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AN/APG-78 Longbow Fire Control Radar

The Longbow Fire Control Radar with its distinctive mast mounted antenna is a 35 GHz radar system for the detection, location, classification and prioritization of tactical targets. The AH-64D is armed with the Lockheed Martin/Boeing AGM-114D Longbow Hellfire air-to-surface missile which has a millimeter wave seeker which allows the missile to perform in full fire and forget mode. Range is 8km to 12km.

The Longbow Fire Control Radar and its weapons counterpart, the radar-guided, "fire and forget" Longbow Hellfire missile, enable the potent Apache attack helicopter to detect, classify and prioritize ground targets day or night, in poor weather and obscured conditions; then attack those targets with pinpoint accuracy from ranges that safeguard the lives of the aircrew. Developed and built for the U.S. Army by Longbow LLC, (a joint venture with Lockheed Martin), it has also been ordered by the British Army.

The AH-64D Apache Longbow (Apache Longbow Team, AMSTA-LC-CSAL) is an improved variation of the AH-64A Apache aircraft modified to integrate the mast mounted Longbow fire control radar with the Hellfire Missile System. Longbow is the result of a development and acquisition program for a millimeter wave radar air/ground targeting system capable of being used in day or night, in adverse weather, and through battlefield obscurants.

The Longbow is a modification of the Apache helicopter that consists of an upgraded airframe, a newly developed radar, and the Longbow Hellfire missile. The Apache Longbow is designed to conduct precision attacks in adverse weather conditions, automatically engage multiple targets, provide fire and forget missile capability, and operate on the digital battlefield of the future. The radar, the key component of the Longbow, is designed to provide the helicopter with the capability to automatically detect, classify, and prioritize targets. In 1991, the Army planned to develop and procure 227 Longbow Apache helicopters. In May 1993, the program was restructured to upgrade the entire fleet of 758 helicopters to the Apache Longbow configuration but outfit only 227 with the fire control radar and a more powerful 701C engine. Full rate production of both the Apache Longbow airframe and fire control radar was authorized in October 1995. The first contract for 10 fire control radars was awarded in March 1993, and the second contract was finalized in January 1997 for an additional 11 radars.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:36:15 ZULU