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Indonesia receives first AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter
February 22, 2018
Indonesian Army AH-64E Apache Guardian. Photo credit: Wayan Agus

Indonesia receives first AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter

The Indonesian Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Darat: TNI-AD) took delivery of its first three Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopters from the U.S. on December 18.

Indonesia sought eight AH-64E in 2012 in a $1.42 billion U.S. deal that includes 140 AGM-114R3 Hellfire II anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), 19 General Electric T-700-GE-701D turboshaft engines, training, spare parts and logistical support.

The AH-64E is the latest variant of the Apache, a heavyweight attack helicopter platform capable of anti-armour and anti-infantry operations. It is the mainstay attack helicopter of the U.S. Army as well as the U.K., Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Israel and others.

Jakarta formally inked the deal when the U.S. Defense Department issued a $296 million order to Boeing manufacture the helicopters. Indonesia, along with Qatar and India, is among the Apache Guardian’s new customers with orders on Boeing’s current orderbook.

Leveraging its defence and civil deals, the Indonesian government is hoping that Boeing will invest in the country with offsets and co-production workshare.

Speaking to local media, Indonesia’s Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said, “Now Boeing is operating an office in Singapore. They should also have it [in Indonesia],” adding, “they [Boeing] also need to think about having an assembly plant here to build some parts of the planes.”

The TNI-AD is reportedly in talks with Boeing for the possible purchase of CH-47F Chinook heavy transport and utility helicopters. The CH-47F has a maximum take-off weight of 22.6 tons and a payload capacity of 10.9 tons. It can travel a cruise speed of 291 km/h and has an operational radius of 370.4 km.

If brought to fruition, a Chinook deal would begin building the logistics element of Indonesia’s widespread airpower modernization efforts, which are seeing the induction of new attack assets in the form of the AH-64E and refurbished F-16C/D Block-25 from the U.S. Jakarta also has 11 Su-35 from Russia on order.

  • TheSchwantzPhenom

    AH-64E is a highly advanced, deadly attack platform as has been shown in conflicts of Middle East (Iraq and Afghanistan). Designed from the outset as an anti-tank/anti-armour platform, it has shown considerable efficiency in handling infantry targets as well. Numerous leaked/de-classified videos of apache helicopters raining down fire on insurgents from stand off ranges show its prowess. But the question is why a relatively peaceful country like Indonesia is under-taking such a huge modernisation drive for its armed forces? Who does it fear? It has a relatively peaceful and a quiet neighborhood. Is it keeping China in mind for the long term?

    Secondly, interoperability of 2 vastly different air force platforms (F-16s and Su-35s) could be an issue. Data-Link plays a key role in today’s air-to-air combat. I dont think US or Russia would part with the codes of their data link systems with Indonesian Air Force to promote interoperability.

    Indonesia could look to regional ally India for spares and parts, as it is already manufacturing a lot of components (fuselage, tail rotor, hydraulics etc.) of Apaches, Chinooks and C-130 hercules aircrafts and is supplying them globally. With Boeing recently committing additional funds for setting up more large scale aerospace parks in india, India could well become one of the leading suppliers of spares and parts for boeing military aircrafts. Indonesia would find it cheaper to import from india than spending huge sums in setting up facilities in Indonesia from scratch. Moreover i believe the Indonesian order is far too small to justify any manufacturing facility being set up in Indonesia by boeing.

    • Steve

      I wish people would not write untruths based on their own dreams here, as if they were facts. I did not know Indonesia and India were ‘regional allies’? Getting a few planes serviced does not make for allies. I do remember reading that Sukarno said to Ayub Khan to take “anything you want from my country” in the 1965 war, and was personally thanked. The relationship has progressed since then:

      https://www.pressreader.com/indonesia/the-jakarta-post/20170323/281947427673661

      Just wanted to factually correct and counter Indian propoganda.
      On the other point a lot of countries make parts for Boeing and have been for years.

      http://www.pakpassion.net/ppforum/showthread.php?19172-Prime-Minister-opens-Boeing-parts-facility-at-PAC

      As usual we get the claim that Boeing and India are one and the same lol. The boasting goes on and on 😉

      • TheSchwantzPhenom

        I am sorry. But i am not Indian. I am french, born and raised in a small town of southern france and currently working for a french firm based in germany. I have been closely associated with an industry which has been involved in supplying military as well as civilian naval equipment to India. I have visited India multiple times for work related issues and have a certain affection with that country. That doesn’t mean i am here to propagate lies and false propaganda about India as you accuse me of. I just dont get what irks some people so much whenever “India” gets mentioned that they go to the extent of falsely accusing and attacking others? I have never witnessed such hatred and animosity regarding one particular country anytime before in my whole life.

        Let me be honest, your paranoia and obsession with anything even remotely associated with india on this forum is just too much to ignore. Also your incessant vitriolic and venom laced comments against India (or any particular country) really raise some serious questions about your mental health. You are entitled to your opinion about India but your acrimonious behavior and meaningless political/religious rants threaten to destroy the sanctity and the purpose of this very informative defense website. I sincerely hope you find some peace in your life.

        • Steve

          Laudable comments I am sure. A bit patronising. Anyway I’m prepared to let it go and I have not read your comments closely enough to form an opinion. I know France and Germany very well friend and could you tell me which area you are associated with. Not your address of course lol! India is however not an ally of Indonesia and that needs correcting. I stand by my comments about Boring too. Furthermore there are others here who spew venom against Pakistan routinely and reflexively and I think you are suggesting we let it go, and not respond to lies and false propaganda. That we will take that high moral ground proposal under consideration.

        • U

          Sir if you’ve been following this forum for some time you should know that its not just Steve who’s commenting in such a way. There are plenty of Pro Indians here , infact more than the Pro Pakistanis, posting comments about either glorifying India or belittling Pakistan or any of its Allies (China, Turkey).

          In all of this you too come along posting a pro Indian comment and to be honest surprising for me too, as I too have never heard of India and Indonesia being “regional allies”? Both Joseph and Steve have countered this untrue idea of yours with proper references.

          So it does sound like baseless propaganda as usual to any one who’s following this forum for some time.

          You also have mentioned that you have an “affection” for India. I believe it has blinded you so far to see all the comments being posted on this site against Pakistan and its allies so far. Other wise you wouldn’t have said this:

          ” I have never witnessed such hatred and animosity regarding one particular country anytime before in my whole life. ”

          ” Also your incessant vitriolic and venom laced comments against India (or any particular country) really raise some serious questions about your mental health. ”

          You don’t have to quickly avail the chance and attack him and take out all the rant you probably had against him. He didn’t “accuse” you of blasphemy or being a traitor against France.

          Sorry but just like the pro Indians here pro Pakistanis have all the right to counter such comments.

          PS: I am completely against posting useless point scoring comments here and try my best to ignore such comments.

          • TheSchwantzPhenom

            Not to call you out personally or something, but please refer to the above comprehensive replies posted by me and a user called Headstrong on the strengthening India-Indonesia ties. A lot of water has flown under the bridge since 1965. Some people not familiar with the developments doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist or is not happening. For example, both countries currently enjoy a bilateral trade ($26bn USD) which even surpasses the all-weather relationship of China and Pakistan ($15bn USD) so to speak. Moreover Indonesian president Jokowi has signed numerous defense agreements last year when he visited India. Some of them, among others, included maritime cooperation and joint patrols in south china sea and IOR, joint training and higher education of military personnel, sharing of intelligence and other sensitive data, exchange of logistics, supplies and parts of defense hardware (Su-30, military grade jet fuel etc.) And yes it is China which indonesia fears the most that is why it is aggressively pursuing military modernisation plans and seeking newer allies. Dont believe me, then you dont have to. Here are two sources you can refer to gain more insight :
            https://thediplomat.com/2016/11/reviving-the-india-indonesia-relationship/
            http://www.firstpost.com/india/india-indonesia-ties-maritime-cooperation-is-key-takeaway-from-president-joko-widodos-visit-3154212.html
            Moreover the diplomat article amply proves that Joseph’s theory regarding Indonesia’s stance of ” a million friends and zero enemies” is completely redundant. In may last year president Jokowi had published a white paper, calling for a much aggressive role of Indonesia in pursuing its policies in the region, outlining country’s role in playing a more aggressive role in the Indian ocean and South China Sea and safeguarding its maritime interests “against external forces” in a clear reference to china. China claims Indonesia’s resource rich Natuna islands as its own and currently has an ongoing dispute with them. That is explains their drift towards India and aggressive military modernisation plans.

