First used in combat in 1989 in Panama, the Apache helicopter has been in service with the US Army since 1984. The Apache is a twin-engine attack helicopter developed by McDonnel Douglass, which is now Boeing.
The Apache crew sits in tandem; the pilot behind and above the copilot/gunner. They are each able to fly the aircraft and engage the aircrafts weapons independently of each other. The crew compartment has shielding between the cockpits allowing at least one crew member to survive if the helicopter is hit. One of the features that gives the Apache an edge over other helicopters is the helmet mounted display or the Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS). With the IHADSS the pilots are able to pair their helmets with the 30mm automatic M230 Chain Gun, making the gun track their head movements.
The Apache can operate during the day or night and in adverse weather using the avionics and advanced sensor suites onboard. Each Apache is equipped with the Target Acquisition and Designation System, Pilot Night Vision System (TADS/PNVS), passive countermeasures, GPS (Global Positioning System), and the IHADSS making it one of the most important aircraft the U.S. Army has available.
The Apache helicopter has a four-blade main rotor and a four-blade tail rotor and can reach a maximum speed of 227 mph. Each Apache is armed with 30 mm M230 Chain Gun; Hydra 70 mm and CRV7 70 mm air-to-ground rockets; AGM-114 Hellfire; AIM-92 Stinger.
The Army has more than 800 Apaches in service. In addition to being used in Panama in 1989, the Apache has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, in Afghanistan as part of Operation Anaconda, and in South Korea in 2003. Apache helicopters have also been a part of peacekeeping missions in Turkey, Bosnia, Kosovo and other low intensity operations.
Information for the Apache helicopters can be found at: