Warplanes: Let There Be Longbow All Around

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February3, 2007: While all U.S. Army active duty AH-64s are using the Longbow fire control and all-weather radar system, several hundred reserve AH-64s are older models are not. So the army is upgrading the reserve unit AH-64s to AH-64D (Longbow equipped) standards. Currently, 126 older AH-64s are undergoing the upgrade. However, 30 of these older helicopters belong to a foreign user (the United Arab Emirates). The other 96 belong to the army reserve. It will cost about $9.2 million to upgrade each helicopter and this lot will be finished by 2010. The Longbow gear not only enables the AH-64 to operate at night, and in bad weather, but also makes it much easier for the crew to find targets. The sensors are also useful for scouting in general. With magnification, the sensors enable the helicopter to fly out of machine-gun range (5,000 feet altitude), and still make out what's happening on the ground.

 


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