        • TZK

          I think you need to revisit history of partition to understand why both India and Pak have the relationship that they do. This site is not bad but on other sites anything goes. Most often the contentious comment invariably comes from a pro-Indian side first. This has been very evident ever since the populist Govt of Modi was elected. The following is a quote from Wiki on him ‘Modi, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is a Hindu nationalist and member of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’. As an example it is like having Marine Le Pen elected in France so any criticism is viewed a an attack. I suppose with populist Govt’s people become both over sensitive and emboldened at the same time.

    • Joseph

      According to this article:https://thediplomat.com/2014/02/indonesian-foreign-policy-a-million-friends-and-zero-enemies/ Indonesia pursued a non-aligning “A Million Friends and Zero Enemies” foreign policy and do not take sides of major powers, so naturally they bought M-35 too, have both F-16 and Su-30.

      Indonesia used to have good relationships with India because India was also a non-alignment country.

      But under Modi India’s foreign policy moved away from non-alignment:https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/india/2016-09-19/india-after-nonalignment

      Now India joined US led military alliance, so I expect Indonesia and India relationship will cool down a bit.

      • TheSchwantzPhenom

        Thank you for the link. Much appreciated.
        Also, i am not an Indian nor am i from India. But i closely follow defense related developments in South Asia, especially india.
        If you, like others also think that i am here purely because i want to spread Indian propaganda on behalf of India then you are wrong. I am saying this because one (pakistani?) commentor below who seems to be really mentally ill to me accused me of the same.
        To be honest i merely say whatever knowledge and information i have. And in this case i stand corrected. But i believe that is what forums such as these are meant for. The more knowledge you share the more it grows.

        • Steve

          Sir characterising people who differ with your opinion and robustly rebut it as “mentally ill” is a personal attack and breaks forum rules. As a European you should know that.

        • Joseph

          No worries. But to be honest I am Australian and even I thought you were Indian, and Indian nationalists here are notoriously over sensitive and abusive (and some Pakistanis too), a lot of discussions here became some sort of p*****g contests with all kinds of personal attacks due to their involvement.

          If you want to share knowledge and participate discussions here in a constructive way then being partial would not help at all. And calling people “mentally ill” is also not a good start.

      • TheSchwantzPhenom

        “A Million Friends and Zero Enemies” for Indonesia is a thing of the past. I am afraid your information is obsolete. In May 2016 Joko “jokowi” Widodo, the Indonesian President published a white paper. Under the government of President Jokowi, Indonesia has elevated the strategic importance of the maritime domain by referring to the country as a “maritime fulcrum” with ambitions of emerging as a “global maritime power” and unveiling a new defense strategy that put a renewed focus on maritime security. This has been accompanied by a more aggressive approach in protecting the country’s naval boundaries, as seen by the detention and sinking of foreign fishing vessels that stray into its waters; plans to upgrade the country’s naval and drone capabilities and step up oil and gas exploration activities around the Natuna Islands.These developments are a significant shift from Indonesia’s traditionally “hands-off” approach on maritime affairs, as evidenced by the country’s official position of being a non-claimant state to the maritime territorial disputes in the South China Sea, despite the partial overlap between Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone and China’s “nine-dash line” claim to waters around the Natuna Island chain. Both India and Indonesia continue to face unresolved disputes with China and latent concerns that China’s rise as a major power could impinge on their own regional ambitions.
        Source: https://thediplomat.com/2016/11/reviving-the-india-indonesia-relationship/
        Similarly Jokowi visited India in december last year to conclude a maritime agreement with india. Even though China was not explicitly mentioned the stock statements issued amply pointed towards China. Closer military cooperation with India was to prevent “external influence which disturbs the freedom of navigation, impinges on sovereignty of the nations and the overall peace of the IOR.”
        Source: http://www.firstpost.com/india/india-indonesia-ties-maritime-cooperation-is-key-takeaway-from-president-joko-widodos-visit-3154212.html
        Moreover Indonesia had signed an agreement with India for the supply of spares and parts for Indonesia’s Su-30 fleet, which HAL produces under license from Russia.

