AH-64 Apache Longbow (Guardian)

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Product Type:
Twin-Engine Attack Helicopter

Using Service (US):

Program Status:
Full Rate Production (AH-64E)

Prime Contractor:
Apache: The Boeing Company
Integration: Northrop Grumman Corp.
Integration: Lockheed Martin Corp.

AH-64E Apache Longbow/Guardian

About the AH-64:

By Forecast International /// The following is a snapshot of the AH-64 program. For complete data and a forecast outlook, please view our Rotorcraft Forecast


The AH-64A/D Apache and AH-64E Block III Apache Longbow (renamed Guardian) are four-blade twin-engine attack helicopters manufactured by Boeing. The Apache was originally developed by Hughes Helicopters in the 1970s (first flight on September 30, 1975), however, the company was acquired by McDonnell Douglas in 1984. In 1997, McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing.

The first Apache Longbow was delivered to the U.S. Army in April 1997. The latest variant, the AH-64E Apache Guardian helicopter (originally designated AH-64D Block III), is powered by two General Electric T700-GE-701D turboshaft engines with 1,994 shp each. The AH-64D/E models are based on the original AH-64A, which was deployed in 1984 and first used in combat in 1989 in the U.S. military operation in Panama. Between 1984 and 1997, Boeing produced 937 AH-64As for the U.S. Army, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The combat-proven AH-64A is still in service.

Key AH-64E Apache Longbow sensors include the Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman (Longbow LLC) AN/APG-78 Fire Control Radar, which has a very low probability of intercept. The radar automatically searches, detects, locates, classifies, and prioritizes fixed and moving targets on land, see and in the air in all weather environments and battlefield conditions. To date nearly 400 radars have been sold. Also, the AH-64E is equipped with M-TADS/PNVS (Lockheed Martin Arrowhead package), which is an advanced electro-optical fire control and sensor system. Pilots use the system for target acquisition and situational awareness. According to Lockheed Martin, M-TADS/PNVS improves system performance by over 150%, reliability increases more than 150% while maintenance actions are reduced by 60% (compared to the older TADS/PNVS system). Other sensors used on the AH-64E are the AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) from Northrop Grumman, the BAE Systems AN/APX-123(V)5 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponder, the AN/APR-48A Radar Frequency Interferometer (RFI) from Lockheed Martin, and the AN/AVR-2B(V) Laser Warning System (LWS) from Goodrich (now UTAS) (AH-64E Block III only - AH-64A/D use the AN/AVR-2A). Countermeasures on the AH-64E include the Exelis AN/ALQ-211(V)1 countermeasures set and the the Exelis AN/ALQ-136(V)2 radar pulse jammer.

By 2013, the Apache fleet has accumulated more than 3 million flight operating hours since the first prototype helicopter flew in 1975.

AH-64E Longbow Remanufacture Effort:

The AH-64E Longbow remanufacture effort upgrades existing AH-64 Apaches to the AH-64E Apache Longbow Block IIIA configuration. The effort incorporates the AN/APG-78 millimeter wave fire control radar (FCR), radar frequency interferometer (RFI), fire-and-forget radar-guided Hellfire missile capability and cockpit management and digitization enhancements. The combination of the FCR, RFI, and the advanced navigation and avionics suite provides increased situational awareness, lethality and survivability. This program also provides for the installation of the Lockheed Martin Apache Arrowhead Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight (M-TADS) and Pilot Night Vision Sensors (PNVS).


The Apache Longbow is equipped with an ATK M230 30mm single-barrel automatic cannon, which fires 625 high-explosive dual-purpose rounds a minute and has a capacity of 1,200 rounds in total. The gun is located under the fuselage. The AH-64 has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons and can be equipped with a combination of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra-70 rockets. Typical configurations include 16 Hellfire missiles for anti-armor missions (4x four-rail launchers) or 8 Hellfire missiles (2x four-rail launchers) and two M261 rocket pods with 19 Hydra-70 rockets each. In the future, the AH-64 will carry the Joint-Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM), which is currently being developed by the Army and Navy in cooperation with Lockheed Martin. JAGM will replace the AGM-114 Hellfire Missile.

AH–64 Production Forecast:

A 15-year AH–64 production forecast is available through Forecast International's Platinum Forecast System, which includes a breakout of total market unit and value statistics by manufacturer and end-user. This real-time service also includes information on all prime and subcontractors, contract awards, worldwide inventories, a complete program history, and a rationale detailing the outlook of the program. A 10-year AH–64 production forecast is also available in report format through Forecast International's Rotorcraft Forecast service.


The AH–64 provides a fire-and-forget Hellfire air-to-ground missile capability, modernized target acquisition and night vision capabilities. Conducts rear, close, and shaping missions including deep precision strike. Conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocatable targets and provides armed reconnaissance.

FY 2021 & FY 2022 - AH-64 DoD Program:

This data is available in Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, a comprehensive analytical database containing historical and forecast budget figures, year-to-year funding comparisons, congressional budget markups, program justification documents, and much more.

Sources Used: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), The Boeing Company,
Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman, Orbital ATK, Exelis (Harris),
and General Electric Co.

Rotorcraft Forecast:

Complete and detailed information, including production forecast data, is provided in our Market Intelligence Service: Rotorcraft Forecast.

Forecast International Budget Data:

With Forecast International's U.S. Defense Budget Forecast, you not only get the latest program news, the DoD funding, worldwide inventories and planned quantities, long range forecasts, but most important – an expert's rationale for all programs and the overall market.

DoD Spending in FY 2018, FY 2019, FY 2020, FY 2021 and FY 2022 + 5-year forecast

Platinum Forecast System:

Rotorcraft Forecast
Rotorcraft Forecast
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