Friday, October 16, 2009

Utah Guard Receives New Apache Longbow Helicopters

(SOF h/t)

The Utah Army National Guard’s 1-211th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion has received upgraded AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters to replace the AH-64A models currently in use.

The aircraft began arriving in the state late last week, and the next group of four helicopters are expected to arrive here at the Aviation Support Facility Oct. 15.

Lt. Col. James Bledsoe, commander of the 1-211th, said the “D” model Apache Longbow helicopter represents a significant improvement over the “A” model and is four times more lethal and seven times more survivable than the AH-64A.

The new helicopters have glass cockpits with multifunctional displays, upgraded night-vision systems, fire-control radars and improved situational awareness, said Bledsoe.

“These helicopters bring greater capability and survivability to the 1-211th,” said Bledsoe. “The new aircraft looks similar from the outside but is a completely different aircraft when sitting in the cockpit. “

Once the transition is completed, the Utah Guard will have 24 Longbow helicopters in its inventory.