        • Joseph

          I think you are reading way too much into one visit of Indonesia president to India. Both Indian prime minister and US president visited China recently, do they mean anything?

          Actually neither of your articles said anything about Indonesia moving away from non-alignment foreign policy.

          To be honest neither article said much about anything concrete, almost all of your statements are of your own. Even your quote was not from your reference articles, are you assuming nobody would read them through?

          At this point I think Steve was right to say almost everything you said was propaganda, it is very hard to look it any other way.

          It turns out to be a mistake to take your seriously. I guess I will ignore you from now on.

    • Headstrong

      Why is Indonesia undertaking a modernisation drive? Well, it’s happening all over the South East. You would have noted the Natuna Islands skirmishes where the Chinese Coast Guard attempted to physically intimidate an Indonesian maritime ministry patrol boat from arresting a Chinese fishing boat illegally fishing in Indonesia’s EEZ. Since then, Indonesia has upped the ante and renamed the seas off the islands as North Natuna Sea. The bone of contention is the rich minerals expected below the sea bed in the area, which China wants to claim as being part of its ‘historical fishing grounds’.
      Singapore’s arming up, so are Vietnam and Malaysia. For all Duterte’s kowtowing before China, Philippines isn’t giving up its claims to the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoals any time soon, and notwithstanding all Duterte’s foul mouthed tirades, it was still the US which helped him clear Marawi of ISIS insurgents.
      Hence you have SEA coastal states all arming up as a precaution against Chinese claims in SCS and its nine dashed lines.
      As far as India-Indonesia relations go, they’re pretty friendly. As the countries having the world’s largest and second largest Muslim populations, and unarguably the world’s most progressive Muslims, as well as the proximity and joint challenges both face from radical Islamic extremist groups, it is but natural that both countries engage so deeply with each other. There is the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (trade between the two countries is $50 Billion. Then there’s the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee, New Strategic Partnership, Maritime Cooperation, CORPATs etc. So, yes, the relationship could be considered as pretty close.
      Boeing’s investments in India are being upscaled big time. Headquartered in Delhi, Boeing’s India operations include an office and a Boeing Research & Technology Center in Bangalore, field service offices in Mumbai, Hindan, Rajali and New Delhi. Boeing subsidiary, Jeppesen—a provider of flight navigation solutions—is well established in Hyderabad. Another subsidiary, Continental Data Graphics (CDG) in Chennai, is also expanding its footprint in the country. Boeing has formed a joint venture with Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to collaborate in aerospace and defence manufacturing and potential integrated systems development opportunities, including unmanned aerial vehicles. In a state-of-the-art facility with TAL Manufacturing Solutions Ltd, Boeing supports manufacture of complex floor beams for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. TAL also makes ground support equipment for the C-17. Dynamatic Technolgies and Boeing have inaugurated a plant to manufacture critical parts for the Chinook Heavy Lift Helicopters. Dynamatic Technologies and Tata Advanced Materials Limited (TAML) have delivered P-8I power and mission equipment cabinets, and TAML is on contract to provide P-8I auxiliary power unit door fairings and composite tailcones for the P-8I. Avantel has delivered the mobile satellite systems for the P-8I and Maini. Hyderabad-based Cyient has supported a number of critical design-engineering projects for Boeing airplanes, and currently provides design and stress support on the 747-8 Freighter and the 787-8 and 787-9. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) was the single-source producer of 757 overwing exit doors. HAL has also manufactured the 777 uplock boxes, F/A-18 gun bay doors, F/A-18 wire harnesses, P-8I weapons bay doors, and P-8I identification friend-or-foe transponders. Boeing’s additional new facility at the Boeing India Engineering and Technology Center (BIETC) in Bengaluru was inaugurated in September.
      There’s more but you get the picture. Indonesia could certainly do worse than to source its spares from India. I believe that is already in the pipeline.

