The Army’s mission in Europe now boasts the military’s most state-of-the-art attack helicopter, with the recent delivery of the first of 24 new Apaches to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in Germany, U.S. Army Europe and Africa said Friday.
Two of the new models were delivered Sept. 1 at the Army’s airfield in Wiesbaden, home to USAREUR-AF headquarters and a 12th CAB battalion.
Known as the AH-64E Version 6 Apache Guardian, the helicopter comes equipped with upgraded sensors, software and weapon systems.
“This new aircraft gives us so many more capabilities,” 1st Lt. Brigit Duffy, a maintenance platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment (Attack Battalion), said in the USAREUR-AF statement. “There are upgrades on so many different aspects of the aircraft, which will better aid our abilities to support our allies here in the European theater.”
The brigade, which is headquartered in Ansbach and has battalions at airfields in Katterbach, Grafenwoehr and Wiesbaden, is expected to eventually receive a total of two dozen new model Apaches, the Army said.
Built by Boeing, the Apache has served as the backbone of the service’s attack helicopter fleet for decades and can fire an array of armor-destroying rockets and missiles.
The Apache’s upgraded instruments also will enhance troops’ ability to navigate in bad weather, said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Michael Weisskopf, the standardization officer for the brigade.
Pilots have received updated training at the Army Aviation Center of Excellence in Alabama to prepare to fly the new aircraft, the service said.