AgustaWestland Apache

AgustaWestland Apache

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AgustaWestland Apache

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Description:
The AgustaWestland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Armys' Army Air Corps. The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland Helicopters (now part of AgustaWestland) at Yeovil, England from Boeing-supplied kits. Changes from the AH-64D include Rolls-Royce engines, a new electronic defensive aids suite and a folding blade mechanism allowing the British version to operate from ships. The helicopter was named "WAH-64" by Westland Helicopters. It is designated Apache AH Mk 1 (or shortened to Apache AH1) by the Ministry of Defence.

The Apache has become a valued form of close air support in the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, being deployed to the region since 2006. The Apache has been an object of controversy over the fitting of some munitions, such as cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons. Additionally, naval trials and temporary deployments at sea have proven the aircraft as an able platform to operate from the decks of ships as well, a capability so far unique amongst Apache operators. British Apaches are currently serving in the 2011 military intervention in Libya operating from Royal Navy ships.

Development

The requirement for a new attack helicopter was identified by the British government in the early 1990s. In 1993, invitations to bid were issued. Bids received included the Eurocopter Tiger, a modernised Bell AH-1 SuperCobra, the Boeing AH-64......
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