      PS – if you dare to speak favourably of India, you WILL be attacked.

      • U

        Just as when the Admin dares to post an article remotely connected to Pakistan, the whole Indian brigade is obliged to belittle and attack it. Post essay upon essay of completely unrelated Indian “marvelous achievements”. Drag it to a point where its absolutely ridiculous.

      • TheSchwantzPhenom

        Thank you for such a comprehensive reply and a deep insight. Your comments are more logical, informative and above all stick to the subject matter. Some people might cherry pick items, provide links to op-eds and start waving it around as if that is the norm for a country rather an exception. Similarly after doing a bit of my own research I have come to the conclusion that i was not at all wrong in my assessment of bilateral ties which I had based mostly on the latest Modi-Jokowi meeting. India and Indonesia currently enjoy nearly $26 billion USD (2017)of bilateral annual trade between them, which is incidentally more than the bilateral trade between China and Pakistan. Indian IT and oil companies are spending $15 billion USD annually in Indonesia. Moreover Indonesia is one of the closest ASEAN partner of India which is evident by their increased political convergence.The latest Modi-Jokowi meeting resulted in a lot of bilateral agreements, most notable of which was bilateral agreement in defense sector regarding maritime cooperation in south china sea and IOR, joint training, higher education of military personnel, exchange of logistics, supplies and parts of defense hardware. And that is why i said, since india and Indonesia have signed such a comprehensive defense agreement after Joko “jokowi” Widodo visited India, that Indonesia can easily look to India for spare parts of its Apache and Chinook helicopters from india. But alas i was attacked by people who don’t even have any tiniest bit of knowledge regarding India-Indonesia relations but are quick to jump to the conclusions.

  • Steve

    Good heavy helicopter. In air shows the real size can be appreciated close up and it’s huge, the size of an 18 wheeler (figuratively speaking, don’t start quoting cm’s). US arms deals do come with political baggage and sometimes too much leverage for countries who want independent political and strategic choices (as many have discovered). There are multiple other strings-free choices now like the Rooivalk and the Mi-28N in the heavy category. We are also buying AH-1Z in the same category but remains to be seen if political considerations will allow the entire deal to seen through. The ‘do more’ mantra is irritatingly familiar and is getting louder. We need at least 20-25 more to compliment the new T-129’s and Mi-35’s. Bilal I seem to remember you did a comparison between AH-64D and Mi-28N a while back. With Syrian war data on the Night Stalker it would be interesting to revisit at some stage if the info is available.

    • Joseph

      Sorry, posted wrong place.

    • mazhar

      I had always been vocal on this issue, our top brass should accept this fact that US arms deals for Pak had been very hand-tying deals for us, these deals were the best at that time, but now lots of facts and political scenarios have changed. “DO MORE” will never stop. Last time I checked, night stalker did not have millimeter wave radar or Russian were reluctant to fit in it for us, don’t know what is the exact story. The “mickey mouse” shape of the night stalker have also been changed, it was reshaped amidst the Syrian war. Other great aspect of the Night Stalker is it’s dual pilot ability. After Mi 35, Mi-28N should be our top priority. You never know when Viper deal is wiped out.

    • TZK

      The Iraq Afghanistan wars did so much to promote US military hardware and this was one of the beneficiaries of those campaigns. I note that the Soviets had used the Mil Mi24 in Afghanistan with success until the Taliban were given Stinger MANPADS by the USA. During the Iraq wars there was complete domination of the air by USA and combined with lack of ground cover for the Iraqi forces made it easy for the Apache and the A-10 to hunt them down. I am not sure if the Apache or any other attack copter has been tested in a situation without air superiority, plenty of ground cover and opposing infantry armed with MANPADS.

