American attack helicopter AH-64 Apache will receive a new long-range missile to destroy ground targets
The American attack helicopter AH-64 Apache will receive a new missile for engaging ground targets no earlier than 2028, development is being carried out within the framework of the LRPM (Long Range Precision Munition) program.
According to Popular Mechanics magazine, the Pentagon is currently looking for options for a new missile that will allow the helicopter to hit targets without entering the air defense zone. Comparative tests of the missiles proposed for the tender are scheduled for 2022. The new rocket is to enter service by 2028.
The author of the article notes that the long-range missile is extremely necessary for the American attack helicopter, since the air defense systems of Russia and China "are becoming more and more dangerous." It is emphasized that the range of destruction of the Russian air defense systems "Tor" and "Pantsir" reaches 20 km, so the Apache must receive a missile with a range of at least 30 km in order to hit targets without being exposed to danger.
Earlier, the US Army announced the requirements for the new missile. According to them, it must hit ground targets (manpower, lightly armored vehicles and control posts) at a distance of at least 30 km, and it must also be able to overcome and hit complex air defense systems. The mass of the rocket should not exceed 91 kg together with the launch container, if such is provided for by its design. It is separately emphasized that the rocket should cover 30 km in no more than 100 seconds.
Currently as "weapons long-range "AH-64 Apache helicopters use the Israeli Spike NLOS missile, capable of hitting ground targets at a range of 32 km. However, the Pentagon said that this is a temporary measure. It is emphasized that the Spike NLOS will not replace the Hellfire missile, which has a range of approximately 8 km. The US Army wants to keep alternative weapons.
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