“The upgraded aircraft integrates modern technology for both the aviator and maintainers in our battalion,” Capt. Timothy Luchs, D Company commander, said.
“For our maintainers, the new systems onboard allows them better diagnostic capability and decreases the downtime of the aircraft. While for the aviator, AH-64E provides an overall increased situational awareness with an upgraded sensor suite, level 4 manned-unmanned teaming, and an upgraded drive system which is a vast improvement over the Delta variant of the model.”
Fielding began in November, and the unit has since received 12 of 24 aircraft. Fielding of the aircraft is projected to be completed in February 2022.
The Version 6 AH-64E model of the Apache is the final planned modernization of the aircraft, replacing the AH-64D Apache attack helicopters. The V6 enhances the Apache’s fundamental mission: to search and destroy. They include:
• An improved cockpit map display that will allow pilots to use digital map images to see terrain and other topographical features, increasing pilot situational awareness.
• Multiple upgrades to the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision System (MTADS/PNVS) provides improved resolution and acuity allowing pilots to pick up targets more clearly at longer distances on their display screens.
• A GEN3 Day Sensor Assembly (GEN3 DSA), which doubles the sensor’s field of view and increases resolution while adding color imagery to improve target detection and identification.
• Link 16 communications, which allows the Apache “to switch network connections on the spot, and merge different networks for an operational picture,” resulting in improved real-time situational awareness in the aircraft’s cockpit.
• Manned-Unmanned Teaming eXpanded (MUMT-X) software designed to allow Apache pilots to directly control other Army unmanned aerial systems, and receive UAS video in the cockpit while directing their flight path and controlling their sensors.