      • Steve

        I don’t think Apache has ever come up against an properly armed adversary or even flown in a defended airspace. Since Vietnam USA has been very careful to only attack countries who have no chance of giving a good account of themselves. Then too after use of air power for months to degrade defences like Gulf War I. That is why they will never attack little Kim, China, Russia, Pakistan or even Iran for that matter. Apaches sat out the Kosovo conflict in Albania because Serbs second class weapons scared the c**p out of them. In the subcontinent’s scenario there’s never going to be an all out war because nuclear weapons, particularly TNW are the great equaliser. All our conventional procurements are to prevent the enemy claiming victory after a brief skirmish or limited conflict and to maintain a semblance of balance.

        • TheSchwantzPhenom

          You are seriously misinformed i must warn. The opening strikes against Saddam’s air defense assets (SAM/AAAs) during the First gulf war came from AH-64 apaches. Due to the threat of SAM and AAAs, no coalition fighters were allowed to operate over the skies of Iraq before Operation Desert Storm formally began. On 17th January, 1991 at 2:46 am as is mentioned in the now declassified reports , the opening shots of the war which moments later culminated in the beginning of operation desert storm was fired by the AH-64 apache pliots of the 1st battalion, 101st aviation regiment, tasked to cripple a Command and Control centre overlooking a SAM/AD site in the area. This created a narrow corridor for over 100 coalition fighters that night to funnel in and carry out strike missions further deep in Iraqi territory, in what is known as operation desert storm. So your assertion that “I don’t think Apache has ever come up against an properly armed adversary or even flown in a defended airspace” is utterly wrong. Apache helicopters, able to fly low and slow under the early warning radar’s altitude were specifically chosen over the special operations soldiers who were to be tasked with infiltrating Iraq, lasing the targets and guide artillery/air-strikes over them. General Schwarzkopf dismissed the idea of sending troops across into iraq as too risky (after failed operation Eagle Claw in Iran). So apaches were used. Therefore where A-10s, F-16s and F/A-18s failed to do the job, AH-64 apaches shined through. Before you again accuse me of being an Indian or spreading false propaganda here are the multiple sources which report of the daring, now declassified raid:
          https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/desert-storms-opening-shots-came-from-this-daring-helic-1753466057
          https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/gulf-war-20th-apache-raid/

          • TZK

            C&P from Wiki

            The Gulf War began with an extensive aerial bombing campaign on 16 January 1991. For 42 consecutive days and nights, the coalition forces subjected Iraq to one of the most intensive air bombardment in military history. The coalition flew over 100,000 sorties, dropping 88,500 tons of bombs,[109] and widely destroying military and civilian infrastructure.[110] The air campaign was commanded by USAF Lieutenant General Chuck Horner, who briefly served as US Central Command’s Commander-in-Chief – Forward while General Schwarzkopf was still in the US.
            A day after the deadline set in Resolution 678, the coalition launched a massive air campaign, which began the general offensive codenamed Operation Desert Storm. The first priority was the destruction of Iraq’s Air Force and anti-aircraft facilities. The sorties were launched mostly from Saudi Arabia and the six carrier battle groups (CVBG) in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.

            and

            Iraqi anti-aircraft defenses, including man-portable air-defense systems, were surprisingly ineffective against enemy aircraft and the coalition suffered only 75 aircraft losses in over 100,000 sorties, 44 due to Iraqi action. Two of these losses are the result of aircraft colliding with the ground while evading Iraqi ground fired weapons.[111][112] One of these losses is a confirmed air-air victory.[113]

      • Joseph

        There is no way A-10 or Apache can survive against a proper jet fighter, so ground wars usually only start after air dominance is gained. That is why air force is so important.

        MANPADS such as FIM-92 Stinger are usually Infrared homing missiles, newer models included ultraviolet sensors to detect decoys and flares. Apache’s engine exhausts are treated to reduce infrared signature. A-10 engines’ high 6:1 bypass ratio contributes to a relatively small infrared signature, and their position directs exhaust over the tailplanes further shielding it from detection by infrared homing surface-to-air missiles according to wikipedia.

        Using a high bypass engine which most airliners use apparently suitable for a close air support aircraft.

        But if detected and locked on by something like Stinger, I think there is very little chance for either A-10 or Apache to survive. Advanced electro-optical systems nowadays can detect missile launches but if flares don’t work, neither aircraft is maneuverable enough to dodge these missiles.

