The Agusta Westland Apache is a licence-built version of the Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopter for the British Army's Army Air Corps. The first eight helicopters were built by Boeing; the remaining 59 were assembled by Westland Helicopters (now part of Leonardo) at Yeovil, Somerset in England from Boeing-supplied kits. Changes from the AH-64D include Rolls-Royce Turbomeca engines, a new electronic defensive aids suite and a folding blade mechanism allowing the British version to operate from ships. The helicopter was initially designated WAH-64 by Westland Helicopters and was later given the designation Apache AH Mk 1 (also written as "Apache AH1") by the Ministry of Defence.
The Apache was a valued form of close air support in the conflict in Afghanistan, being deployed to the region in 2006. The Apache has been an object of controversy over the fitting of some weapons, such as cluster munitions. Naval trials and temporary deployments at sea have proven the aircraft as an able platform to operate from the decks of ships, which is a unique application of the Apache amongst its operators. British Apaches have also served in the NATO 2011 military intervention in Libya operating from Royal Navy ships.
Role Attack helicopter
National origin United States / United Kingdom
Manufacturer Westland Helicopters
First flight September 1998
Status In service
Primary user Army Air Corps
Number built 67
Program cost £4.1 billion
Developed from Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow