Arrival of U.S. Army Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopters here this month marks the first international deployment of an U.S. Army Apache Longbow combat battalion.
The next-generation Apache helicopters, produced by The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz., arrived in South Korea by ship. They were rapidly reassembled and then flown to a U.S. Army facility in South Korea, where they will be based.
The arrival also completed the official return of the Army Apache unit to Korea, where it had operated as an AH-64A Apache battalion in support of U.S. Army forces before the conversion to Apache Longbows began in 1999.
The U.S. Army is upgrading its AH-64A Apache fleet to the next-generation AH-64D Apache Longbow configuration. Boeing is remanufacturing the Army's Apache helicopters, which represent the most advanced combat helicopters fielded, at its Mesa rotorcraft facility.
Apache Longbow helicopters link a wide range of avionics, electronics and weapons into one fully integrated weapon system. The Apache Longbow is significantly more capable than the battle-proven AH-64A Apache, for years considered to be the world's best combat helicopter.
Next-generation Apaches continue to make their presence known around the globe through a growing customer base that includes Egypt, Japan, Singapore, Israel, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Several international competitions also are under way.