a statement released on Thursday 28 April. The European company taps into the fact that disagreements over off sets eventually caused the Caracal to largely collapse.

Poland doesn’t seem to have much eye for the Airbus Helicopter offer and mostly looks at the AH-64 Apache or AH-1Z Viper as its new attack helo. The former would be locally built by PZL Swidnik, while the latter could be produced by PZL Mielec.

Warsaw has a history troublesome history when it comes to selecting helicopters, however. A long process led to the selection of the Caracal as the country’s new combat search and rescue (CSAR) platform… until it was decided to look at other contenders once again.

Meanwhile, classic Mi-8 Hip transport helicopters soldier on and ageing Mi-24 Hind helicopters keep fulfilling the attack role.

The struggle could be associated with the fact that Poland also modestly produces helicopters on its own.  PZL Swidnik furthermore is tied to AgustaWestLan, while PZL Mielec is involved with Sikorysky.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: A Tiger Helicopter in production at Airbus Helicopters in Germany. (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Obama: Apache attack helos to Iraq

The US is sending AH-64 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq in support of the campaign against so-called Islamic State forces. US president Barrack Obama decided to send extra US troops also.

The decision to send Apache means the US will base aircraft in Iraq for the first time since officialy pulling out its military in the troubled country in December 2011. The move comes ahead of a Iraqi military push to recapture the city of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.

US forces are already in Iraq to train Iraqi soldiers. The added Apaches also bring 200 additional troops, bringing the total of US troops in the country to 4,087.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: An Apache fires its gun. (Image © Dustin Senger / US Army)

TEASER: Dug in with the United States 7th Army

Just to tease you: we dug in with the chopper force of the United States 7th Army, in Germany. Preview of what is coming soon at Airheadsfly.com. Featured photo by Airheadsfly.com editor Dennis Spronk, video footage by dedicated videographer Vincent Kok.

Boeing gets to work on another 117 Apache Guardians

Boeing has bagged another Pentagon contract to remanufacture  117 Apache attack helicopters into the latest AH-64E Apache Guardian variant. The contract is worth close to 1 billion USD.

Boeing will perform the work in its facility in Mesa, Arizona, with an estimated completion date of 31 May 2018. Compared to earlier versions of the Apache, the AH-64E has full digital cockpit avionics, a more powerful engine that also makes the chopper go faster (155 knots vs 125 on the D-model), rotor blades that can sustain damage better, a larger range and a longer range.

The US State Departement in 2015 approved a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) to the UK concerning the remanufacture of 50 ‘D-model’ Apache to the newest variant.

© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image (top): The improved AH-64E Apache Guardian. (Image © US Army)

Huge problems with Taiwanese AH-64E fleet

The Republic of China Army Aviation (RoCAA; Taiwan) has extreme difficulties keeping its 29 new AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters airborne. Part of the problem is a discovered material failure due to faulty production by Boeing.

A Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow. Archive photo (Image © Boeing)
RELATED POST: Taiwanese Apaches suffer from “bad spell”

The American manufacturer of the legendary attack helicopter is using a new aluminum-magnesium alloy for the tail rotor gearbox and this material seems to be the reason of corrosion in salty and humid climates such as in Taiwan. Nine AH-64Es are grounded because of this issue, while Boeing technicians are trying to find a solution but for now just advising ill-tested short-term measures.

Another 12 helicopters stay on the tarmac since there are insufficient spare parts to keep them airborne, sources inside the Taiwanese military confirmed. This leaves only eight choppers operational in a country under constant threat by mainland China.

The Ministry of National Defense yesterday said that corrosion woes with AH-64E Apache helicopters have led to the aircraft’s grounding, and Boeing, the US manufacturer, has dispatched a special task force to help identity and fix the problem.

The Apache Guardian is so far a very unsuccessful story in Japan. On 25 April 2014 one RoCAA AH-64E crashed into a house reducing the number of aircraft immediately to 29 shortly after purchase. Taiwanese Apaches were grounded for a while as well after a problem with the main transmission was discovered on US Army versions.

When the RoCAA can really make use of all its AH-64Es is still unknown.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) AH-64E Apache Guardian in action (Image © US Army)