Newly upgraded Apache attack helicopters codenamed AH-64E have arrived in Germany to support Operation Atlantic Resolve, the US' ongoing support for Nato's response to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, with the Army's 1st Cavalry Division out of Fort Hood, Texas, has taken over the US air mission in the region, according to a report by Task and Purpose (TP), a military news outlet. With the cavalry came the latest version of the attack helicopter.
The Apache gunship is known to be a vital part of the American war machine. The cavalry has reportedly taken 24 of the upgraded "E" variants to the European theatre, making them the first in the continent to receive completely overhauled Apaches.
The Apache gunship is known to be one of the US military's most feared and powerful helicopters and has been in active service since the 1980s. Manufactured by Boeing, the variant is an entirely new build and the upgrades include composite main rotor blades, a more powerful engine from GE called the 701D, a new drive system, and complete digitisation of the aircraft.
Apaches are among the aircraft in the US military that seems to be receiving a lot of upgrades. Earlier this year, a new laser-based weapons system was tested on an Apache and the pilot's helmets received a major bump in specs and features that, according to its makers, provide "improved safety features and comfort that provides situational awareness and targeting information". The new helmet is likely to be part of the kit that the cavalry brought to Europe, specifically aimed at Russia.
For its part, Russia seems focussed on automation and AI-based weaponry. The country has recently come out with a robot tank that is claimed to be better at certain operations than human-controlled ground vehicles.
Russia is also reported to be working on an all-electric helicopter and a flying car. Besides, the country claims to have a tank that can operate in any conditions, even on Mars.
Boeing has been supplying Apache attack helicopters to various countries around the world. The Indian army is finalising a deal to purchase six AH-64E gunships in the coming months, the Economic Times reports.