posted on Mar, 7 2005 @ 04:51 PM
Friends, it grieves me to have to tell you all this, but there is simply no way you can make a helicopter "stealthy", if by "stealthy" you
mean lowering its radar cross section (RCS) substantially. Admittedly, the less things hanging off a helicopter (like pylons and stores) the smaller
its RCS will be; but there are no attack helicopters which don't have a tail rotor (except, of course the Kamov designs with the conter-rotating
rotors or the CH-47 with tandem rotors). That tail rotor, plus the main rotor(s) itself/ themselves, result in a huge RCS.
As far as a sound signature -- well helicopters are noisy. If you're within a couple of miles of a helicopter, you'll like as not hear it.
IR signatures can be lowered, simply by mixing ambient air with the engine exhaust, but a true "stealth" helicopter is like a barking chicken --
there just isn't one.
"Actually, I remember watching a show on the Apache, and I believe they said that the Apache led the first invasion into Iraq in 1991. I'm not
sure if they flew in to take out SAMS, communications systems, or radar installations, but they were definitely leading the invasion."
They destroyed the early warning radars on the border with designated HELLFIRE missiles. Most of the radar operators did not know there was an attack
going on until they were safe in the bosom of Abraham.
By the time the early warning radars' disappearance was noticed by the Iraqi high command, the sky above the burned-out buildings was filled by VERY
fast-moving Brits and Americans, who controlled the skies. The Kuwait war was in doubt for about 120 seconds; by the time the fast movers came
through, the war was effectively over.
"As far as a stealth helicopter... Apache's can fly low enough to the ground where normal radar doesn't even pick them up anyway, correct? With
all the night time technology they now have aboard, they can fly without being seen. The new technology in the longbow version can fire at weapons
systems miles away before the systems would even know they are there. Not to mention it can attack multiple targets simultaniously. Plus with the use
of satellites and air recon, we'd know where the majority of anti-aircraft weaponry was in advance of any invasion. "
Yes. The AH-64D (it's not legally a "longbow" unless it has the LockMart Longbow FCR mounted) is a completely different aircraft. It's built
around a MIL-1553 bus and four procesors that I would tell you about but I'd have to kill myself first; a glass cockpit (no "steam gauges" and a
very robust communications and ASE capacity.
Not only that, but one Longbow can acquire a bunch of targets from behind a hill, prioritize them, and squirt the target data via its IDM to another
Longbow or three where the prioritized targest will appear on their multifunction displays exactly as they would had the new aircraft taken picues of
them with its own radar.
This ability permits mixed squadrons of one Longbow and two or three plain-vanilla D-models. Since the Lockmart FCR costs about $6-7 million a pop,
you can imagine the savings....
"Another reason they may have cancelled the comanche, in addition to the financial one, is the fact that the longbow apache was so much more
advanced than the regular apache that it was practically a different helicopter in terms of the things it could accomplish. "
Exactly. Since the Comanche was so far over weight, budget, and behind schedlue, the AH-64A and then the Longbow progr4esseed theorug several
iterations and block mods until it got to the point taht it had all the capabilitis of thre Comanche, ancd could carry a whole lot more
ordnance. The rationale for the Comanche simply went away.
"The army actually had a competition which pitted the original apache against the longbow. The number of ground targets that the longbow was able
to take out compared to the original apache was staggering. I'm willing to bet it was more than double."
We did something at Yuma as a part of the AH-64D IOT&E (initial operational test & evaluation).
Your bet is a sucker bet; it defeated almost eight times the number of targets, and the Army considers it to be sixteen times as lethal as the
A-model, when you crank in all the changes.
[edit on 7-3-2005 by Off_The_Street]