      • Joseph

        Apparently in 2014 it was reported that: https://web.archive.org/web/20141010110208/http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/10/381687/isil-uses-qatarlinked-arms-evidence-hint/ ISIS used Chinese FN-6 to shoot down a Mi-35, which is Russian equivalent of Apache. It is kind of scary a $10 million+ attack helicopter can be shot down by a $5,000 MANPADS, not even the latest FN-16 with UV sensors.

        This article: http://www.aviationtoday.com/2012/02/01/countering-manpads/ discussed MANPADS counter measures, but none seems to be very mature yet.

        Maybe in future high power lasers could be small and light enough to mount on helicopters to effectively counter MANPADS.

  • Charles Bronson

    There is so much of misinformation floating around in the comments section of quwa, its surprising. I have been a long time silent visitor of Quwa, but after reading some absolutely rubbish comments about AH-64D/E Apaches here, i couldn’t prevent my self from posting. I wonder if this is a properly planned campaign to malign apache or is it simply a manifestation of utter lack of knowledge?

    For example, in the assessment report released by the Department of Defense titled “Operation Desert Storm: Evaluation of the Air Campaign”, it is clearly mentioned that out of the total 38 USAF fighter aircrafts lost to the enemy ground fire, 13 of the 38 (i.e, 34%) aircrafts were lost due to portable, shoulder launched IR surface-to-air missiles. Also known as MANPADs. It was followed by 10 (i.e, 26%) to radar guided SAM systems and the remaining 9 (i.e, 24%) to AAA (ant-aircraft artillery) fire or flak guns. Worth mentioning is the fact that an overwhelming majority of the IR SAM systems used by the Iraqi ground troops were the soviet supplied SA-7.
    During operation desert storm the USAF flew 112,200 sorties during the 44 day long war.
    With F-16 (11,698), A-10s (8,640) and F/A-18s (4,559) comprising the bulk of the strike missions. According to the report there were 7 F-16 casualties (both damaged or destroyed by enemy ground fire), 20 A-10 casualties and 10 F/A-18 damaged/lost to ground fire. The report further publishes their casualty to strike mission ratio, with F-16s having the lowest among the three at 0.0006, followed by F/A-18 at 0.0022 and then A-10 at 0.0023. On the other hand declassified report of United States General Accounting Office (GAO) report formulated in august 1992 states that the Army Aviation Corp, especially the 1st Battalion, flew 652 missions in Apache with only 1 damaged due to 79 millimeter AAA fire, giving it a casualty to strike mission ratio of 0.0015. Compared to other fixed wing fast movers like F-16, F-18 and A-10 the apache fared quite well even though it lacked advanced countermeasures that time, more than 50% (29 out of 46) of its missions were armed reconnaissance which employed sneaking behind enemy lines and getting in close proximity to the enemy’s weapons employment zone and were extensively (44 out of its total 76 missions) used in the first 5 days of war when most of coalition aircrafts were lost to the enemy ground fire.

    So all these false assertions by some commentors here that AH-64 Apache cannot survive in a contested battlespace, or in the presence of heavy anti-air capabilities is utterly ridiculous. First Gulf War amply proves that Apache fared quite comparably (if not worse) to other strike platforms in US inventory in anti-air threat environment even though it lacked more modern avionics of the now improved D and E versions and carried out high-risk missions in a contested battlefield.

    • Headstrong

      ‘I wonder if this is a properly planned campaign to malign Apache or is it simply a manifestation of utter lack of knowledge?’
      You probably know that India has ordered the Apache. That should give you your answer

      • TZK

        Every weapon system has a limitation and some of Apache’s perceived limitations were pointed out-that’s what defence forums are all about, or are we supposed to say how good it is just because India has purchased them. So here it goes to everyone out there THE APACHE IS GOOD BECAUSE INDIA HAS BOUGHT THEM AND INDIANS AS WE ALL KNOW ARE GOOD AT BUYING ARMS! Is that enough Mr Headstrong or should I say more to please our Indian neighbours?

