The US Army has begun inducting the latest Version 6 (V6) standard of the Boeing AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, with the first examples delivered to operational units in early 2021.
A group of AH-64E version 6 Apache helicopters depart the Boeing manufacturing facilities at Mesa, Arizona, on 13 January bound for Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The aircraft were delivered to the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. (Boeing)
The service announced on 26 January that the 1-229th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington became the first operational unit to receive the V6 Apache helicopter following deliveries direct from Boeing’s Mesa production facility in Arizona. Imagery released by the army showed at least seven helicopters to have made the journey.
This latest V6 configuration comprises a Modernized Day Sensor Assembly (MDSA), which greatly extends stand-off and is a game-changer against a complex and hybrid threat, an improved cognitive decision aiding system (CDAS), software upgrades, and an upgraded mission processor. It also includes a new maritime targeting mode, as well as aided target detection/classification; multimode laser image blending; a radar frequency interferometer (RFI); passive ranging/range extension; fire-control radar enhancements; Longbow integrated maintenance support system ground analysis software improvement; an interactive electronic technical manual upgrade; and Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW)-embedded diagnostics. Boeing has previously told
that Version 6 also increases the range of the mast mounted fire-control radar from 8 to 16 km.