        • Headstrong

          Yes, actually. You could also help further by
          1. Not using the religious angle in every argument
          2. Not attacking everyone who even remotely suggests a position which aligns with the Indian view.
          Don’t take this personally. It’s not meant exclusively for you 😄

          • TZK

            Unfortunately points 1 and 2 would amount to being censored by you and as I have freedom of speech within the guidelines of this forum and do not live in India I will not be censoring myself just to please you or our Indian friends on this forum. FYI I do not ‘attack’ but put forward alternative arguments and if that bothers you then I am afraid you have to stop ‘attacking’ Pak or Muslims generally and we will have adult debates instead of childish arguments.

          • Headstrong

            As I said, not all of what I suggested was exclusively for you.
            And you DID ask 😄

    • Steve

      Thanks for your comment. For your assertion to be statistically valid the preconditions must be the same too (and not just strike to casualty ratio), i.e. how many Apaches were used and damaged after ground defences had already been degraded by fixed wing assets. In simple terms if your F-16 and A-10 have already bombed the c**p out of the Iraqis they maybe would not attack your Apaches as much, rather than the helicopters flying in a new non degraded area. Apart from the starting sneak raid I don’t know of Apaches going into new areas BEFORE fixed wing. The air campaign lasted >40 days before ground forces and Apaches went in. Please tell us if you have that info. Furthermore how can you explain this;

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-12/29/014r-122999-idx.html

      http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2003/04/chop_the_chopper.html

      I’m not trolling but looking for sensible answers.
      Cheers

      • Joseph

        Interesting article about politics of A-10 (air force) and Apache (army). Some bloomberg articles I read before about air force always wanted to get rid of A-10 now starting to make sense.

        But Apache I think is still quite impressive. I mean in that Gulf War II raid 30 of them were shot up but just one down, and even the pilots of the shot down Apache did not die. That is not too bad.

        I think I am starting to understand Apache’s capabilities.

        • Steve

          Of course its impressive like other heavy attack helicopters. In our subcontinental context not so sure. The adversaries are not evenly matched but the decripancy is a lot less than NATO vs Saddam’s Iraq.

    • TheSchwantzPhenom

      Well said Charles. Especially since India is going to operate them in the near future, you see all these comments expressing severe doubt and questions coming from pakistanis about Apaches’s survivability, capabilities and relevance in modern day battlefields. I guess if it was the other way round we would have heard them boasting how their apaches will shoot down Indian Su-30s and french rafales and drop nuclear bombs and blow Indian tanks and what not. The obsession and inferiority complex is so clear that some self proclaimed defence pundits on this forum have even called for Pakistan buying Mi-28N helicopters. LMAO!!! With a meagre defense budget of $9 billion USD some here call for Pakistan to operate a fleet of 4 different attack helicopters-AH-1Z, T-129, Mi-35 and Mi-28 all at the same time. Not even USA with nearly 70 times the Pakistan’s defense budget operates 4 different attack helicopters. You have got to give a rousing applause to their wisdom. What is even more amusing is the fact that they call for Pakistan to get more choppers when they themselves raise serious questions about a combat chopper’s survivability in a heavily contested environment and against a capable adversary.
      When India buys an attack helicopter they want 4 different varieties of attack choppers for themselves. All the talk of su-35s and TFX takes a back seat. When India buys a plane they want TFX, J-31, J-20 alongwith Su-35 for themselves. Then attack helicopters for Pakistan take a back seat. If that is not obsession with India then what else it is.

      • TZK

        Pak interested in these for coin mainly. In relation to defence budgets I guess Pak is more efficient otherwise your side would have walked in by now according to many Indian commentators here.

    • Joseph

      Interesting. To be honest this is quite a surprise to me. I always thought US won almost without casualties. And I always thought A-10 is far superior close air support aircraft compare to Apache. The only limitation of A-10 I thought was it must operate within range of airports.

      I thought A-10 was faster and more maneuverable than Apache in battle fields, but as you said US lost 20 A-10 and none of Apache.

      What do you think made Apache more survivable than A-10? Is it because Apache only did low flying commando style surprise attack when enemy air defense could not response in time? Or is it actually more survivable than A-10 among heavy air defense? If it were the later than why would US even want A-10?

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